Posts Tagged as marketing property

Tips for Putting Together Marketing Videos

Top Marketing Videos to Do For Every Listing

Video usage in real estate marketing is exploding, and surprisingly enough to many agents, it involves more than listing videos. Are you missing out on the benefits that these essential real estate marketing videos can deliver?

Look Beyond Listing Videos to these Prime Video Marketing Solutions:

  • Informational Videos
    Provide value to buyers and sellers alike with short, educational videos on common real estate topics and questions (and lighten your to-do load).
  • Agent/Office Promotional Videos
    What makes you/your office stand out? From awards to finding foreclosures for flipping, tout it in a short promo.
  • Interview Videos
    Generate new leads by interviewing past clients on their first-person experience working with you. Interviews with respected figures in the community, as well as colleagues in the industry (lenders, inspectors, attorneys) will boost your video marketing currency.
  • Profile Videos
    Help potential sellers and buyers better understand what you have to offer with a brief “about me” video, highlighting your family, hobbies, successes, and even funny stories or anecdotes.
  • Neighborhood & Community Videos
    Capture special community events like annual festivals and parades, hone-in on area amenities, shopping and dining hotspots, beautiful scenery and more with a short, informational video to offer a deep and unique community perspective.
  • Local Business Reviews
    Area restaurant, retail store, or business win an award, or simply have a strong community following? Feature these shining venues.
  • Client Testimonials
    Quick, short videos of happy, satisfied clients are among the best video currency.
  • How-To Videos
    Provide potential customers with information on everything from how sellers should prep their home for showings, to how buyers can speed up the perusal process.

Extend Your Reach
Don’t just post these videos on your site, email them as part of your promotional marketing collateral, and more importantly, share them via social networking!

Put video use in real estate marketing to work for you with the latest addition to the Properties Online family. Learn more today!

The Zillow-Trulia Merger & Your Real Estate Business

Last week, Zillow revealed publicly its intent to buy Trulia for $3.5 billion. Obviously this news (and the rumors we’ve been hearing for some time) are hot topics of conversation in the real estate world. The consolidation will allegedly take place whilst still maintaining the distinct identities of both Zillow and Trulia. Only time will tell. But what will a Zillow-Trulia merger mean for your real estate business?

Last week, Zillow revealed publicly its intent to buy Trulia for $3.5 billion. Obviously this news (and the rumors we’ve been hearing for some time) are hot topics of conversation in the real estate world. The consolidation will allegedly take place whilst still maintaining the distinct identities of both Zillow and Trulia. Only time will tell. But what will the Zillow-Trulia merger mean for your real estate business?

On July 28th, Zillow announced via a press release that “it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Trulia, Inc. … in a stock-for-stock transaction. The Boards of Directors of both companies have approved the transaction, which is expected to close in 2015.”

Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow, stated: “Consumers love using Zillow and Trulia to find vital information about homes and connect with the best local real estate professionals. Both companies have been enormously successful in creating compelling consumer brands and deep industry partnerships, but it’s still early days in the world of real estate advertising on mobile and Web. This is a tremendous opportunity to combine our resources and achieve even more impressive innovation that will benefit consumers and the real estate industry.”

Pete Flint, Trulia’s CEO, then commented: “Trulia and Zillow have a shared mission and vision of empowering consumers while helping real estate agents, brokerages and franchisors benefit from technological innovation. By working together, we will be able to create even more value for home buyers, sellers, and renters, as well as create a robust marketing platform that will help our industry partners connect with potential clients and grow their businesses even more efficiently. Our two companies share complementary employee cultures with innovative, consumer-first philosophies and a deep commitment to create the best products and services for our industry partners.”

By the (self-reported) numbers:
• Zillow reported a record 83 million unique users across mobile and Web in June 2014.
• Trulia reported a record 54 million monthly unique users across its sites and mobile apps in June 2014.
• Approximately half of Trulia.com’s monthly visitors do not visit Zillow.com
• Approximately two-thirds of Zillow.com’s monthly visitors across all devices do not use Trulia.com.
• “Maintaining the two distinct consumer brands will allow the combined company to continue to offer differentiated products and user experiences, attract more users and maximize the distribution of free content across multiple platforms, apps and channels.”

The Zillow-Trulia merger might not create the “pricing power” juggernaut that many people fear. We’ve been reading comments by agents and brokers all over the web, and the fact is that many MLS boards and independent agents are starting to pull their listings – they simply don’t want to have to pay to advertise next to their own listings. There are also frequent rumblings about the data and Zestimates on Zillow being inaccurate.

