Real Estate

We are hiring… Weekend Warrior wanted!

The Boutique Real Estate Group is expanding! And we are SUPER excited! We are looking for an amazing individual to fill our Weekend Warrior position. If you are looking for that next bold move or know someone who would be perfect then please email us your Resume, CV and headshot to info@TheBoutiqueRE.com and we will be in touch. We LOVE it here and YOU will too…

WeekendWarrior

11 reasons to sell your home this Holiday season

Surfing Santa

11 Reasons to List During the Holidays

1. People who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers!

2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you!

3. Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, there
will be less demand for your particular home! Less demand means less money for you!

4. Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays!

5. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price!

6. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays than they do during a working week!

7. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons!

8. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until Spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that market!

9. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during the Holidays!

10. You can sell now for more money and we can allow for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year!

11. By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the Spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money! This will allow you to sell higher and buy lower!

Connect with us today!

Check out our marketing!

18 Inspiring Real Estate Instagram Accounts to Follow

San Clemente Pier

Instagram is a mobile force to be reckoned with. With 400 million users, it’s larger than Twitter, and advertisers report that ads on the service outperform those on other platforms.

But beyond the photo filters, Instagram can also be a new way to generate business. Real estate professionals like Anne Jones, Joyce Rey and Dusty Baker all make Instagram a core part of their branding and marketing efforts. Companies like Windermere and Houlihan Lawrence have turned the service into a powerful new way to promote their listings. And accounts like Haute Residence have built large audiences around their tempting listing photos.

If you’re looking to spruce up your Instagram feed, learn what’s working when it comes to real estate, or simply figure out if the service is right for you, we’ve put together a list of 18 inspirational Instagram accounts worth following.

Have an account we missed? Share it in the comments and we’ll add it to the list.

1. The Boutique Real Estate Group
2. Anne Jones, Windermere
3. Joyce Rey, Joyce Rey Real Estate
4. Dusty Baker, Keller Williams Realty, Montecito, California
5. Chad Carroll, The Chad Caroll Group
6. Nikki Beauchamp, Engel & Volkers New York
7. The Broke Agent
8. Shawn Elliot, Shawn Elliot Luxury Homes & Estates
9. Fredrik Eklund, Douglas Elliman
10. Windermere
11. Live Urban Denver
12. Caroline Gosselin, Prominent Properties
13. Kim Colaprete, Team Diva Real Estate
14. Audie Chamberlain, Lion & Orb
15. Ines Hegedus-Garcia, Team Miamism
16. Marguerite Giguere, Windermere Real Estate
17. Hawai’i Life Real Estate Brokers
18. Houlihan Lawrence 

 

 

Chinese Real Estate Buying Boom Makes Good FENG SHUI A Must For Home Sellers

BY LIZ FLORA via JingDaily

P1

Photo Courtesy of The Boutique Real Estate Group

While many American real estate brokers would name features such as safe neighborhoods, proximity to top schools, and good sunlight as big factors upping a home’s value, some new elements are becoming equally important: stairs that don’t face the door, a stove that’s not placed below the master bedroom, and a bathroom that’s not in the center of the home. Thanks to growing Chinese demand for property in the United States, houses that align with good feng shui principles are earning big money and have propelled a cottage industry of feng shui-literate agents, developers, and design consultants in the U.S. real estate industry.

The results of a new survey by the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and AREAA find that the feng shui design philosophy plays a role in home selection for the vast majority Chinese-Americans. A philosophical system that translates to “wind and water” in English, feng shui is focused on harmony with the surrounding environment and has traditionally been used in China to plan the orientation, architecture, and interior design of buildings. Out of 500 Chinese-American survey respondents, a staggering 86 percent say that feng shui will play a role in their future real estate purchasing decisions. A total of 76 percent said that they are familiar with feng shui principles, with over half of those familiar saying that they use it in their daily lives. Out of those surveyed who are homeowners, 81 percent said that feng shui had factored into their purchase.

Feng shui is already having a major effect on luxury home design in America as a result. In Arcadia, California, an upscale suburb of Los Angeles nicknamed the “Chinese Beverly Hills” due to its large Chinese population, developers are buying up older houses devoid of feng shui influences, tearing them down, and constructing new ones following the proper rules governing the flow of qi, or the invisible forces that govern the universe, according to the philosophy. This includes not only floor plan and layout, but the placement of the home itself—developers are most interested in buying lots that are in the middle of the block and facing south, while corner homes are less auspicious.

