YouTube and Real Estate Marketing

July 31, 2007

image002.gifIf you are wondering what all the fuss is about with YouTube and its application to real estate marketing, RISMedia.com posted a recent interview with Internet Marketing Consultant Thomas Harpointer, which details how the use of video is making a difference for real estate agents.

Here are five important points made by Mr. Harpointer:

  1. Agents and brokers can create videos and post them on YouTube as a hook into their Web site, driving traffic they wouldn’t normally have.
  2. With the equipment available today, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a camera.
  3. Video is more exciting for the consumer and creates the perception of reputation, quality of service, and good strength for the agent who uses it.
  4. Brokers and agents are of bigger use than ever before. Eighty-one percent of those who use the Internet to look for a home also use an agent.
  5. Today video is exciting and the number one selling point is that it helps you stand out from the pack-few sites are doing it.

To read the complete interview, visit http://www.rismedia.com/wp/2007-06-19/youtube-a-modern-take-on-real-estate-technology/

Also, keep in mind that YouTube video content can be seamlessly integrated within your UniqueHomeSites ;-).


Guide to Creating Virtual Tours

July 30, 2007

Most have seen a virtual tour of a home for sale on the Internet with panoramic (360 degree) views, allowing property seekers the ability to look at a room as if they were actually standing in the middle of it.

However, did you know that it is really quite easy to create a panoramic / 360-degree / virtual tour? It’s true! All you need is a digital camera and a computer with a high-speed internet connection.  Plus, if you are a UniqueHomeSite.com user, you can easily post your virtual tours on the web.

Whether you are a FSBO (For Sale By Owner) or a real estate agent, you have the tools to create a virtual tour yourself, or for others ;-).

Just follow these simple steps:

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Declining lumber industry has B.C. forestry companies eyeing real estate opportunities

July 27, 2007

pointswest1.jpgpointswest1.jpgpointswest1.jpgpointswest1.jpgpointswest1.jpgInteresting article on www.reportonbusiness.com by Wendy Stueck about changing industry dynamics on Vancouver Island. Let’s just hope everyone acts responsibly :-).

Things are so tough for the (forestry) industry that on this particularly scenic stretch of coast, some companies have concluded there’s more money to be made in subdividing and selling land than in perpetually logging it.

Vancouver-based TimberWest Forest Corp., for example, a major landholder on the island, has transformed itself over the past few years, contracting out nearly all of its logging operations and stepping up real estate sales to capitalize on the ravenous appetite for lots with a view.

“Demand for residential properties in this area is increasing exponentially,” says Bruce MacMillan, a ReMax real estate agent in Sooke who is selling lots at Wildwood Terrace, a project near Jordan River developed by Victoria-based Totangi Forestry Ltd.

Mr. MacMillan, who has been building or selling real estate in the area for about 20 years, says people drop into his office every day in the summer, hunting for waterfront property or to view lots.


Are Agent Teams Better?

July 27, 2007

teamwork-climbers-pre-made-frame-c11674749.jpegIn the past two days, there have been a couple of related items posted on the Internet regarding the value of teams in the context of real estate agents. Given that this seems to be a hot topic, I thought I would review.

The first item to appear was a posting on the Edmonton Real Estate Blog entitled ‘Two Reason to Consider a Team’. In this posting, the author discusses the benefits of having an experienced resource on hand to act as a back-up in the event that you become too busy (i.e. with new clients, family obligations, etc) to effectively deal with requests from existing clients or to pursue new leads.

This is great for when times are good, but when things slow down, do you really want an extra sales agent on the payroll? As the posting suggests, there are benefits in creating a team with a diverse set of skills.

For example, many agents often hire unlicensed individuals (at a lower cost) to handle some of the often time-consuming administrative tasks (i.e. taking pictures, website / mls updates, virtual tours, etc). Meanwhile, someone with a little more experience is likely required for showings, open houses, and marketing.

