Follow these folks as they take over the Zillow Premier Agent Instagram Account:
You can’t open a trade publication these days without seeing an article urging real estate professionals to generate content in order to build their brand and get more business. It makes sense — who buys and sells houses? People. What do people like? To be enlightened, informed and entertained. That’s what great content does.
Many real estate professionals ask whether content creation has any real tangible benefits in getting homes sold. Top producers tend to look at the bigger picture. Tim Smith of Smith Group Real Estate says, “High-quality marketing increases the perceived value of the property.” In other words, when you make a video about a house, you’re saying to the world, “This place is worth it.”
“When we show up at a property with a truck and equipment and actors and a tent, it causes curiosity within the neighborhood,” said Raj Qsar, principal and owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group. “It gives us a way to connect with the neighborhood on a hyperlocal level. Then they tell their friends and family about the house, and word gets out. It’s a long-tail plan.” Let’s face it: Nothing makes a seller happier than to see their home being given the star treatment.
“There’s a misconception across the industry as to why people do content marketing,” Qsar said. “Video is not just for the one listing — we make our video evergreen so it can live forever.”
And it sure doesn’t hurt to have an amazing video to show in your next listing presentation, either.
But for many Realtors, the thought of creating content tends to generate more guilt than inspiration. What kind of content should you be making? And how in the world are you expected to write a script or learn to edit video when there aren’t even enough hours in the day to generate leads and get deals done?
Good news: You don’t have to do it yourself. Here are four options to get great content.
1. Beef up your team.
Most brokerages that are serious about content creation begin by hiring in-house creative talent. “Content marketing needs to start with the leadership and culture of the brokerage,” Qsar said. “If the brokerage takes control and hires an in-house team, it only makes the agents and the brokerage more successful.”
Smith Real Estate has created a core in-house marketing team. They started out using outside production studios to generate their marketing materials but decided to bring production in-house in order to have more control over the creative product. “Outsiders don’t have direct communication with the sellers like we do,” Jade Schuck, public relations and marketing coordinator, said. “When the production is done in-house, we know the home, and we can do a lot more with the money.”
Pacific Union built an entire in-house journalism department to bring their clients the latest news via their blog. “We decided we had to become a journalism company,” CEO Mark McLaughlin said. And it worked. Back in January 2012 their blog had “zero traffic.” Now they have 5,800 unique users on their blog every month. McLaughlin puts this in context. “We sold about 5,700 homes last year. So, that means we have about as many people at our blog every single month as bought homes in a year … so we feel it’s a really relevant tool for our real estate professionals.”
2. Supplements are good for you.
Even with a strong in-house team, most brokerages bring in freelancers or even full production companies to round out their marketing team for larger listings.
“The content is all us, 100 percent,” said Qsar, who employs an in-house team that includes a social media manager, director of creative design, cinematographer and editors. They do bring in specialists as needed, such as drone operators and hyperlapse photographers, but they’re careful to set and maintain the creative tone and direction themselves.
The real estate team knows the home best, so it’s crucial that whenever you outsource, you communicate with the production company to convey the key selling points of the home and any details about the target demographics.
Schuck said when we get a listing, their process begins with a brainstorming session where they distill the essence of the home’s personality. Then they create different packages of marketing materials based on the sales price. They bring in freelancers with special skills as needed.
Schuck offers some advice for smaller real estate offices whose budgets might not allow an in-house production team: “Use your network to find good people to help.”
3. Be a patron of the arts.
If hiring a marketing team doesn’t work for you, there are other options. Any given neighborhood is packed with creators who just love to make content. They eat, sleep and breathe journalism, storytelling and photography. They’re constantly churning out videos and articles, blog posts and photographs. All you have to do is find them, and then work out a deal that works for both of you.
Try these sources:
Local bloggers: They know your neighborhood and what makes it significant. See if you can sponsor their work by making a small contribution. Being quoted in an article about the five best kid-friendly restaurants in town makes you an instant local expert.
School newspapers and videos: School newspapers can always use a few extra bucks to give their kids’ reporting a boost. Help them out and your name might be the one that shows up when prospective buyers search for their dream schools.
Filmmakers and videographers: In these days of YouTube, everyone from your babysitter to your mortgage broker has a script for a Web series somewhere on their hard drive. What they often lack is funding to get it made. Provide that and voila, you have yourself a grateful content creator who will mention your name, and maybe even give you a cameo role.
4. Ask your audience.
Another way to get great content is perhaps the most obvious: Just ask for it. User-generated content (UGC) is the buzzword, but what it means is getting your network to share their own photos, videos, articles and lists.
Consider holding a contest for the best photos of your local dog park, or give a shoutout to local bands to write a song in honor of your hometown. Then all you have to do is curate the best and put it online. People will come to your site to check out the latest and greatest — and they’re sure to notice your listings along the way.
At the time of this writing, Trails West Real Estate had just announced a competition asking students to create the best video about living in northwest Montana. They’re offering $12,000 to the winning school’s video and technology departments. This is a great way to get lots of content for your money, while becoming known as a local expert and supporter of the community. It’s likely we’ll see more and more content competition like this in which everyone comes out a winner.
The industry agrees that offering great content is the ideal way to engage your audience more deeply and for longer periods of time. That translates to leads, listings, sales and clients for life. Now you have some ways to get your hands on amazing content while keeping your focus on what you do best: selling real estate.
What unique ways have you found to generate content? Please continue the conversation in the comments section below.