11 Ivanhoe, Irvine, Ca 92602

Photo Courtesy of The Boutique Real Estate Group

These principles are being employed at luxury developments across America as feng shui experts are called in to guide designers on how to appeal to wealthy Chinese real estate investors flocking to the United States, after they spent $22 billion on U.S. property last year. In Queens, New York, a condominium development called The Grand at View Sky Parc placed entrances in a way that would prevent the flow of negative energies, while strategically placing stones, plants, water, and wood in its rooftop park. Meanwhile, the waterfront Ritz-Carlton Residences in Miami Beach employed Hong Kong feng shui expert Patrick Wong to make sure the design and decor of the building were feng shui-compliant for its properties, which range from $2 million to $40 million.

This big investment in feng shui can lead to some major profits for developers, as a total of 79 percent of survey respondents said they would pay an average of 16 percent more for a home with proper design. Meanwhile, 90 percent of respondents said that they believe implementing feng shui elements will help improve a home’s resale value. Agents with knowledge of feng shui are especially prone to success with Chinese buyers, as 36 percent said they wouldn’t even work with an agent with no knowledge of feng shui.

For home sellers, poor feng shui now comes at a price, since many respondents saw negative elements as “deal breakers.” A home being at the end of a dead-end street is the worst, and would prevent 31 percent of those surveyed from buying it, while 29 percent wouldn’t buy a house with stairs directly facing the front door or with a sloped backyard, and 24 percent couldn’t accept front and back doors aligned with one another.

Feng shui, of course, isn’t the only important selling point for a home marketed to Chinese buyers. In Arcadia, new homes are also being tricked out with wine cellars, marble-lined double-entry halls, multiple master-bedroom suites to accommodate extended family, and separate “wok kitchens.”

 

We are hiring! // Matchmaker – Inbound Internet & Phone Guru

The Boutique Real Estate Group is expanding! And we are SUPER excited! We are looking for an amazing individual to fill our Matchmaker position. If you are looking for that next bold move or know someone who would be perfect then please email us your Resume, CV and headshot to info@TheBoutiqueRE.com and we will be in touch. We LOVE it here and YOU will too…

TBREG-Matchmaker

We Are Hiring! The Boutique Real Estate Group

OCOM-JobPosting

The Boutique Real Estate Group is expanding! And we are SUPER excited! We are looking for an amazing individual to fill our Orange County Operations Manager position. If you are looking for that next bold move or know someone who would be perfect then please email us your Resume, CV and headshot to info@TheBoutiqueRE.com and we will be in touch. We LOVE it here and YOU will too…

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 7.28.54 AM

 

10 Stunning Real Estate Listing Videos from 2015

Each year, agents and brokers nationwide continue to raise the bar for the quality of real estate videos. Properties are showcased in ever more unique fashions. Homes for sale are better staged and styled to help buyers envision themselves living there. All in all, more effort is put into making these videos visual masterpieces — ones that compel agents’ audiences, earn them new leads, and nurture existing ones. In 2015, this real estate video trend continued, as countless great listing videos were created by industry pros across the country — including the 10 featured below.

Check out each of these stunning real estate listing videos from 2015 and discover what makes them great … and how to emulate them with your own real estate video marketing strategy.

1930 Providence Road, Charlotte, North Carolina — Savvy + Co Real Estate

Knowing your audience: That’s how you win over real estate buyer leads. In the case of this gorgeous residence in Charlotte, the agency representing the listing, Savvy + Co Real Estate, knew the outdoor space would appeal to those who like hosting get-togethers: family BBQs, swanky pool parties, and everything in between. Telling the story of planning such a gathering through the eyes of a would-be owner is a perfect way to exhibit what life could be like for potential buyers. Of course, this narrative is just a part of the promotional angle of the video — showing the owner stroll through the listing also gives viewers a crystal clear view of every facet of the home.

1972 Outpost Circle, Los Angeles, California — The Boutique Real Estate Group

Another real estate video that offers a glimpse of life for the homeowner through an actor comes from one of the best-of-the-best listing video producers, The Boutique Real Estate Group of Orange County, California. The production of this video is stellar: from the background music that spurs our homeowner to sway rhythmically throughout the residence to the overhead drone shots of the Hollywood Hills. While selling a high-end home in L.A. may seem like an easy gig, it still takes a lot to stand out in the luxury market, and BREG does an incredible job at showing off this particular property in a distinct light.

