Sears Canada Launches ‘Certified Agent’ benefits

March 10, 2009

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According to a press release last week from Sears Canada, the company has launched a Certified Real Estate Services program in the Greater Toronto Area.

Certification allows qualified sales agents to provide their buying and/or selling customers with 0.6% of the home’s selling price in Sears gift cards.

For example, a $250,000 sale price will get the home buyer or seller a $1,500 Sear gift card.

Sears Certified Agents are from leading brokerages, and are thoroughly reviewed for their sales abilities, licensing and professional achievements. They possess at least three years experience, and are knowledgeable and dedicated in the complete real estate process including: listing, home searches, negotiations and closing.

Currently servicing the GTA bordered by Oakville, Newmarket and Oshawa, they have expertise in their markets and know property values for the area, understanding unique benefits and issues of their communities.”

We’re not exactly sure how one becomes a certified agent. However, the services is operated by QV Realty Inc. in Toronto:

Phone:       647.728.4817

Toll-Free:     1.877.SEARS.51

Web:         www.searsrealestate.ca

Email:       contact@qvcanada.com


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.com.

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. www.123UniqueStreet.com) 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.


Using Neighbourhood Photos in Listing Presentations – Part 2

January 27, 2008

ttc.jpgLast week, we talked about the importance of including neighbourhood photos as part of your real estate listing presentations on the Internet.

We have noticed that it’s something not many real estate professionals do, even though prospective buyers who surf the net truly value these types of photos.

It gives internet buyers an additional flavour of what the neighbourhood has to offer in terms of services and amenities.

To give you a good example, Stevie Crawford of Royal Lepage Real Estate Services in Toronto recently created a UniqueHomeSite for a condo he is currently listing, where he included a number of neighbourhood photos, such as that of a nearby park, transit station, shopping, and the neighbourhood LCBO.

You can check out his listing here for inspiration! (Click on the Photos link)

http://www.5eversondrive.com/


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/