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10 Ways to Use Video in Your Real Estate Business

Jan 16, 2019 by

The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD), with assistance from Lauren Hampton and the Podfly editorial team, and is a recap of the Center for REALTOR® Development Podcast Episode 22. 

In Episode 22 of the Center for REALTOR® Development Podcast, host Monica Neubauer’s guest is Jeremias “JMan” Maneiro of Rochester, N.Y. Maneiro is a full-time REALTOR®, speaker, trainer, prolific video creator, founder of the immensely popular Video Bootcamp and an athlete who participated in NBC’s Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge.

Maneiro joins Neubauer on the show to discuss the different ways to use video in your business, as well as what equipment to use. All of the different types of videos described below can help you improve and strengthen your connections with your current and future clients, and with your real estate colleagues.

As we enter 2019, it’s a great time for video in our own industry and many others. Video brings a personal touch to the digital experience. “It humanizes the experience, so people get to like, know, and trust us,” says Maneiro. “We’re REALTORS®, but we’re people first. That’s why people are going to do business with us.”

Because people are now used to seeing videos online, it can jump-start a relationship. Once people see a video of yours, they will feel like they already know you, and you become like a “warm lead” to them.

  1. Introductions or “About Us”
    You can use video to easily introduce your team to clients and other real estate professionals. One thing Maneiro has is a quick introduction video for his team. He has a small team, but a short introduction video (embedded on email) allows clients or even other agents he may be working with to “put a name with a face” so they can get to know the whole team, rather than just him. They can feel like they are connected with the team at all points in the transaction.

Send these videos to agents, clients and every audience you work with. Sometimes you never even meet the other agent face-to-face during the transaction, so this is a great way to develop rapport. If you eventually do meet, you’ll know immediately who everyone is. Alternatively, high-production videos of this type might be good for your website or for more formal and long-term uses.

  1. Listing Video or “Coming Soon”
    An even easier place to start may be with listing videos. You already have all the content right there in front of you, and it could be a great way to do property marketing. Maneiro does “Coming Soon” videos for upcoming listings where he does a live walk-through of the home and shares it on his Facebppl business page. Everyone has equal access to the video, and the clients can see those who leave comments, which boosts the quality of engagement and feedback about the property.

The content is yours, so fold it into your web and social media marketing strategy. If you position it to both buyers and fellow REALTORS®, you can make sure to provide access to everyone fairly. Post or share to your business and personal Facebook pages strategically, keeping in mind their terms of service so as not to break any rules for those sites. Also, watch for owner privacy issues by depersonalizing the property and putting away items the owner may not wish to be on camera. Focus on the differentiating elements of each property, such as the beach view rather than its not-so-standout features.

  1. In-Person Video or Virtual Open Houses
    Some of the most popular videos these days are recorded open houses using tools like BeLive.tv. These allow you to take interested buyers or agents on a virtual or remote tour of the house. You could ask viewers of these to provide feedback or questions via some sort of online form, so buyers and real estate colleagues can react to the video they just saw and give you further insight.

Another type of “video” that technically isn’t a true video is something you can do through Matterport 3D equipment, which is an enhanced imaging software that yields 360 views like Google Street. The cost for the camera alone is $ 4,000, so it may be in your best interest to hire someone for this. This camera does a high-res scan of every room in the house and creates a virtual, immersive, 3D experience.

One way or another, using video technology for open houses can help potential buyers maximize their time, especially if they have a lot going on or have conflicting or back-to-back appointments.

  1. Facebook Live or Live-Streaming of Events
    Just like with open houses, you do have to be careful when you do Facebook Live videos. Be strategic about how you are “conducting business” in this medium, which isn’t editable. You have to respect your clients’ privacy here, as well. It’s the same as when you’re staging for photographs—you want to make sure only things that should be on display are on display in the home. No identifiable photos, medications and valuables should be visible.

One key benefit of live-streaming is that it addresses FOMO (“fear of missing out”) to help people feel like they are there with you at any event and not missing out on any fun. You can garner more attention by using the location or hashtag of the event you’re attending, if it’s public. Live-streaming can even help you become a local celebrity or impromptu newscaster by helping you be discovered by local media.

  1. Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube Stories
    Nearly all social media platforms now have the “Story” feature. These are a great way to get started with video, especially if you have a fear of being on camera. These are short clips, and also typically only stick around for 24 hours, so there’s a little bit less pressure. Story videos encourage you to keep your message to-the-point, as well as help you get frequent practice with minimal effort. The best way to get good at video is to keep creating more video content, so these platforms are a great way to hone your skills.