21 Hurlingham Drive, Conyer’s Farm, Greenwich, Connecticut — RUHM Luxury Marketing and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Greenwich

RUHM Luxury Marketing is no stranger to making lists of the best real estate listing videos — and there’s a clear reason. The company goes above and beyond — spending who knows how much — to craft award-worthy videos that look like those an Oscar-winning director would shoot. For this listing video of the lavish Hurlingham estate in Greenwich, Connecticut, the video marketing agency went the extra mile to showcase not just the home, which looks beyond pristine, but also the expansive property surrounding the house itself, which includes the best nature has to offer and a picturesque farm. There’s also insights from the estate manager and even nearby residents. Admittedly, this is a home that’s aimed at the super-millionaire, but the real estate video still shines brightly and does an astounding job of convincing any viewer the residence would be right for them.

6454 Shinnwood Road, Wilmington, North Carolina

Aside from creating first-rate tips-and-tricks real estate videos to her home buyer and seller audience, Edwards does a wonderful job with her listing videos. From start to finish, you get the complete sense that she has her business in order. We see her chic branding at the very beginning of the clip and immediately know how to find her online when she shares her social media info. Then, we get to hear from her and the dedication she and her team put into learning the ins and outs of her new listing. Finally, we see every detail of the home as Edwards and Co. tour the property. Oh, and the drone footage of the stunning water out back certainly doesn’t hurt.

12958 Northside Road, Monticello, Prince Edward Island, Canada

No matter how amazing your real estate listing video looks, if no one knows how to get in touch with you, it probably won’t help you secure more leads and clients. Michael Poczynek of Prince Edward Islandunderstands this: He wisely incorporates every potential way in which his audience could contact him in the opening seconds of his videos and posts his phone numbers at the bottom of the screen throughout the clip. Add in the fact that he explains everything a prospective home buyer could ever dream of knowing about the Monticello home for sale, the ocean nearby, the surrounding community, and the intricate details of the property’s interior and exterior and you’ve got one extremely well-produced video. It’s little wonder as to why Poczynek has accrued hundreds of thousands of views on his YouTube channel.

4847 Rim Road, Santa Barbara, California

Ideally, your real estate videos will provide clarity regarding your listings, like an oral explanation of the properties’ dimensions and features or text overlays highlighting updates made to the residence. Sometimes, though, all you need to do is let the home for sale and the surrounding area speak for itself, as real estate cinematographer and drone photography specialist Douglas Thron does for this video he shot for a Southern California listing. In just four minutes, Thron was able to exhibit practically every major attribute of the community, including the stunning pier and cliffside area, and the home itself.

3168 Countryside Drive, Brampton, Ontario, Canada — Open House Television and Royal LePage Real Estate Services

Taking essentially the opposite approach from the previous video is the firm Royal LePage, which employed Open House Television to create an intricately detailed listing video that spends just as much time and effort explaining the ins and outs of the property — everything from the dimensions of the marble tiles in the foyer to the pre-finished Oak hardwood floors in the dining room. When it comes to promoting a home for sale, there’s no such thing as providing too much information to prospective buyers, so if you produce a script that’s 2,000 words long, don’t feel the need to shorten it for the sake of brevity. Instead, do what the real estate agency behind this recording does and let no home characteristics go unexplained.

7320 Popp Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana — Wieland Real Estate

If there was an award for “Best Real Estate Listing Video Staging,” this one from Indiana-based Wieland Real Estate would certainly get a nomination. The warm (literally and figuratively) and inviting living room, cozy home office, book-filled bedroom, and bright kitchen are just some of the many astounding rooms we pass through via this expertly crafted digital tour. Add in the elegant ballad strumming in the background and the perfect branding to close out the video (both the cameo from the agency’s head Troy Wieland and the prominent logo and call to action) and you’ve got yourself one phenomenally developed listing promotion.

333 22nd Street, Santa Monica, California — Christophe Choo

Mr. Choo has got this digital real estate marketing thing down pat. After explaining how he drives thousands upon thousands of visitors to his real estate website each month via his organic search engine optimization (SEO) efforts at Inman Connect San Francisco, it became clear he’s one the premier online marketers in the industry. This listing video is just the icing on the cake: Having already mastered written content, Choo and his team headed to the world of video, where they’ve produced awe-inspiring clips like the one above that really make viewers feel like they’re invited guests into this multimillion-dollar Santa Monica manor. As the tour guide, Choo does a remarkable job of suavely describing each of the home’s biggest draws. Should you ever decide to get in front of the camera for your own real estate videos, use Choo as an agent to imitate.

