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.
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Swanepoel Discusses Web 2.0 for Realtors

March 30, 2009

trendsThe 2009 Swanepoel Trends Report came out last month. The Report is widely acknowledged as the most comprehensive Report covering change in the real estate business.

This is an annual report, authored by Stefan Swanepoel, which summarizes the preceding year and details the most significant trends, innovation and new business models impacting the real estate business.  

Although, there is a price for this report, you can check out a great video below of Mr. Swanepoel describing the latest social networking and web 2.0 tools available for today’s real estate agent.


Web forms as Lead Generators

March 31, 2008

mouse.jpgIn this month’s edition of Michael Russer’s ‘Ask Mr. Internet‘ column in the National Association of Realtor’s online magazine, he discusses how to generate leads from your web forms.

In fact, this is not the first time he has discussed the value of web forms in generating leads.

Back in August of 2007, he wrote an article entitled ‘Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse’, which offered techniques to get prospects to interact with your Web site by crafting appealing incentives that will set you apart from the competition.

To get consumers’ attention nowadays you need to step it up with an “irresistible offer” — the term I use for a special package, piece of information, document, or item that will be viewed as extremely valuable by your customers.

Examples of an irrestistable offer include:

  • Local real estate market report
  • Free home price evaluation (i.e. What’s my home worth?)
  • Neighborhood discount coupon book
  • First-time buyer teleseminar

This month, he offers three strategies to help get your web visitors to interact with you. 

The forms on your Web site shouldn’t be an intimidating barrier to having online consumers engage with you. Instead, make them your welcome mat, a friendly inviting threshold that will help turn casual visitors into serious clients.

Strategy 1: Tell them they don’t have to complete it.

Strategy 2: Reassure them of their privacy

Strategy 3: Give them visual cues to complete your form fields 


Century 21 reaches out to Consumers with Web 2.0

March 19, 2008

c21.jpgWith many real estate agencies stuck in the Internet dark ages, it is refreshing to see how companies like Century 21 have enhanced their web presence with consumer-friendly initiatives.

Take Century21.ca, for example. Their website was recently recognized by Joel Burslem, founder of Future of Real Estate Marketing, as one of his favorite real estate search experiences on line today.

It includes a blog and an awesome new Google map search functionality, which displays the locations of their listings. 

Meanwhile, Century21.com just launched its own YouTube channel. Aimed at sellers, buyers and enthusiasts, the Channel will provide the opportunity for customers and agents to create and submit user-generated content. 

“The CENTURY 21 System understands that in order to serve our clients and meet the demands of today’s market, we must lead the industry with the most current home buying and selling platforms,” said Robert Schwartz , vice president of national marketing for Century 21 Real Estate LLC. “During the next year we will continue to build on this momentum with additional Web-based innovations to help our agents and our clients navigate the world of real estate in a digital era.”

At Base10, we promote the use of web 2.0 and thats why we have an integrated set of features in our UniqueHomeSites.com product, which allow Canadian real estate professionals to better serve consumers through compelling web content.


Facebook Marketing for Real Estate Professionals

March 13, 2008

facebook.gifJoel Burslem, on his the Future of Real Estate Marketing blog, recently describes how Facebook does not allow real estate professionals to post their listings on its free marketplace.

However, Facebook does permit the display of listings on their pay-per-click Social Ad network.

Social ads are basically small advertisments that are visible to users as they browse Facebook to connect with their friends.

Each ad consists of a small photo, a brief text, and a hyperlink to more details – ideal for a property listing!

The good thing about a Social Ad is that you specify how much you want to pay when people click on your ad.

It also allows you to target Facebook users by age, gender, location, and interests, which means your ad will only be displayed to those most likely interested in what you are selling.

You could even try targetting your selling clients’ social network so that they (or their friends) will see their home on Facebook! 

With Facebook, you can also build a customized ‘Page’ for your business, where you can post photos, video, announcements, etc..

Benjamin Bach, a commentator from Kichener-Waterloo on the agentgenius.com blog, provides some advice to real estate professionals on how to enhance their social networks and generate more leads via Facebook.

He suggests building a profile with your target client or market in mind and warns of the negative impact a bad profile can have in today’s information age.

Bach explains, “There is one Broker / Manager of a real estate company here who currently has this up on his profile: “Dieter is a High School Stoner.””

Dieter could be the best agent in town, but would you really want to list with him if this was all you knew about him?
 


Recent Survey Profiles Canadian First-Time Homebuyers

February 26, 2008

fthome.jpgA recent report by Genworth Financial profiles the first-time homebuyers market in Canada using results from a survey it conducted in December 2007 among 963 Canadians who recently purchased their first home, or were intending to do so.

Here are some highlights:

  • Canadian first-time home buyers remain confident in the stability of the housing market and are not overly concerned about the potential for declining home values.
  • The top concerns identified by respondents are high monthly payments (63%), rising interest rates (59%) and increasing property taxes (56%).
  • 68% of first-time buyers would prefer a newer home, and 65% want a modern, open floor plan
  • Roughly half of respondents (52%) sought 5-year mortgage terms, with almost one-quarter (23%) preferring terms of seven years or more.
  • Roughly 48% of respondents were very likely to use the Internet to research the homebuying process or to search for the neighbourhood that meets their needs and lifestyle

For complete details, check out the Genworth Financial Canada website or click here to access the report directly.


Educated consumers = less work, more money for Canadian real estate professionals

February 21, 2008

internet.jpgLloyd Frink, president of Zillow.com, posted an interesting article on RISMedia.com, entitled For Tech-Savvy Consumers, Real Estate Agents are Still the Experts’.

The article discusses the recent phenomenon of websites (including Zillow.com) offering consumers easy access to a wealth of information on local housing market conditions, neighbourhood information, and other homebuying tips.

This is a drastic change from the pre-Internet days when real estate agents were the gate-keepers of this type of information.

Should real estate professionals be concerned?

Not so, explains Mr. Frink: 

“A recent study by the California Association of Realtors reported that home buyers who used the Internet as a significant portion of their home-buying experience spent an average of two weeks with a Realtor looking at homes, compared to those who did not use the Internet, who spent an average of seven weeks looking for their home.

The wealth of tools and information available online takes away a lot of the “hand holding” traditionally expected of real estate agents, which allows them to take on a higher volume of clients, and ultimately, make more money.”

In fact, single property websites from UniqueHomeSites.com offer Canadian real estate professionals the ability to harness the power of the Internet by automatically ‘pulling’ together relevant information from a variety of sources into a neatly packaged website, dedicated to a single listing.

With a UniqueHomeSite, consumers can browse everything related to a specific property, including photos, property descriptions, video, local schools, neighbourhood demographics, plus much more.

Not only do consumers benefit from the wealth of information available on the site, recipricol links back to the agents website makes it easy for them to make contact when they are ready to engage the agent to start a transaction.