Remember, it’s better to have actual “viewers” than a lot of comments and shares— eyeballs are what matter. You can take a look at who’s watching by check the “Insights” feature of each of platform, and create custom audiences with custom content based on who’s watching and how much.

These channels are especially good ways to express your unique personality and the fun or personal aspects of your life and business.

  1. Community or Local Business Highlights and Reviews
    Community videos are also a great place to start. That’s because as a local expert, your own community is what you’re most familiar with and what you know most about. Who has the best pizza in town? What’s the Chamber of Commerce up to? When and where is the next music fest? What are the things that make people want to live in your market? You won’t have to do a ton of research, and this content is evergreen.

This is also another way for people to find you online. They may be looking to learn about your community before moving there, and then they find you and decide to work with you because of your passion, knowledge and online presence. Featuring local business owners is also a smart strategy because you’re breathing life into the local economy, generating long-term referrals and getting out there as the face of real estate in your area. Providing questions ahead-of-time eases the nervousness of your business owner interviewees and ensures an authentic conversation in the video.

  1. Drone Video Marketing
    More recently, drone videos have entered video real estate marketing strategy. Drones have the ability to take videos from the sky and can pan out to create stunning aerial views. There are so many different things and so much more the drone allows you to see, such as acreage, land, multi-structure complexes and geographical topography.

Although they can provide some really awesome shots, it may be a tool for which you want to hire a professional, because you don’t want to crash a drone or damage property if you’re not skilled with drones. Good drone equipment is expensive and sophisticated—and operating drones is, in many jurisdictions, governed by technical rules and government regulation—so this is an area where you definitely want to secure the services of a qualified professional.

  1. Educational Videos
    If you’re finding that you have to reexplain the same advice to different clients, one solution might be to create educational videos to teach or instruct in a more efficient and reusable way. These videos could include anything from staging advice to an overview of the different steps and processes your client will experience in a real estate transaction. In this way, you’ll pass on knowledge or instructions ahead of time, and then be able to elaborate or customize the advice in-person for your client’s specific situation. Clients will arrive at a meeting with you with a little more knowledge, or with some of the routine or preliminary tasks already accomplished, making your job easier and the relationship more positive.
  1. Testimonials
    Today’s consumers—especially younger consumers—find incredible value in “social proof,” which is a fancy way of saying that they are very interested in the recommendations and reviews of others. Just look at websites like Amazon, Yelp, eBay and TripAdvisor to see the large number of reviews there and how these reviews can help drive business. Many people give more weight to business websites that have testimonials from other people who have used the same service, so don’t skimp on the opportunity to showcase your happy clients using video. This accomplishes two things: it attracts new clients; and builds loyalty with existing clients who are thrilled that you’re interested in their opinions and in sharing them. They’re more likely to come back or offer referrals because you have proven that you take good service seriously.
  1. Market Updates
    One last way to use video in your business is to offer local and national market updates. On the one hand, you can use research and statistics from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) to create engaging videos that explain to your colleagues and clients what’s going on in the real estate and mortgage industries at the national level. Then, as a local expert, you can create great videos explaining what you see happening in your local market. Are there subdivisions that are “hot” right now or where values are increasing? Are there new subdivisions or new construction on the horizon that your market should know about and through which you can plant seeds for future business? Are you seeing trends or patterns in how long properties are on the market and why, or new lending options that were not available before? Why not share your knowledge in a video and use this content marketing to further position yourself as a local real estate leader and influencer?

Now that you know some benefits and different avenues for video, how can you incorporate it into your business? One thing to expect is that you won’t be happy with every (or maybe any!) of the videos you record. It takes time to get used to how you look and sound on video. One thing Neubauer recommends is to give herself one take and go with it, even when it’s not live. Maneiro encourages us all to “get over ourselves” and just do it, and that even he is still a little nervous to this day. Like any other skill, video is a work in progress. The goal is improvement, not perfection. Each video is a learning opportunity, so as you get started, you can learn as you keep producing more videos. One of the beauties of video in our culture is that it does allow for you to be authentic and gives room for your human mistakes.

The episode goes into much more detail about specific equipment recommendations and the detailed how-tos of making videos, so definitely give it a listen. If you’re ready to get started on video, just remember to be you, be authentic, and focus on building relationships.

The Center for REALTOR® Development’s monthly podcast focuses on education in the real estate industry. It addresses formal education programs (such as those from NAR) and informal sources of industry knowledge (such as peers and mentors). Its intended audiences include REALTORS®, real estate professionals, allied professions, educators, education providers, and consumers. To listen or subscribe, visit www.crdpodcast.com. 