1611 Mokulua Drive, Kailua, Hawaii — 360 Property Videos and Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties

It’s definitely difficult to screw up a real estate video in such a magnificent locale such as Hawaii, but even with the resplendent natural setting and a handsome high-end home to boot, it takes a lot of effort to pull of a video like this one for Honolulu-based agent Tracy Allen’s luxury listing. Those aspiring to live the seaside life with warm weather year-round and easy access to the beach, trails, and mountains are clearly the primary demographic this clip targets. And though this may be a limited audience, the production value of the video likely attracted a hefty number of prospective buyers.
Get help with your real estate video production for your YouTube channel in our detailed Academy post, which explains how to brand your account, the types of real estate videos to create, and much more.

What real estate marketing tools do you use to create listing and other videos? How do you come up with real estate marketing ideas for your videos? Share your ideation and production methods with us below!

DocuSign for Real Estate with The Boutique Real Estate Group

San Clemente PierThe Boutique Real Estate Group

Corona del Mar, CA

“If you follow us around any real estate trade show, we spend a lot of time talking to vendors about their products. We constantly research better tools and technology to help us better serve clients. Our favorite part is taking a new listing that’s a little ugly and making it look amazing. That’s something we do really well.” THE MARKET – Many of The Boutique’s Orange County clients fall into the luxury market, but every client deserves luxury service and marketing. THE CULTURE – The Boutique spurs collaboration through technology and culture. THE MAN – “I don’t know how many hours I put in. It doesn’t feel like work. That’s one of the elements I’ve always enjoyed.”

Tech-Enhanced Service

The Boutique invests heavily in telling the story of every home, believing beautiful design evokes a connection between client, agent, and the home-buying process. The Boutique focuses on providing best-in-class service through a combination of great habits, great marketing, and bleeding-edge technology. Incredible service and marketing are key ingredients in the success of The Boutique. And a large amount of credit belongs to technology and systems that support: Convenience – “If you give clients a choice—do the paperwork now at the house, or wait and I’ll come by tomorrow? One hundred percent of my clients say right now. And they’re not all 30 years old.” Service – “It makes your job, your agent’s job, and your client’s life easier. You’ll never hear me say to a client, I don’t have that right now. When I’m at my office again, I’ll get back to you.” The Customer Experience – “Emailing back and forth—that’s not a great way to send documents to my clients. DocuSign transaction sharing tools do a much better job.” ROI – “People often hire me—and I get recommended to people—because the technology that we use makes the experience a lot easier.”

68% OF AGENTS PREDICT TRANSACTIONS WILL BECOME ENTIRELY MOBILE (BUT ONLY 61% OF THEIR BROKERAGES PROVIDE MOBILE TRANSACTION MANAGEMENT).

“If you’re not willing to invest in your business there’s plenty of your competitors out there that will.”

Top 4 Reasons to LOVE DocuSign

1. LEVEL OF SERVICE:  “We just believe clients want what they want when they ask for it. So, if I have the ability to answer the phone and take their question, I should probably have access to a tool that allows me to find their answer or expedite a document right there on the spot.”

2. THE CLIENT EXPERIENCE: “I do everything possible to be accommodating and make the transaction smooth for my clients. That’s really the role that DocuSign plays. The Transaction Rooms collaboration tools and transparency make it easy and convenient for clients.”

3. THE AGENT EXPERIENCE: “DocuSign makes it easy for agents to do their job from anywhere, at anytime. If a broker is not focused on providing agents with convenient tools that help them be more productive—that’s a great way to lose them.”

4. LIABILITY: “Because DocuSign lets the broker manage the transaction from the back end, you’ve got the compliance issue covered.”

Empires of the Sun

via The Sunday Times

Tempted by a beach house in paradise? Take advantage of the strong pound and make that dream come true. We find 10 fabulous pads to suit all budgets

01_1GH-Home-01s8-S_1171104k

Golden sand outside the front door has long been a fantasy for urbanites stuck in the daily grind. And it seems more of us than ever are keen to live the dream: driven by the strength of sterling, inquiries from British buyers about beach houses abroad have risen by 109% in the past year on Rightmove Overseas, according to Aimee Valaitis, a data analyst at the property portal.

There has also been a hike in inquiries about homes with private beaches, she says. But buyer beware: whatever the brochure claims, your “private” strand may be invaded by hordes of sunbathers — this summer, King Salman of Saudi Arabia sparked mass protests on the French Riviera when he tried to close the nudist beach in front of his holiday villa. “Unless you are on a private island, it’s rare to find a beach that really is for your use only,” says Edward de Mallet Morgan, an associate at Knight Frank estate agency. “In many places, particularly on the Mediterranean, the public has a right of access on the coast. Almost no beaches in the Caribbean are truly private.”

