Ex-Point2 Execs Start New Venture from Saskatoon

January 25, 2008

vendasta_02.gifReal estate agents who use Point2 websites may be interested to learn that there was somewhat of a shake-up among senior executives at the company in December, with a number of them suddenly resigning.

Although Point2 continues to offer the same great service, those who left have started a new consulting company called VendAsta, and they’re based in Saskatoon!

Details are limited, but it sounds like they have some interesting ideas in the social networking realm. Stay tuned!

The other day, they have posted a glimse of what they’re up to on YouTube:  

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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.

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.”


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 UniqueHomeSites.com, 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) – http://www.9mariastreet.com/


Tips for Real Estate Agents to Justify Their Commission

January 7, 2008

111ways.jpg

RISMedia.com 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 UniqueHomeSites.com 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.     


Pick a Niche Real Estate Market and Become the Expert

December 4, 2007

niche.jpgIf you ask any real estate coach or marketing expert what you should do to stay competitive as a real estate agent, they will likely tell you the same thing – choose a segment of the market that you are most familiar with, and become the expert.

Ubertor blog posed this question in a recent interview with Seth Godin -internet marketing expert and frequent speaker at real estate conferences.

Ubertor: If you were a Realtor what one way would you market yourself differently?

Seth Godin: I would specialize obsessively. On a neighborhood or a market segment. (For example), I’d only sell restaurants, or condos, or to the gay community.

According to the marketing professionals over at the MarketingLaunch.com blog, market segmentation involves dividing your market into smaller (and more manageable) sets of prospects who share certain characteristics.

Here are some types of market segmentation for today’s real estate professionals:

Demographic segmentation: Target age, gender, socioeconomic status or education

Lifecycle segmentation: Target different stages of life (young singles, married couples, families with kids, empty nesters, or active retirees).

Specialty segmentation:  Target a narrowly defined market (i.e. luxury homes)

Geographic segmentation:  Target specific neighbourhoods or communities.

Vertical Industry segmentation: Target a defined group in the real estate industry (i.e. FSBO’s or new homes)

Job segmentation: Target migratory or temporary or out-of-town workers.  

Taking this idea a step further, blogging is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your chosen market segment.

See our recent posting, entitled ‘Knowing Your Audience is Key for Real Estate Bloggers‘ for tips on how to get started.


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