For more information, please visit RISMedia’s online learning portal from NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development and the Learning Library. Here, real estate professionals can sign up for online professional development courses, industry designations, certifications, CE credits, Code of Ethics programs and more. NAR’s CRD also offers monthly specials and important education updates. New users will need to register for an account.

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Now Business, Future Business and Financial Freedom: Essentials for 2019 Success

Jan 13, 2019 by

After helping real estate professionals create breakthrough career success for more than 27 years, one thing is certain: There’s no one path to success for everyone.

However, there are smart strategies that can help agents get to their Next Level™ faster than others. Recently, we’ve reimagined real estate business planning. We start with an EZ Business Plan that allows them to crunch numbers so they can assess the activities they need to hit their financial goals. Then we share a three-tiered plan that can help agents better navigate three important areas of building wealth: now business, future business and financial freedom.

Agents often fall into one of three categories: 

  1. Survival Level, or those struggling financially, living month-to-month and worried about where their next commission is coming from. These folks need a quick fix and coaching to create a cash infusion by putting “now business” in place within 30-60 days.
  1. Maintenance Level, or folks who steadily get their bills covered throughout the year. They are making enough to get by, but not really able to save or create financial growth.
  1. Next Level™: These are the agents that have built strong business foundations, have systems in place and constant cash flow coming in. They are now in the business of preparing for eventual retirement and financial freedom.

First, know your numbers logically. I had a coaching conversation with a student who felt as if he were doing worse this year over last. I had him write everything down. How many listings? Sales? Dollar volume? Commissions? After analyzing, he realized he had made more in the current year, but spent much more, revealing the disparity. 

Assessment Formula 

  1. Business Bills – What are you spending each year on business survival? What is your break-even? Dues, advertising, stationery, E&O insurance, office fees…these are fixed bills.
  2. Personal Survival Bills – House, utilities, car, insurance, etc.
  3. Add the two.
  4. Add taxes. This becomes your overall break-even.
  5. Add how much you want to put toward retirement and what you’ll need to live debt-free (pay off credit, put in savings, investments). This will take you from survival to Next LevelTM.

Consider the three areas of business planning necessary for long-term success to determine where you need to start:

Now Business
If you need money in next 30-60 days, wake up every morning with one focus: get a listing. How? The quickest way to generate listing appointments now is to call FSBOs and expireds:

  1. Get a good file system that will help you generate and organize these leads.
  2. Schedule certain days for calls and commit to those hours.
  3. Have a strong listing appointment, which gives you the confidence to prospect.
  4. Use a visual chart to help stay motivated and focused
  5. Have external accountability (another agent, manager, integrity partner, etc.).

Future Business
Now that you’ve got inventory and cash flow, it’s time to focus on building your business to your Next LevelTM. That requires planting seeds of self-promotion for niche markets or geographic farms. Here are some things to consider: 

  • It takes 6-9 months before it starts paying for itself.
  • Create a plan for a concentrated neighborhood approach that includes door-knocking, community events, working those Facebook closed groups and mailings.
  • Have funding for at least six months of marketing before you get started.
  • Consistency is key—statistically, it takes at least five touches to get a response.
  • Consider co-branding with a vendor to offset costs such as an attorney, moving company, etc.

Financial Freedom
There is no better feeling than being debt-free. The only debt that is good debt is mortgages (one per house!) and car loans or leases—all single-digit loans. Any cost of money that is in the double-digits is hurting, not helping—meaning over 10 percent interest needs to go.

  • Map out a plan to pay off any debt that has double-digit interest first.
  • Savings has to be habitual. Every month a set amount needs to go towards your future.
  • Here’s the formula I taught my son: After bills, 50 percent of your money goes towards spending, 20 percent to savings, 20 percent to investing and 10 percent to God. If you have credit card debt, that formula would be 25 percent to spending, 25 percent to debt, 20 percent to savings, 20 percent to investing and 10 percent to God.

Watch for more training on this topic as we roll out the first quarter of 2019. We’re here to help. 

Darryl Davis, CSP, an author, coach and speaker, has spoken to, trained and coached more than 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe. He is a best-selling author for McGraw-Hill Publishing, and his book, “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate,” tops Amazon’s charts for most sold book to real estate agents. He is the founder of the Next Level™ real estate training system The Power Program®, which has proven to help agents double their production over their previous year. Davis has earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, held by less than 2 percent of all speakers worldwide. For more information, please visit www.ThePowerProgram.com.