Citron Research cites a deal struck between Realogy and Zillow/Trulia. Realogy—the world’s largest real estate agency, comprising Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s, ERA, Century 21 and Better Homes—secured a lucrative deal for its agents that “prohibits all other agencies from advertising on their listings” at a cost of less than 95% what any other agency pays. What’s more, Realogy is aggressively pursuing their own online offering that will compete head-to-head with Zillow-Trulia in the consumer-focused online real estate space, with a new product expected sometime in 2015.

“We believe that there is a space in there that we can compete in. It will have features like Zillow and Trulia. It will have features that you wouldn’t put on a real estate brokerage website. An example of that would be Zestimate that Zillow uses. There are certain features that we believe we can effectively do and be able to cast a net outcome, a consumer-oriented facing website arena and be able to capture leads, reviewing [scrub then] as I described, and then put them in the hands of our sales associates so we create the business opportunity,” NRT CEO and President Bruce Zipf is quoted as saying on May 9th during a Realogy Investor Day Q&A.

Rascoff, Zillow’s CEO, has been quoted as saying, “It ought to be quite clear to a listing agent or a broker that it behooves their seller to have their listing displayed on Zillow and Trulia or sites that Zillow powers.”

Indeed, Zillow powers some of the internet’s major property search engines, and together with Trulia will indeed have a massive reach. But for how long, with competitors like Realogy making such significant strides, technologically and on behalf of its agents at the bargaining table? And how long before Keller Williams, Remax, Berkshire Hathaway, or other agencies demand and negotiate the same deals Zillow-Trulia have granted Realogy?

Many real estate professionals feel a loss of power in the face of the deal, which cements a growing resentment at having to pay Zillow to advertise their listings. Online forums reveal many of these agents calling for boycotts, while still others agree there isn’t another viable option.

Inman News contributing writer Joseph Rand writes in his Op-ed “Why Zulia doesn’t mean checkmate,” that: “The bottom line is that Zillow needs listings more than listings need Zillow. Which means that Zillow needs the people (brokers and agents) who take those listings more than they need Zillow.” I’d venture that he is bang on with that assessment.

Where does your business fit in? Do you use Zillow to obtain leads? One thing I can say with certainty is that this isn’t over, and we’ll be talking about the Zillow-Trulia merger for some time to come. How do you feel about all of this? I’d love to hear your thoughts from the proverbial trenches.

Goof-for Business

Why Blogging is Good for Your Business

Twenty years ago, a solid marketing strategy for real estate involved putting ads in the newspaper and leaving signature FOR SALE posts on properties. Now, with the digital age among us, this type of marketing is just simply not enough. In order to stay on top, real estate businesses, as well as all types of businesses, have to learn how to get noticed online. One of the greatest tools for receiving online attention is blogging. And I’m going to spend the next few paragraphs telling you exactly why blogging is good for your business.

Twenty years ago, a solid marketing strategy for real estate involved putting ads in the newspaper and leaving signature FOR SALE posts on properties. Now, with the digital age among us, this type of marketing is just simply not enough. In order to stay on top, real estate businesses, as well as all types of businesses, have to learn how to get noticed online. One of the greatest tools for receiving online attention is blogging. And I’m going to spend the next few paragraphs telling you exactly why blogging is good for your business.

What is a Blog?

A blog is like an online, interactive journal. While they can be used for personal or public use, their function can often vary. Blogs are similar to articles, and can be found on designated websites to inform or entertain readers, who are often allowed to rate or comment on the material. For businesses, blogging is a great way to share knowledge, attract readers (or potential clients), gain credibility, advertise, and improve search engine page rank through better search engine optimization (SEO).

Making the Most Out of Blogs

In terms of improving business, blogs are an easy way to improve online popularity. When someone is searching for real estate agents online, you want your service to be the first to pop up on Google. Blogs have the power to make this happen and here’s how:

Search engines, like Google or Bing, rely on an intense algorithm to find websites when you search using a series of words. Websites that are frequently updated, well respected, contain large amounts of data, and are linked to other sites are typically the first websites to show up in a search. By posting blogs on your own site and by publishing more information, you are expanding the website and increasing its chance of hitting a lucky component in the search engine’s algorithm. When posting blogs on other sites, known as off-site optimization, it is important to include inbound links to your site and to write quality blogs. These components of blogging are targeted ingredients that a search engine look for and will make your site stand out from the rest.

Blog and Get Noticed

For real estate blogging, businesses tend to inform audiences on the housing market, quarterly reports, and events going on locally. This is an easy way to outreach readers (potential clients) and keep content current, all while improving your marketing strategy. When it comes down to it, a solid use of blogging not only makes your website look better, it can also improve your business’s SEO performance and land your website among the first pages in a search engine’s results.

Sell More Houses With Videos!

