Posts in Business

Starter moves for real estate agent

Show Me the House

The first and most obvious thing I think the real estate world can (and should) be doing is buying video cameras and shooting their own walkthroughs. You don’t have to be a pro. You DO have to know how not to make something look horrible, but that comes with trial and error.

Pick up a Video Camera

If you don’t already own a video camera, two ends of the spectrum that I’d recommend for realtors are:

The Xacti is a higher end picture. The Flip is YouTube quality. Honestly, the Flip is the camera for the job, but some folks want the best, so it’s up to you. Me? I’d buy the Flip. (Personally, I use a digital camera’s movie setting to shoot most of my stuff).

Editing

Now, to actually do it, you have two options: learn how to edit things easily in iMovie (Mac) or Windows Media Maker (PC), or pay someone to edit what you shoot. Benefits of A are that you can do it when you need it and your time is all you pay. Benefits of B are that the editor will be good at what they do, will save you time, and will know what to do next. Drawback of B is that it costs and you have no control of when you get back your files, depending on how professional your person is.

Posting the Video

Last step to putting a video up is to find hosting for the video so that you can then embed it on your blog. YouTube makes sense for two reasons. One, it’s easy and most people can navigate it. Two, it becomes a second market for your homes if you’ve added captions at the end that show how to contact you.

If you want a different look and feel from YouTube, you can try Blip.tv, Brightcove, Vimeo and a gazillion other companies who host video and have a nifty player.

I could probably write a series on just how to add video to your world, but I’m in the middle of another series, so let’s leave it there for now. If you want helping DOING any of this, let me know and I’ll point you to the right resources.

Ways Your Blog Will Help

First, blogging about certain properties you’re hoping to move will give you an obvious potential return, but that might be limited. Instead, think of what buyers and sellers might need to know, and what they might need to know about you. You’re likely going to weigh this information heavily on the sell side, and that’s okay, so make your website a great place to learn about things like “curb appeal” and how to declutter a home for better show-ability. Give people ideas that have added thousands back to the sale price of your clients’ homes.

Testimonials

People are so itchy about asking for testimonials. Don’t be. Ask. Ask your clients with whom you’ve had a great business experience to comment. Want to get really edgy? Be willing to post someone’s negative comments about your business with them, and don’t be defensive. Instead, just thank them.

The Secret Sauce

As a media maker, you can do things that will add to one’s impressions of a potential new home. You can shoot video of the general neighborhood, add Flickr photos of some selling points of the town, record audio reports of people’s general feelings of the town. Can you imagine the impact that might make? You could potentially take a “normal looking” house and demonstrate the value of the home’s setting through media.

3 common mistakes

As you all know, simply creating an account on Facebook or Twitter rarely equates to being plugged in. The most common reason for not spending time on developing a social media strategy is that real estate agents and brokers fear there will be little to no return on investment – and that frankly ‘it’s just too much work’ or ‘I don’t have the time.’

Here are 3 common mistakes that real estate agents and brokers do all the time:

1. Doing too much at once. For people in real estate, it’s often best to start with a small social media presence. Check out LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – which one appeals to you the most? The one that makes the most sense to you should be your starting point. Start there and then set goals for when you will branch out onto other channels.

2. Giving it to the intern. Too often, social media responsibilities will be piled on the most inexperienced assistants or worse, someone who detests social media. If you are going to hire someone to help you manage your social media, make sure you hire someone who is not only savvy in communcation, but comfortable with exposure to the public. Social media needs a personal touch and someone who is aggressive and strategic.

3. Making conversations one-way. Too many real estate agents and brokers just see social media tools as just another way to push out information. Bombarding people with listings won’t earn many followers, there has to be a dialogue that keeps the audience engaged. Remember, less about you and more about the people receiving the information – always ask yourself, ‘what’s in it for them?’

So, now what? How do you know if your successful or not? One of the easiest things to do is to monitor your web site and blog traffic. Make sure you have Google Analytics set up on your site and that once a week you are looking at where your traffic is coming from.