Use Wikipedia Content in your Web Marketing

December 14, 2008

wikiWe’ve discussed on this blog before about creating a niche for yourself in the real estate marketplace.

Indeed, many sales and rental agents have achieved success through marketing to a specific group or community, ranging from student rentals to luxury sales.

If your niche is geography-specific ( or any niche, really), you can easily enhance your web presence using neighbourhood content from

Wikipedia is a free, online encyclopedia project. There are roughly 10 million articles written collaboratively by volunteers around the world… this includes articles about your neighbourhood!

By searching wikipedia’s vast library for your neighbourhood, you will likely find valuable demographic, historical, and community events information, which can be re-used on your own web page.

You can start your search here:

Neighbourhoods in Alberta

Neighbourhoods in British Columbia

Neighbourhoods in Manitoba

Neighbourhoods in New Brunswick

Neighbourhoods in Newfoundland and Labrador

Neighbourhoods in Nova Scotia

Neighbourhoods in Ontario

Neighbourhoods in Prince Edward Island

Neighbourhoods in Quebec

Neighbourhoods in Saskatchewan


Homes and Land Magazine expands to new Canadian centres

February 7, 2008

hal_logo.gifAs further evidence that print advertising is not dead, real estate media company Homes & Land announced this week that it grew its magazine franchise division by 7.5 percent to 340 franchises in 2007.

While most agents will agree that placing their listings in these types of magazines likely won’t sell a home any faster, they will certainly agree that selling clients love to see their home showcased in high-gloss print.

Furthermore, prospective homebuyers (and the general population) love to browse through magazines like Homes and Land to see what’s on the market, which raises the profile of advertising agents within the community.

To help leverage their investment in print advertising, some of our clients have found that the unique domain names (i.e. that come with our single property websites are a great way to ‘drive’ traffic to their presence on the web.

When readers see the easy-to-remember domain name, they are more likely to visit the property online, where they can access more photos, video, school information, and neighbourhood demographics.  

Additional Homes and Lands franchises can now be found in Red Deer and central Alberta; Muskoka, Haliburton and Parry Sound, Ontario; London, St. Thomas and Woodstock, Ontario; Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon, Ontario; York Region, Ontario; Niagara Region, Ontario and Montreal to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.

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.

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.”

Use Neighbourhood Photos to Help Sell a Home

January 10, 2008

playpark.jpgIts no secret we think Larry Lohrman’s Photography for Real Estate blog is an excellent resource for real estate professionals. He offers really great tips from both a photographer and a real agents perspective.

For example, he recently posted a simple, yet important, reminder to real estate agents to include photos of a property’s neighbourhood when presenting a listing on the Internet.

“Buyers have to be attracted to the neighborhood before they are going to by a home there.” Larry says, “Since most slide-show virtual tour formats can accommodate large numbers of photos there’s really no reason to not have plenty of photos of the neighborhood on listings.”

In a related post, check out the Future of Real Estate Marketing blog (another great resource for real estate marketing tips!) for pointing to this impressive video, produced by a real estate agent in Chicago showing how they are the neighbourhood experts.

At, our single property websites allow for an unlimited number of photo uploads (still and panoramic’s), as well as video feeds from YouTube and Google Video.

Check out this recent UniqueHomeSite for a property in St. Catharines, Ontario (check the panoramics) –

Tips for Real Estate Agents to Justify Their Commission

January 7, 2008

111ways.jpg recently posted an article entitled “Eight Ways to Justify Your Commission“, which provides real estate agents some quick tips in offering their clients complete transparency while winning them over at the same time. 

The article is authored by Michael Soon Lee, longtime real estate agent, professional speaker, and author of the new book “111 Ways to Justify Your Commission“.

“Thanks to the availability of listings over the Internet and the rising prices of homes across the country, over the past ten years consumers are increasingly questioning the value of the commissions paid to real estate professionals.” Lee explains, “today we have to explain our value if we want to be fairly compensated.”

Some great tips include showing a pie chart about how small the commission actually is after split between the buying agent, brokers cut, listing expenses, and taxes.

Of course, we believe that single property websites from are a great way to help justify your commission with selling clients. A do-it-yourself website can be created in minutes for under $70.

Transparent Real Estate blog also points to an excellent slideshow by a real estate team in California to describe to their clients how their internet marketing plan differentiates them from the competition.     

Century 21 Canada examines first-time buyer market

December 16, 2007

resizeimage.gifCentury 21 Canada recently published results from its national survey of typical first-time buyer homes in 128 neighbourhoods within 55 cities across the country.

“First-time buyers often enter the market with an unrealistic list of expectations, but soon find they need to decide on a smaller house or accept a longer commute time,” says Don Lawby, president of CENTURY 21 Canada.

According to Statistics Canada census data, home ownership among Canadians is continuing to increase year after year. The number of homes owned has increased from 6.8 million to 8.5 million, or 24%, between 1996 and 2006, while the population of the country has increased from 28.8 million to 31.6 million, or 10%.

According to the survey, the most expensive cities for first-time buyers based on price per square foot are Vancouver, where a 412-square-foot condo in the downtown is $281,000 or $682 per square foot; the Toronto suburb of Thornhill, where an 800-square-foot bungalow on a 3,500-square-foot lot in East York is $480,000, or $600 per square foot; and downtown Toronto, where a 340-square-foot condo in trendy Liberty Village is $200,000 or $588 per square foot.

The least expensive cities for first-time buyers based on price per square foot are St. John’s (2,150-square-foot two-storey bungalow, $170,000 or $79 per square foot), Halifax (1,408-square-foot semi-detached house, $129,900 or $92 per square foot), Windsor (850-square-foot 1½-storey house, $91,000 or $107 per square foot), London (1,000-square-foot townhouse, $120,000 or $120 per square foot), and Sudbury (969-square-foot 1½-storey house, $140,000 or $144 per square foot).