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Promoting Your Business During Your Holiday Downtime

Dec 20, 2018 by

What do you like to do in your free time during the holidays? Aside from running around and shopping, if you are like most people these days, scrolling through Facebook while sitting on the couch probably makes your list. What if you could enjoy your Facebook time and still promote your business? Sounds like a win-win situation, right?

To help you keep your business rolling while still taking time for yourself during the holidays, we’ve assembled five ways you can do both (that’ll actually benefit your business).

Click That ‘Like’ Button
Do you enjoy being liked? Does it make you feel good when something you’ve shared on social media receives a handful of likes from your friends? Well, the people you follow on social media feel the same when they see those likes on their posts! Let’s turn a pretty simple idea into a subtle form of advertising for business. So double-tap that picture or click the little thumbs up in the bottom corner and give people a constant reminder of who can they come to for their real estate needs.

Comment
Comment on posts that appear in your timeline. This takes a bit more thinking than clicking on a like button, yet can be more effective. Complimenting and congratulating friends are what I consider easier comment icebreakers. The reason you should do this is that not only will your friends see that you’re actively online and interested in conversing, but also their friends will begin recognizing your name. Consider adding a comment in a subtle way to showcase your business through brand awareness advertising, but without any actual associated cost for that advertising. This is especially impactful when you can share your knowledge alongside that comment—just don’t be too boastful.

Share
Similar to the difference between a great conversation versus a terrible one, sharing the things that interest you is far easier than worrying about how to share things for your business that your followers might like. Don’t feel pressured to scroll through your pictures and find the best picture of your Saturday festivities; simply find things that are interesting, such as nearby events, activities, general news, hobbies, upcoming sales or recipes.

For many small businesses, your core audience doesn’t just invest in your product or service, but also in the person behind the scenes. Sharing your interests helps your audience get to know you better. The popular trend of “locally grown, locally harvested” advertisements we see in the restaurant industry is a great example of investing in more than just what’s sitting in front of a customer.

Ask a Question
Opening up the conversation is something I’ve always been taught to do in business. It isn’t always as easy as saying, “How are you?” and someone spilling their life story, but it doesn’t have to be very difficult, either.

Try creating a poll. They’re very easy to set up and widely versatile for just about any occasion. They don’t have to pertain to business either. For example, you can ask seasonal questions such as someone’s favorite holiday or Christmas movie. You can be lighthearted and ask questions such as the desert island game, what superpower would you want, thoughts on the latest Walking Dead episode, etc. You can also just ask these questions in a post if you’d prefer, as it’s easier than creating a poll—a poll is just more fun!

Asking a question is a great way to increase engagement, and many of your friends will chime in if they feel compelled; however, creating a poll takes that engagement and adds a bit of fun into the mix. It turns a simple question into a little game for your friends and followers. Facebook and Instagram Stories features even allow you to create quick, easy polls that disappear after 24 hours. I actually created a recent poll on whether a friend of mine should cut his long hair or not. Unfortunately, the majority lost as my friend was the swing vote in the cutting of his own hair.

Private Message
We are all guilty of pushing some of our friendships aside when we’re busy; it’s just human nature. Some folks are great with balancing work life with their personal life, but many of us are not as successful. Even the great Oprah Winfrey said, “You can have it all. Just not all at once.”

You mustn’t forget, not only are friendships good for us, but our friends can also be our biggest advocates. A quick private message to someone doesn’t require much effort, yet is meaningful in maintaining that relationship. And, you never know when simply checking in to say “hey” to someone could lead to you or your business being brought up in a later conversation of theirs.

So there you have it—five easy things you can do to help advertise your business while still giving yourself the chance to relax. If you need help managing your social profile or don’t have enough time to dedicate to building your online presence, check out Homes.com Social Fuel. Our team of social media experts can set up your profiles, create and post content on your behalf, and even manage your Facebook ads to help you connect with buyers and sellers.

Joe Sesso is an author and national speaker for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.  

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Prepare Your Business for a Successful 2019

Dec 11, 2018 by

The end of 2018 is fast approaching. If you haven’t thought about it already, now’s the time to begin to plan and prepare for the upcoming year; however, with so much to do, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. Keep in mind that you’ll always have a long to-do list, but prioritizing your crucial tasks can help you get organized and start the year off strong.