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Internet Technologies Replacing Old Techniques Among Realtors

July 25, 2007

There is an interesting and well-written article that appeared on the cbc.ca website a few months ago that is worth mentioning. Author Georgie Binks discusses new technologies, such as panoramic photos, video, and mapping, and how they are gradually replacing old marketing techniques used by Realtors.

In the article, she outlines 5 key benefits of new technologies for both home buyers and sellers:

  1. Easy for on-line shoppers – more property information is available at the click of a mouse.
  2. Real estate agents who embrace new technology are able to win more listings by standing out in a crowded market
  3. Internet technology has become very easy to use and affordable (sometimes free!), allowing sellers of property to have much more control in marketing property on the web – without having to use the often expensive services of a website developer
  4. Virtual tours (including property video and maps) allow real estate agents to better market property to out-of-town buyers
  5. Additional details that virtual tours provide reduces the need for an open house, which is typically stressful on home sellers and often a waste of time for homebuyers who don’t have complete information before visiting a property.

Weekly Canadian Real Estate News

July 22, 2007

If you’re looking for a regulary ‘fix’ of real estate news in the Canadian context,  www.renx.ca publishes a great weekly e-newsletter which summarizes the week’s real estate news.

You can check it out directly on the website, or get a free subscription, which automatically send the news to your e-mail each week.  There is both a Residential and a Commercial version.

 

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Single Property Websites Give Real Estate Agents in Canada a ‘Unique’ Marketing Edge

July 21, 2007

house_sign1.jpgSingle property websites are the latest trend in real estate marketing on the web and UniqueHomeSites.com is leading the way for Canadian real estate agents to get on board.

In a nutshell, single property websites allow real estate agents to build a website dedicated to a single listing with an easy-to-use set of web-based tools.

Below is a list of various ways that single listing websites, and specifically UniqueHomeSites.com, give real estate agents in Canada a unique competitive advantage.

Win More Listings with Higher Levels of Service

Single property websites are an effective way for real estate agents to show clients how truly unique they are by creating an appealing and content-rich website that is dedicated solely to marketing their home.

Using this approach, real estate agents can make their selling clients feel important. It tells them that, instead of marketing the agent or broker, the focus is on marketing the property.

With an increase in FSBO activity in recent years, agents are increasingly being challenged on the level of service they provide. Single property websites are a means to demonstrate to selling clients how they will go above and beyond to properly market their home.

Leveraged Advertising Dollars

Property-specific domain names (i.e. www.123UniqueStreet.com) are a great link between an agents property marketing channels. For example, domain names can effectively be used in print advertising and on the main lawn sign of a property to direct potential buyers to the property online – a great time saver for the consumer.

UniqueHomeSites.com offers automated domain name registration through its service and hosting of the website for one year, included in the flat fee of $69 (volume discounts available).

Attract Buyers with Content-Rich Websites

The Internet can be a significant threat to real estate agents in Canada, who have traditionally been the gatekeepers of information related to a particular property. Homebuyers today are more empowered than ever to research a particular property on the web, before even thinking of contacting an agent.27turtlepointdrive.jpg

Single property website services, such as UniqueHomesites, allow agents to easily harness the power of the Internet and re-gain control by packaging a variety of information into a template to create an informative and engaging homebuying experience.

An example of how agents can capitalize is to use emerging web video technologies, such as YouTube.com, to edit, upload, and distribute video tours of the property. Video content uploaded to YouTube can quickly and seamlessly be integrated within a UniqueHomeSite and is additional exposure for the listing.

Time and Money Savings

Single property websites allow agents to save time by automating much of the information-gathering process for a new listing with automated mapping, a Canadian school locator, and neighbourhood demographics. 

With a UniqueHomeSites, all technical details are taken care of – a fully functional site can be built within minutes using an easy-to-use website building wizard.

In addition, users can build and preview as many sites as they want – completely free of charge. Payment is only required upon domain name registration.