Better Homes and Gardens enters Canadian Real Estate Marketplace

April 27, 2009

bhglogoBetter Homes and Gardens Real Estate officially announced recently that it will be expanding its real estate brand into Canada after reopening in the United States last summer.

BHG Real Estate is targeting the younger generation of buyers, who have been flooding the market in recent months, at least in Canada, thanks to historically low interest rates and falling prices.

Leading the BHG expansion into Canada, and adding a high degree of respect and familiarity, is former executive vice-president with Royal LePage CanadaSherry Chris.

According to an article by Garry Marr of the Financial Post, which discusses the BHG expansion, Ms. Chris’ company will go after some of the independent brokerages in those markets but has a hands-off policy when it comes to recruiting any brokers from Coldwell Banker or Century 21.

“If there was an independent company in a major city that wanted to grow and felt that they could grow better by partners and affiliating and utilizing technology Better Homes and Gardens has created, they would become a master franchise for a geographic area,” Chris said.

We’re not exactly sure why the hands-off policy with C21 and Coldwell Banker, but this could be an exciting opportunity for real estate brokers across Canada, particularly those who are familiar with, and heavily use, social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc) and other internet marketing technologies.  

We’ve discussed BHG on this blog in the past, pointing out the numerous resources available on their website for anyone buying or selling a home, including an article entitled – ‘14 Ways to Add Curb Appeal’


Canadian Realtors using Video – Re-visited

April 20, 2009

videoAbout a year and a half ago, we did a post on real estate agents in Canada who use video to market themselves and their property listings.

Given that video is rapidly becoming mainstream on the Internet, to the point where surfers/consumers are actually expecting it, we decided to re-visit the subject.

For this post, we searched YouTube for realtors in Canada and found a variety of video marketing techniques being used right now.

To see the complete results of our analysis, visit our recently created YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/uniquehs and have a look at our subscriptions.

Alternatively, have a look at some of the videos below that highlight some of the better uses of video that we found.

Matt Richling, of RE/MAX Affiliates Realty LTD, produced this video for one of his office listings:

Rich Zalaudek, of Homelife Benchmark Realty in White Rock, B.C., employs the professional video services of Video Openhouse for this listing presentation:

Team Cook of Royal LePage Team Realty in Ottawa, provides a more personal approach with voice-over descriptions of the property and neighbourhood.

Edmonton Realtor Sheldon Johnston, of Coldwell Banker Johnston Real Estate, discusses sales, listings, inventory, and first time home buyers in the Edmonton, Alberta, real estate market.

And, last but not least, Vancouver real estate agent Ian Watt of Sutton Group conducts a daily video blog, from his car of all places! This guy is often cited as one of the top video bloggers in North America.


Property Video Tours Featured on ‘Good Morning America’

April 3, 2009

onlinesaleWith often intense competition for new listings, some real estate agents are looking at the use of video for that added touch when marketing their services to clients.

Once only used by a handful of agents, technology has made it easier for sellers of real estate to capture video and display it for public viewing on the web.

Professional videographers are also popping up, which offer a more polished property video production, usually in High Definition. 

Larry Lohman from Photography for Real Estate blog points us to a recent story on ABC’s Good Morning America, which discusses the power of video in capturing people’s attention. 

You can check out the segment here, or have a look at some tips they offer for creating your own video tour.

  • Don’t pan around too quickly. Give the potential buyer time to take in the beauty of your house.
  • Use the zoom sparingly. It’s one feature that gets old quickly and, if used too often, will have less and less effect on the viewer.
  •  If you’re showing something important, count to 10 in your head with the camera centered on it. Make sure the viewers have plenty of time to take it in.
  •  Consider using a tripod. Even the most steady-handed of us tend to wobble from time to time. Your viewers will thank you.