Marketing Tips for 2008 from the Experts at Real Estate Connect

January 31, 2008

connect.jpgTwice a year, InmanNews holds a Real Estate Connect conference, where leaders in real estate and mortgage come together with top technology executives to promote change and innovation within the industry.

Topics range from that of real estate market conditions, interactive marketing, social media, Web 2.0, MLS, mapping, lead generation, blogging, user generated content, search engine marketing and search engine optimization, online video, paperless technology and more.

Although many Realtors don’t have the budget to attend these types of events in person, the beauty of today’s technology allows us to check out the highlights via the Internet.

Joel Burslem of the Future of Real Estate Marketing blog effectively captured the thoughts of some of the experts on-hand at the conference and posted them on

For a plethora of other video interviews, forum discussions, and general commentary from these events, it is worth checking out the InmanTV channel at


Using Neighbourhood Photos in Listing Presentations – Part 2

January 27, 2008

ttc.jpgLast week, we talked about the importance of including neighbourhood photos as part of your real estate listing presentations on the Internet.

We have noticed that it’s something not many real estate professionals do, even though prospective buyers who surf the net truly value these types of photos.

It gives internet buyers an additional flavour of what the neighbourhood has to offer in terms of services and amenities.

To give you a good example, Stevie Crawford of Royal Lepage Real Estate Services in Toronto recently created a UniqueHomeSite for a condo he is currently listing, where he included a number of neighbourhood photos, such as that of a nearby park, transit station, shopping, and the neighbourhood LCBO.

You can check out his listing here for inspiration! (Click on the Photos link)

Ex-Point2 Execs Start New Venture from Saskatoon

January 25, 2008

vendasta_02.gifReal estate agents who use Point2 websites may be interested to learn that there was somewhat of a shake-up among senior executives at the company in December, with a number of them suddenly resigning.

Although Point2 continues to offer the same great service, those who left have started a new consulting company called VendAsta, and they’re based in Saskatoon!

Details are limited, but it sounds like they have some interesting ideas in the social networking realm. Stay tuned!

The other day, they have posted a glimse of what they’re up to on YouTube:  

Reinforce your real estate expertise with educational handouts from NAR

January 22, 2008

education.jpgWord up to Mike Blaney, the self-proclaimed Marketing Guy from Vancouver, B.C., who pointed us to this comprehensive list of informative handouts for Realtors to provide to their clients (courtesy of the National Association of Realtors).

According to the NAR website, anyone is free to print copies of the handouts or customize them with their own branding. These handouts are perfect for newsletters, Web sites, and promotional kits.

For Canadian real estate professionals, keep in mind that the information is from an American perspective and may need to be modified slightly to reflect the Canadian marketplace.

Nonetheless, this is a great resource!

P.S. If you are a Canadian realtor in need of a website for your business, give us a call or email and ask about our UniqueAgentSites.

1-866-9UNIQUE or

Get Ready for Homeownership
10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership
5 Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes
Why You Should Work With a REALTOR®
Questions to Ask When Choosing a REALTOR®
7 Reasons to Own Your Home
Tax Benefits of Homeownership
Take the Stress Out of Homebuying

Finance Your Home
Specialty Mortgages: Risks and Rewards
Loan Types to Consider
6 Creative Ways to Afford a Home
Lender Checklist: What You Need for a Mortgage
Get Your Finances in Order: To-Do List
Budget Basics Worksheet
What You Can Do to Improve Your Credit
5 Factors That Decide Your Credit Score
How Big of a Mortgage Can I Afford?

Buyers: Find the Right Property
8 Tips to Guide for Your Home Search
How High Tech is Your Home?
5 Property Tax Questions You Need to Ask
10 Questions to Ask the Condo Board
Your Property Wish List
Tips for Finding the Perfect Neighborhood
Tips for Buying in a Tight Market
Pros and Cons of Going Condo
10 Questions to Ask Home Inspectors
What a Home Inspection Should Cover

Buyers: Prepare for Closing and Beyond
5 Things to Know About Homeowner’s Insurance
Tips for Lowering Homeowner’s Insurance Costs
5 Things to Know About Title Insurance
What’s a Home Warranty?
What Not to Overlook on a Final Walk-through
Common Closing Costs for Buyers
Moving With Pets
Closing Documents You Should Keep
17 Tips for Packing Like a Pro

Sellers: Before You Sell
Does Moving Up Make Sense?
8 Reasons Why You Should Work With a REALTOR®
12 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your REALTOR®
5 Things to do Before Putting Your Home on the Market
Understand Agency Relationships
What is Appraised Value?