  1. Start with something small.
    Around this time, most of us are trying to wrap up our end-of-the-year plans or are thinking about the holidays. Even if you’re short on time, there are still small ways you can start planning for 2019. One of the most important and simple things you can do to prepare your business for the upcoming year is take the time to get organized. This can include your office, client files, marketing materials and listing profiles. Reviewing these will also help remind you of tasks you were putting off or planned to do but were never able to get to.
  1. Attract more leads in the coming year.
    Much of the time, your potential clients find and evaluate you online before they ever reach out to you. Everything from your website to your Facebook reviews are under the scrutinizing gaze of buyers and sellers. If your online presence is lacking, you might be missing out on potential lead opportunities. Because of this, you should verify your business on all major search engines. Additionally, remember that the majority of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Take a look at your online reputation to make sure you’re presenting your best image, so that online browsers will be more likely to reach out to you. If you don’t have any online reviews, ask your current clients to add some feedback to your Facebook page, Google or other online locations.
  1. Plan new ways to communicate with current clients.
    Now’s also a great time to set up ways to keep in contact with your current clients so that you can avoid losing touch when your schedule is tight. First, consider ways that you can divide your clients so that you can create targeted marketing pieces for each group. Then, create an email campaign for each group with content tailored specifically for them, so that they know that you’re thinking about them all year long. Your campaigns can be as simple as “5 Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal” or “Top Reasons to Stage Your Home.”

Another way to keep up with clients is by scheduling out your social media posts. Create a simple content calendar and schedule some posts in advance so that your current followers will have more opportunities to interact with you throughout the year.

Planning ahead can play a big part in achieving your goals for the upcoming year. Once you’ve worked through your small goals, it’ll be easier to create and implement a long-term strategy that’ll make 2019 your most successful year yet.

Mark Mathis is vice president of Sales for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.

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5 Action Items for Your 2019 Business Plan

Dec 5, 2018 by

As real estate professionals, we often try to predict what will happen next. What are the threats to our business? Where will I drum up new leads? What do I need to do next?

With 2019 on our doorstep, I thought I’d share the crucial skills our seasoned instructors recommend you capitalize on, or at least bake into your 2019 business plan.

Incorporate Thoughtful Networking
“2019 promises to be a year full of potential, despite anecdotal feelings of a softening in some markets, especially for real estate professionals focusing on the luxury price point. With that said, perhaps the most critical skillset to focus on is thoughtful networking outside of traditional venues. Relationships with other providers of (luxury) goods and services, professionals who share a similar client base and other successful upper-tier agents can result in connections to buyers that wouldn’t happen by simply listing a property and creating effective marketing materials. Focusing on positive opportunities will make the difference between an average year and a great year.”
– Tami Simms, REALTOR®, CLHMS, Institute for Luxury Home Marketing Trainer

Cultivate Relationships
“Relations still—and always will—matter. One thing real estate professionals need to learn, especially those just starting out in their career, is something that will carry them into every listing, sale and property management agreement: Real estate is all about relationships. There are many ebbs and flows in the business, and always something new to learn. You can learn the laws, take the exams and figure out the technology, but without the capability of building a relationship, your survival in the business is dubious.”
– Jolita Brazzano, Broker/Owner, Real Estate Express Instructor

Improve Your Communications and Simplify Transactions
“Industry expertise and local market prowess will no longer be sufficient. Those attributes must now be coupled with faster-paced communication—think text message and video chat—and using tools to streamline transactions, just as consumers have experienced in other types of businesses and now expect from the real estate community.”
– John Walker, Broker/Owner, Superior School of Real Estate Instructor 

Consider Competitive Commission Structures
“Sellers are driving the competition for the commissions they pay to sell their house. The seller only wants to pay for the services rendered, and only for the services they think are warranted and ‘needed’ in selling their house. Sellers also want to get away from a ‘fixed percentage’ for commissions. Learning how to navigate this structure, and how to better position the fees you charge, will provide valued transparency so your listings thrive.”
– Linda Leavitt, Broker, Real Estate Express Instructor

Strike Balance With Technology and Personal Interaction
“Remember that technology can’t make up for what our business is: a people and service business. No machine can replace you, as long as you provide excellent customer service and treat people as if you’re in it for the long haul. Do this and you’ll find success throughout your career.”
– Melanie McLane, REALTOR®, Real Estate Express Instructor

Tom Davidson is the general manager of Real Estate Express, a national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. Davidson has nearly 15 years of experience in the real estate industry. From sales training and product development to growing the business, his multi-faceted background encompasses crucial functions to a successful career in the field. To learn more, visit RealEstateExpress.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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