5 Good Reasons to Use a Real Estate Agent

Unless you are a realtor or retired agent, it’s not a smart idea and may cost you in real dollars. Here are 5 good reasons to use a real estate agent.

As the real estate industry continues to move online, and as buyers and sellers have increasingly easy access to real estate data and information, more and more buyers and sellers may decide to go it alone, without the help of a real estate professional. But unless you are a realtor or a retired agent, it’s not generally a smart idea and may cost the home seller in real dollars. Here are 5 good reasons to use a real estate agent. Drumroll, please …

Split the check. Really, the major reason people choose to buy and sell homes without a professional comes down to money. They want to save on commission. But what if buyer AND seller are playing this game? The sale price of a home takes an agent’s commission into account. Comps on houses in your area are made on houses that overwhelmingly are sold by agent. But if they buyer is also going agent-free, they’ll likely offer down, because they know the agent’s fee isn’t necessary. Buyer and seller can’t collect the unpaid commission. Someone’s going to lose.

Don’t you already have a full time job? Selling or buying property can be extremely time intensive. There is a lot of research to begin, home viewing, deal making, negotiating, etc. Whether you work outside the home or not, unlike a professional realtor, I can bet you aren’t working the real estate circuit 40+ hours a week. A qualified agent has access to properties and agents you don’t, can track down and vet houses that meet your specifications, schedule appointments and play phone tag on your behalf. Selling without an agent is even more time consuming and a lot less fun. You have to solicit all the calls from potential buyers, someone weed out the looky-loos, answer questions, show viewers through your home, prep and stage, and more. What happens if the home doesn’t sell in a timely fashion? It starts to get a bad rep. Not worth it.

Did you captain the debate team in high school? Negotiating is tricky business. Sellers often have a lot of personal attachment and can’t see things outside of that bias. Buyers may not feel confident about speaking up when they see a potential issue. Or they may feel overly confident and do damage when they simply want to criticize what they see as hideous decorating techniques. Agents can represent your interests, leaving the parties with emotional involvement right out of the thick of things. Deals have gone dead over insults, real or imagined. Let your agent play the bad cop, if necessary. Let them schmooze, too.

It’s a trust thing. Your agent, if working under a conventional, full-service commission agreement, is bound by law to work in your best interests. Now that doesn’t mean all agents are created equal and all are equally trustworthy. But it does mean that you have recourse if something goes wrong. Your agent is responsible to his broker or professional association and to the state in which he is licensed. What’s more, your agent probably got your business based on referral. And he or she will count on you to do the same. This is further incentive, beyond the legal obligation, to put your needs first when it comes to buying or selling a home. On the other hand, if you buy from a FSBO and you’re without an agent, you have two people working for their own interests, with much less holding them to honesty and accountability. Hiring a lawyer later is much more expensive than securing a real estate agent at the start.

Sign on the dotted line. Speaking of lawyers, you may need one if you choose not to use an agent or broker. Contracts are vital, and they aren’t always easy to understand. What if you fail to make financing one of the conditions of the sale, for instance, and then find you aren’t approved for the mortgage? The seller could sue you, could keep your deposit, and could derail your home buying dream. Using an agent ensures you have someone on your side well versed in real estate contracts who can look out for any red flags or potential pit falls and make sure you have everything you need secured and in writing from the get-go.

Real estate isn’t a simple business. Do yourself a favor and rely on a professional. Happy house hunting and selling!

Agents, please feel free to send this on to your clients or share it on your own blogs and social media (with proper credit). And let me know any other reasons you suggest home buyers and sellers use a real estate professional!

Social Media Marketing for Real Estate

Social media marketing is essentially word of mouth marketing, but it is done on a much bigger scale thanks to the Internet.

Social media marketing is essentially word of mouth marketing, but it is done on a much bigger scale thanks to the Internet.

The idea of social media is that you simply talk with people – you reach out and network and have discussions just as you would have in a real life business function. The fact that it is online social networking extends your reach far beyond your immediate area, and makes networking much easier, because it can be done from your home computer, your laptop, tablet, smartphone or from the office desktop.

The secret to having a successful social media marketing campaign is to be genuine, and this is true for any type of social media campaign, including real estate. Reach out to relevant people – don’t just follow anyone – and initiate real conversations. Try to be as helpful as you can! Many business owners are using Twitter Search to create an ongoing search for a certain keyword. Every time someone mentions that keyword on Twitter, you get the opportunity to respond.

For example, if you specialize in Phoenix, AZ, homes, you might want be alerted when people mention “Phoenix homes” or “Phoenix real estate” on Twitter. See if you can help or contribute to the conversation, and after you have contributed, follow that person.

This strategy will help you build a social media account that is not just active and vibrant but also very effective, because it focuses on your target market.