Sellers: Get Ready for Showings
Simple Tips for Better Home Showings
How to Improve the Odds of an Offer
How to Hold a Successful Garage Sale
Prepare Your Home for a Virtual Tour
Low-Cost Ways to Spruce Up Your Home’s Exterior
12 Tips for Hiring a Remodeling Contractor
5 Feng Shui Concepts to Help a Home Sell

Sellers: Prepare for Closing and Beyond
Understanding Capital Gains in Real Estate
What to Leave for the New Owners
10 Tips for Moving With Pets
Moving Checklist for Sellers
Forms You’ll Need to Sell Your Home
Checklist: 17 Service Providers You’ll Need When You Sell
Open House Safety Tips
How to Prepare for the Open House
Is Your Buyer Qualified?
Tips for Pricing Your Home

Check out Mike’s blog, as well as the U.S. National Association of Realtors website for other great marketing tips and advice.

Adding Value to your Service as a Real Estate Agent

January 21, 2008

deal.jpgThe Internet marketing experts at Real Estate Geeks discuss their top ten value-added services that real estate professionals can offer in their Listing/Buyer Presentations to help seal the deal.

Here is a summary:

  1. Automated Showing Feedback systems and offer web-based feedback requests from showing agents, which automatically e-mail viewer feedback to both the agent and the selling client. For more information on automated showing feedback systems, Internet marketing expert Michael Russer (aka Mr. Internet) discusses them in a recent article.
  2. Single Property Websites
    For real estate professionals in Canada, are an affordable (less than $70 per site) and effective way to win listings.Selling clients love the fact that you will create a website dedicated to their home.
  3. Syndication of their listing to online classified websites
    Check out our recent blog entry on this topic for a list of Canadian-friendly classified sites. (Note: check with your broker before submitting your listing to these sites as there are sometimes rules against it)
  4. Professional Property Photography and Multiple MLS Photos
    According to recent surveys, the number one thing that Internet home searchers look for during their search is photos. If required, hire a professional photographer and/or include as many photos of the property (and surrounding neighbourhood) as possible.
  5. Add the listing as a featured listing in your local glossy real estate magazine
    We know that the Internet has shifted advertising value away from print, but the fact is, clients love to see their home showcased in these publications. Plus, the unique domain name (i.e. from your single property website can be used in the ad to easily point interested parties directly to the web listing. 
  6. Make use of video to showcase the listing and upload to
    Not only will this increase the search engine rankings for the property, it will surely impress both the seller and the prospective buyer.

How to Stand Out in a Crowd as a Real Estate Professional

January 17, 2008

different.jpgJoe Cooke, an author and speaker with over 25 years experience in real estate marketing, discusses techniques on how to separate yourself from the competition as a real estate professional.

He suggests that a custom marketing plan should be developed for each prospect, stressing that one of the key elements in any marketing plan is differentiation.

“Telling your prospects that you are better than anyone else is an empty promise. You need to show them. To do that, you actually have to do something better than everyone else, and it has to be something tangible.”

Real estate agents can visit for a free download of a marketing plan put together by Mr. Cooke, which will help you get started.

Indeed, it is true that real estate agents in Canada need to distinguish themselves from the pack. According to a recent article in the Financial Post online, entitled ‘We’re not getting rich, says Realtors’, there was $118.3-billion in sales in Canada’s top 25 markets in 2007, a 19.6% jump from a year earlier.

Given the average commission is about 5%, that leaves about $5.915-billion in commissions to be split among the country’s approximate 96,000 agents, or about $61,600 per agent.

Of course, we believe that single property websites from are an effective and low-cost means to show clients how you will go above and beyond for them when listing their home.

Tips on Becoming a Neighbourhood Know-it-all

January 13, 2008

reale.jpgIn our last post, we discussed the importance of including neighbourhood photographs in your listing presentation on the web.

In fact, some agents have achieved success by becoming known as a neighbourhood expert among potential home buyers in their community. offers ten tips in a recent article entitled ‘Niche Marketing: How to Become a Neighborhood Expert’.

Here is a summary:

  1. Network with community leaders – school prinipals, local fire and police chiefs, local merchants
  2. Know the local real estate market – street names, recent transactions
  3. Know the schools – private, public, english, french
  4. Know the local amenities – parks and rec, restaurants
  5. Know the local businesses – meet the owners, include them in your marketing efforts
  6. Know aboth local clubs, associations, and churches
  7. Know about public works projects – road improvements, planning issues
  8. Know about neighbourhood traditions – block partys, community events
  9. Know about Homeowner Associations – if any, get involved
  10. Know the local job market – major employers, commute times

Internet speaker and consultant to the real estate industry, Michael Russer (aka Mr. Internet) explains:

“For generations, real estate professionals have been building their businesses by focusing on a neighborhood, developing their knowledge of the area and letting everyone know about it. Becoming a trusted resource in this manner is a time-tested winning strategy.”