That said, some are more secluded than others. Here’s our pick of the best beach houses on the market right now.

 inline_6b20cd30-48_1171094a

Barbados £8.8m

Pool or sea? It’s the biggest dilemma you’ll face at Villa Bonita, a new six-bedroom property in Prospect Bay, St James, on the Platinum Coast. It has more than 9,000 sq ft of living space, direct beach access from a staircase, lashings of white marble and an inner courtyard. The cream and grey interiors are offset by the almost shocking blue of the Caribbean — and for added peace of mind, the villa has an alarm system and security shutters.

 inline_dc76a000-48_1171096a

Mallorca from £253,275

Once a fishing village, Puerto Andratx is now a Balearic hotspot, known for bling, superyachts and A-list visitors. A short walk from the beach at Camp de Mar, on the edge of the golf course, there’s a collection of 30 townhouses built in Mediterranean style, with a shared pool and gardens. They are part of a gated community, so a two-or three-bedroom home here would make a good lock-up-and-leave.

 inline_3804d496-48_1171097a

Crete £247,000

On the seafront in Kalyves, a buzzing — but still traditional – village near Apokoronas, this three-bedroom Venetian villa has high ceilings and original floor tiles. It’s in need of TLC, but the mountain backdrop is stunning and there’s plenty of room to put in a small pool and off-road parking. You’ll have instant access to the area’s miles and miles of sandy beaches, while Chania airport is just a short drive away.

 inline_10a3211e-48_1171098a

California £8.6m

Lined with luxury villas, Broad Beach, in Malibu, counts Steven Spielberg, Goldie Hawn and Pierce Brosnan among its A-list residents. The LaFetra Beach House, the last building designed by the modernist Pierre Koenig, sits on a clifftop at the northern end of the beach. The solar-powered glass, steel and concrete home has four bedrooms, huge oceanfront decks, a plunge pool and retractable beach stairs.

 inline_fe449778-48_1171099a

Hawaii £12.8m

Make like Mark Zuckerberg and buy a piece of paradise in Hawaii. Hale Ali’i, on Maui, is a 7,475 sq ft home a few steps from the white sands of Oneloa Bay; it’s a short walk from Kapalua Bay, often voted one of America’s best beaches. Built according to feng shui principles, the four-bedroom villa has a soundproof theatre and a limestone lanai (open-sided porch) with an infinity pool and a hot tub. The price has been reduced by £2.55m.

 inline_063272ca-48_1171100a

Thailand £28.8m

The owner of this 20-acre private island can use the facilities at the five-star Soneva Kiri resort, on Ko Kood, just across the water. It’s for sale on a 30-year lease (with three automatic 30-year extensions), with plans for a 3,000 sq metre house that will have large terraces and a waterslide into the pool. The flight from Bangkok to the local airport takes 60 minutes by private plane; the resort’s speedboat will whisk you over to your home.

 inline_f16fa7b8-48_1171101a

Cayman Islands from £1.9m

Designed to provide a cosy enclave for UHNWIs — that’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals to you and me — Casa Luna is a development of 18 open-plan homes in a secluded cove on Grand Cayman. It’s dotted with waterfalls and there’s a pond stocked with ornamental koi carp. For £1.9m, you’ll get three bedrooms and views to the shores of South Sound; a front-line villa will set you back £2.4m.

 inline_e653ddb8-48_1171102a

Algarve £1.1m

This contemporary three-bedroom townhouse is in the Vale do Lobo golf resort, a 20-minute drive from Faro airport. It has sweeping beach views and nearly 1,800 sq ft of clean, bright and mainly white open-plan interiors, including a well designed kitchen, as well as terraces and a garden. There’s no pool, though, so you’ll need to cool down in the surf — or use the resort’s facilities.

 inline_2b0a5fc2-48_1171103a

Turkey £234,000

Bodrum may be rammed with tourists, but Gumusluk Bay, at the tip of the Bodrum Peninsula, has plenty to recommend it: large-scale development is not permitted, so there’s a low-key, traditional feel, and its fresh fish restaurants and scattered antiquities make it an idyllic holiday retreat. This three-bedroom, two-bathroom villa has beach access and a private pool; the weekly food and crafts market is within walking distance.

4 ways to grow your real estate marketing content — and business.

via Inman

Fortune-stock_230307874

Here are a few innovative tips to garner engaging local content.

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.

Coldwell Banker is one of the leaders in this area, and it recently teamed up with MLB.com to take fans inside the homes of their favorite players.

Why content?

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 Group 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 The Smith Group gets 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.

Bottom line

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.