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
    Homefeedback.com and Feedbackcentral.com 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 Realtor.org article.
  2. Single Property Websites
    For real estate professionals in Canada, UniqueHomeSites.com 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. www.123UniqueStreet.com) 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 YouTube.com
    Not only will this increase the search engine rankings for the property, it will surely impress both the seller and the prospective buyer.
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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 www.FreeCMPtemplate.com 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 UniqueHomeSites.com 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.

RISMedia.com 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.”


Where do you Spend your Advertising Dollars?

November 27, 2007

re07_web_chart.jpgBorrell Associates, a research and consulting firm that tracks local advertising, released a new report last week on real estate spending, entitled Real Estate Outlook 2007-2012.

The report examines print vs. online advertising spending patterns among real estate agents and brokers in 2007. It also provides a forecast for the next 5 years.

“Real estate brokers and agents will continue to devote more marketing budgets to online media. This year they will spend $2.6 billion on online media and by 2012 online will topple newspapers share.”

However, the internet marketing experts over at Koeppel Direct suggest that real estate brokers should use a combination of print, online, and broadcast advertising to generate leads.

Peter Koeppel, president of Koeppel Direct, provides more detail in the latest Real Estate Broker’s Insider newsletter (available by subscription).

At Base 10, we believe single property websites allow real estate agents and brokers in Canada to leverage their advertising dollars by creating a link between print and online advertising.

By featuring a unique domain name in your print ads, readers are easily referred to detailed information on the Internet, including photos, maps, neighbourhood information, and even video content.


Top Real Estate Agents Contribute Ideas to New e-Book

November 25, 2007

sharing.jpgDuring the annual NAR conference last week in Las Vegas, Steve Kantor, president of Best Agent Business, conducted a survey among top real estate agents to collect ideas on how to succeed at selling homes.

So far, Kantor has compiled over 1,000 ideas from hundreds of contributing agents and has compiled them into an e-book.

Although, the e-book is currently for sale at http://www.realestatein2008.org/ for a price of $19.95, real estate agents are still contributing ideas online for the updated version of the book, to be made available in December, 2007.

All agents who contribute an idea via the online survey by November 30th will receive a FREE copy of the eBook and be acknowledged in the books credits.

To complete the survey, visit http://www.bestagentbusiness.com/realestatebook2008.html


NAR Releases 2007 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers results

November 15, 2007

2007_conf_logo_185x135.gifWell, its time for all real estate technology bloggers to update their favourite statistic as the National Association of Realtors reports that 84 percent of recent home buyers used the Internet in their search, up from 80 percent in 2006. 

The often-quoted number is among a number trends and developments in real estate technologies, revealed this week with the results of NAR’s 2007 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey.

Some of the results were also discussed in sessions at the National Association of Realtors® 2007 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, also happening this week.

You can check out the official release at NAR.org

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, says of the survey results, “Realtors® must be able to capitalize on immediacy and technological trends to better serve their clients by providing information and services home buyers and sellers want and need in real time,”

Ross also spoke about the importance of specializing in niche markets, such as recent immigrants, baby boomers, or members of “Generation Y”.


Web Application Allows Home Buyers to Determine ‘Walkability’ of Property Listings

October 31, 2007

walkscore-logo.gif

As reported on BuzzBuzzHome blog (weird name, great blog!), a new study shows that higher levels of ‘walkability’ are directly linked to higher home values.

The report, “Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Housing Values in U.S. Cities,” looked at 94,000 real-estate transactions in 15 markets across the U.S.

The report was commissioned by a group called CEO’s for Cities and uses the Walkscore web service that we have integrated within all of our UniqueHomeSites.

WalkScore allows you to view the ‘walkability’ of any known location, drawing in community points of interest from Google‘s vast directory of local stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc. to calculate a walking distance score.

You can even interact with Walkscore to improve the walkability of your listings.

To improve your listings’ Walk Score, you can easily add and delete amenities yourself.

1. From the local amenities link on your UniqueHomeSite click on the “bigger map” link in the top right corner of the Walkscore box.

2. On the right, above the list of amenities is a link titled “missing something“. Click on this and follow the instructions to add the missing amenity to Google maps.

For any point of interest, you only have to add it once. It will be available for all your future listings for that neighbourhood. 

Its a great way to provide potential homebuyers with valuable information and perhaps fetch a higher price for your listings!