Category Archives: digital media

5 best iPad apps for real estate agents – post 10 of 31

marketing in a social age is devoting 31 posts this month to social and digital media and the real estate industry.  

As professionals (and that includes Realtors) find more uses for their iPads, I thought I would include the 5 best iPad apps.  This one’s for you, Realtors!

Complete RealtyThis innovative app allows users to access foreclosed, pre-foreclosed, auction, and bank-owned homes right from their fingertips.  The app provides each property’s asking price, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, year built, housing type, and also includes a picture and satellite aerial view of each home, a detailed map, driving directions and much much more.

RentCompass – View photo albums of rental properties at higher resolution and use the iPad multi-touch experience to navigate through rental properties with as little clicks as possible.

Keynotethis app from Apple is a great tool when doing listing presentations or showing clients various properties for sale.  Don’t let the chance to make a great first impression pass you by.

Pulse News ReaderWant to keep up on all the business, real estate and other news you find interesting?  Then Pulse might be for you.  Pulse is a visual news reader for your iPad. It takes the news sources you follow, and instantly creates a visual mosaic of your news. Tap on an article, and you’re presented with a very clean view of the news story. 

Realtor AssistantThe market keeping you busy?  Wish you had more than 24 hours in a day and more than 7 days in a week?  Realtor Assistant was created to help Realtors stay focused on what needs to be done. Simply create a new project, pick your workflow and start date. The app will do the rest and populate your calendar with all of the necessary events that you need to finish the job! It’s a great way to stay organized and each project can be customized to fit that specific clients needs.

Do you use an iPad for your business?  What’s your favourite iPad app?

which smartphone should a real estate agent use? – post 9 of 31

marketing in a social age is devoting 31 posts this month to social and digital media and the real estate industry.

You have 3 4 choices:

  1. Windows Phone 7.
  2. BlackBerry (pick your version. I use a Torch).
  3. Android-powered device.
  4. iPhone 4 (does anyone still use a 3?)

I’m not going to tell you which one to use.  But here are some questions you should ask yourself.  The answers will tell you which one you should use.

  • what do you want to use the phone for?
  • are mobile apps important to you?
  • will you use it to make any sort of visual presentation?
  • what’s your budget?
  • are you a full time or a part time agent?
  • do you value productivity tools over entertainment applications?
  • is a smartphone a communication device for you?
  • are there mobile apps that you need to conduct business?
  • is having the latest and coolest gadget important to you?

Ok.  I said I wouldn’t tell you which phone to use.  But I will tell you which phone I use.  The BlackBerry Torch.  I’m thinking if I was using an Android or iPhone that I’d be too busy playing games and wasting money buying apps.

But that’s just me.

5 mobile apps for real estate – post 8 of 31

marketing in a social age is devoting 31 posts this month to social and digital media and the real estate industry.

  1. REALTOR.ca for Windows Phone 7.According to the press release, the REALTOR.ca app provides house hunters with the functionality of REALTOR.ca while taking advantage of Windows Phone 7 device features such as GPS.  The app allows users to search for houses and properties across Canada and to connect with REALTORS to view, buy or sell a property.  Photos, newly listed properties and open house information are all available.
  2. Zoocasa’s mobile search for iPhone. On your iPhone, Zoocasa uses the GPS to pinpoint your location and show you all the nearby homes that are listed for sale and indexed by Zoocasa.
  3. RealEstate411.  This app was released this past springin Canada.  This marketing tool that allows Canadian Realtors to generate leads, deliver instant property information and connect with prospective buyers over any cell phone.
  4. HomeZilla’s Neighbourhood Knowledge.  HomeZilla’s Neighbourhood Knowledge iPhone app makes researching Canadian neighbourhoods very easy: You can find the closest schools, parks, coffee shops, demographic information, electoral history, and much more.
  5. RentCompass.  RentCompass for the Android combines the rich functions of Google maps with your Android’s GPS into a very easy and powerful tool to find your next home to rent.

Do you have a favourite mobile real estate app?

youtube and real estate – post 6 of 31

marketing in a social age is devoting 31 posts this month to social and digital media and the real estate industry.

My last post on digital marketing and real estate was about podcasting.  This one will be about YouTube and how you could potentially use this tool to market your real estate business.

Note:

Before we continue, a reminder:  These 31 blog posts are not meant to be an exhaustive list.  Nor is each post a complete post.  Digital and social media marketing changes constantly so to write everything in one post would be impossible.  What these are meant to do is act as a catalyst for you to change or adapt the way you are marketing yourself and your business.

YouTube

YouTube allows you to post videos and share these videos via comments, links, social media sharing and embedding the actual videos on your personal site or blog.  Here are two ways that videos can help promote you and your business.

