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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CREA reaches out to ‘next generation’ of realtors

February 7, 2009

the-next-generation_l1An article appeared in Business Edge News Magazine last week describing a new Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) taskforce designed to help younger realtors survive in today’s marketplace.

According to the article, CREA is expecting a 3% decline in its membership to 97,000 members in 2009, but is bracing for additional declines in new licensees as markets begin to cool across the country and the home selling environment becomes much more challenging.   

“There’s a recognition that our next-generation realtors operate on a very different level than we do,” says Beth Crosbie, who heads the taskforce.

“This is an effort to bring them in, because they’re our future leaders, and we want to make sure that the association is providing them with the right tools and services for their style of work.”

Crosbie is referring to Internet tools such as Facebook and YouTube, which are growing in importance for real estate agents in reaching potential home buyers and sellers.

At Base 10 Web Solutions, we couldn’t agree more with this approach. Thats why we develop products and services that are designed to help realtors survive in today’s Internet age.

Every day we see examples of real estate agents who have done little to enhance their web presence or participate in some form of social networking online.

We expect that, as a new generation of home buyer emerges, real estate agents who do not embrace technology will be left behind.

Certainly, many established real estate agents across Canada will continue to be successful due to an established referral network. However, the successful rookie realtor will need to be ahead of the technology curve.   

We ‘ll keep you posted on any results that are made public from the CREA taskforce.

 


Real Estate Boards Benefit from MLS Data Consolidation

March 26, 2008

inman.gifAnne St. Dennis, manager of industry relations, communications and public affairs for the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board, was recently interviewed on InmanTV.

During the interview, Anne provides insight into how real estate boards can benefit by working together to consolidate their MLS systems.

She discusses her experience in consolidating data standards in the province of Quebec, leading to improved services among board members.

In reference to mls.ca, she dispels the myth that Canada has a national MLS, describing the website as a property marketing and consumer search site.

A true MLS is one which is used for use solely for real estate board members (i.e. brokers and sales reps).

Services of an MLS include tools that help real estate agents, such as:

  • Advanced search tools for researching sales history
  • Statistical reporting
  • Agent website solutions
  • Personalized hotsheets
  • E-mail functions for sending CMAs, online reports and presentations
  • Other customizable reports 

Introducing Alex Lukey as Approved UniqueHomeSites Photographer

February 22, 2008

alex.jpgOttawa-area real estate professionals can now benefit from having a UniqueHomeSites single property website, complete with the professional real estate photography services of Alex Lukey Photography.

As an approved vendor for UniqueHomeSites, Alex is able to provide his photographic services package to real estate professionals in the Ottawa area for a competitive price.

This includes a visit to the property to capture up to 20 web-ready still photos, and 3 panoramic images, and all the features and benefits associated with a UniqueHomeSite, including a unique domain name (i.e.www.123UniqueStreet.com) and hosting of the site for one year.


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.


Homebuyers want information before talking to a Real Estate Salesperson

February 11, 2008

home_buying.jpgAn article appeared on the Winnipeg Free Press website last week, discussing how the Internet has changed the way consumers shop for real estate.

The author, Deborah Bowers, draws interesting comparisons with other consumer market segments such as electronics, music, and books.

Real estate is a market segment in which the Web is having significant impact. In the past, interested customers would phone a Realtor’s paging service, leave their phone number, and wait in trepidation for real or perceived pressure to buy, sell or at least set up a meeting.

Today, the Internet has given even tire-kickers the expectation of being able to find out what they want, when they want it — in virtual anonymity.

To help Canadian real estate professionals cope with an increasing demand for more information, UniqueHomeSites.com packages information from a variety of sources into a content-rich single property website, offering a ‘unique’ online experience for homebuyers.

An easy-to-use site building wizard automatically generates integrated links for the real estate agent, offering neighbourhood mapping and demographics, property video, a school locator, unlimited photos, and a mortgage calculator.    


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 sales@uniquehomesites.com

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.