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Laguna Beach is like no other place in Orange County. Take a moment and soak this in. The landscape, culture, people and the colors (ohhh the colors), makes it even hard to compare even to it’s neighboring cities. Even the scent of the ocean is different. The people of Laguna Beach know what I’m talking about, so this may be a odd concept to picture if you’ve never been here before.
But for those of you that live here and had to narrow down the best thing that this city has to offer, what would it be? Would it be the effect that the cool crisp air has across your skin as you open up the door for the first time in the morning? Or what about the grains of sand in between you toes as you walk along the beach? Maybe it’s the sound of the splashing waves as they hit the shore?
For me Laguna Beach is like a botanical garden. So alive, surrounded by diversity as every element changes so subtly. A collection of organic specimens that thrive and flow freely like a poem in harmony. Nothing ever stays the same but nothing really ever changes either.
So have I done it? Have I lost you in translation? Good, because this is the essence that makes Laguna Beach so unique and abstract. Everything that this city has to offer culminates to understanding this concept. But to understand this, you have to come and experience it for yourself. Your path might be different but you will all end up in the same place. You will understand that magnificence is a word that falls short in describing this city and all that it has to offer.
For a private home tour of Laguna Beach please contact Chris Kwon at Chris.Kwon@TheBoutiqueRE.com
Photo Credit: holidays.co.uk
Easter Egg Hunt at the Fullerton YMCA– April 12 from 11am to 2pm at Fullerton YMCA *FREE* More info at: http://bit,ly+/1lrkImB
2014 Egg-Stravaganza at Disneyland- April 10-April 20 (Park Hours.) Search for special hidden “eggs” themed to Disney characters at Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure Park. Have fun exploring the parks hunting for “eggs” that portray Disney Characters! Record your discoveries by placing the corresponding sticker on the specialty themed Egg-Stravaganza map to represent that location. Maps and stickers can be purchased for $4.95, at select merchandise locations. More info at: http://bit.ly/QIGOH2
Easter Egg-Stravaganza at Irvine Park- March 29-April 19 (schedules times.) Held in the Locomotive Loop just behind the train station. You can hunt for eggs, meet the Easter Bunny and enjoy all of the other amenities of Irvine Park. (Bike rentals, wheel boats, etc.) More info (and coupons!) at : http://bit.ly//1pVRhsS
Easter Bunny Activities at South Coast Plaza- March 28-April 19. Ride the carousel, makes crafts and take pictures with the Easter Bunny! More info at: http://bit.ly.1gqUxqO
Easter Egg Hunt at Laguna Hills Community Center- April 12 from 10am-11am. Join Mr. Bunny and friends for some springtime adventure like crafts, an egg hunt, and pictures. More infor at http://bit.ly/1fOUF3Z
Easter Egg Hunt and Family Fun Day in Huntington Beach- April 19 from 9am-2pm. Bring the whole family for live music, games, vendors, photos with the Easter Bunny, face painting, and the popular Easter Hunt. More info at: http://bit.ly/1k3SdOk
Celebrate Easter at Newport Dunes’ Waterfront Resort- April 19 and April 20 (check scheduled times.) A twenty-two year tradition of sand, Easter egg hunting and the Easter Bunny! More info at: http://bit.ly/1h8oiCK
SpEGGtacular Easter in Yorba Linda- April 12 at 9am. 5th Annual Royal Riders Pony Club SpEGGtacular Charity Event. All proceeds will be donated to The Shauna Ann Stuewe Foundation. Ponies, puppies, Easter egg hunt AND Charity? Winner!! More info at: http://bit.ly/PqC7jT
Photo Credit: lovethispic.com
Join industry experts as they talk shop about the way our economy is changing. Meet Morris Boladian from CML Wealth Management, Allycyn Bennett from United American Mortgage Company and Raj Qsar from The Boutique Real Estate Group. Tuesday Evening May 6th at The Summit House Restaurant in Fullerton. Please RSVP to Lisa Ortega at 714.494.2460 or LisaO@CMLwealth.com
We get so caught up in the moment! Is there granite on the kitchen counters? Is the master bedroom big enough? Is there grass in the backyard for our dog? And we have not even closed escrow yet and we are shopping for furniture, buying new cars and opening up new credit cards to fill the new house! YIKES!!!
Here are some helpful tips on what NOT to do when buying a new home or when you are trying to qualify for that new mortgage…
1) Do not open, close, or extend credit lines/limits once you are formally in escrow.
2) Refrain from having any inquiries to your credit 90 days in advance of applying for a mortgage as all inquiries must be explained to the lender in writing and all inquiries reduce the borrower’s credit scores.
3) Since you must disclose all new accounts that are opened during the escrow period, it is important to not open any new trade lines during the entire escrow period. Only after the loan is recorded, is it “safe” to open a new account or extend the credit limit on an existing account.
4) To play it safe, discuss your debt ratios with the loan officer to see if making any type of a purchase will negatively impact your ability to qualify for the loan.
5) Most appliances, furniture, and decor purchases are larger than normal purchases so it is safer to refrain from doing this until the loan is recorded.
6) Please note that lenders typically run an additional credit report before the loan funds. The intent is to see if there is any new debt that now appears. All new debts must be re-evaluated and explained and this may have a negative impact on the borrower’s ability to qualify.
For more info on the right loan for you please call Allycyn Bennett at United American Mortgage Company at 949-717-7290 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org