Content

The obvious one is content.  Create fun and compelling content.  You can film anything from an open house, your latest listing, neighbourhood news or anything you and your clients might find interesting.  George O’Neill and David Pylyp are two Toronto-based real estate agents who really understand how to take advantage of this medium.

Both of these agents post everything from neighbourhood landmarks, client testimonials, and even humourous videos asking for your business. Their videos are almost always short and informative.

Link Building

The other thing these two agents have in common is that they understand the concept of link building and the important role this plays in building traffic and potential clients.

One of the things you will notice is how both George and David refer the viewer back to their website.  The best case scenario is that a viewer has stumbled upon their YouTube videos and finds them interesting enough to visit their website and leave a note for George or David.  We would all love this!

Here’s the worst case scenario:  Google recognizes a link between YouTube (a popular site) and their personal blog (not as popular).  In turn, Google ranks George and David’s blog a little higher.  Amazing!  Why?  Now, when you search for real estate information using terms that George and David have capitalized on, you will find them!  Brilliant!

Want to understand link building more?  Click here.

Want to understand how to make simple, easy and effective videos?  Get yourself a camera such as a Flip Mino and press the little red button. It’s that simple.

podcasting for real estate – post 5 of 31

marketing in a social age is devoting 31 posts this month to social and digital media and the real estate industry.

By now you may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t think I can do this blogging or social media thing.”  Maybe it’s because you can’t figure out how to get your thoughts into the written word format.  Don’t be so hard on yourself.  It takes time.  I know. It’s taken me a long time and I don’t think I’ve arrived at all.

Maybe you like to talk though!  That’s where this post’s idea comes from.  If you like to talk, then podcasting may be for you.

Why Podcast:

Let’s first discuss what podcasting is.  Here’s a great video from friend Lee Lefever of Common Craft:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMgemQahuFM]

Do you see value in telling your story to an audience you may not have had access to?  That’s what marketing is all about.  Reaching new potential markets.

When you do start podcasting remember to share value.  Similar to your monthly newsletter it’s not always about the last listing you sold or the new property for sale. Talk about how to take care of your home, tips on saving for a down-payment and even your grandmother’s excellent pie recipe.

How to Podcast:

Here’s where it gets a little tricky.  I host a podcast called Social Media Show which is hosted by Perpetual Radio Networks (PRN).  If you were to stop me on the street and ask me “How does somebody start podcasting?” I may not be able to provide you with a proper answer.  However, if you asked me “How did you start podcasting?” then I can answer!

How I got started in podcasting:

I knew I wanted another outlet for my thoughts.  And I knew I wanted another outlet to tell the stories of people I was running into in my life.  Finally, I knew that my interest was mainly in social media.  So I did the only thing I knew how to do.  I tweeted:

I want to start a podcast. Can anyone help me?

Guess what happened?  I received a tweet back from PRN saying they were looking for someone to host a new show on their network.

Happy podcasting!

Tell us about your podcast or if you want to start and don’t know where to go leave a comment below.  Someone here may be able to help you.

get recommended on linkedin for real estate – post 4 of 31

marketing in a social age is devoting 31 posts this month to social and digital media and the real estate industry.

Here’s a neat little tip for those of you in the real estate industry.

Recommendations are a huge part of your marketing campaign already.  Guess what?  Recommendations are a huge part of LinkedIn as well.  If you’re not familiar with LinkedIn, here’s a quick description courtesy of WikiLeaks Wikipedia:

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking.

LinkedIn’s recommendations are a vital part of creating new connections in the online and offline worlds.  They are identical to “centres of influence” or references on a traditional resume.  What they do is give the reader comfort knowing that there are other people out there who think highly of you and even recommend your services.

Here are 4 steps to get a LinkedIn recommendation:

  1. Set up a LinkedIn profile which includes your real estate business.
  2. Connect with friends, clients and business associates.
  3. Ask current and former clients to help your business by recommending you.
  4. Once someone has recommended you, you are able to see it before you approve the comments.

Simple!

Now you can use these recommendations to help promote your business.

How do you use LinkedIn?  And what other digital and social tools do you use to promote your real estate business?

google places for real estate – post 3 of 31

marketing in a social age is devoting 31 posts this month to social and digital media and the real estate industry.

I’m only 3 posts in and I’m getting the feeling that this is going to be harder than I thought.  I want to make sure that what I blog about over the next little while helps you. So if you, as someone who is in the real estate industry, have a question about how you can use digital and social media tools, please comment below.

Google Places:

Make sure you own your piece of real estate on Google.  And this means creating a profile for yourself on Google Places.  (You’ll see by clicking on the link that when you enter my domain name in Google Maps that you see where my office is located.)

A Note About Google Places:

You will need a Gmail account to use Google Places.  So if you do go ahead and create your profile.  If not, what are you waiting for?

Back to Google Places:

Ok. Here’s a couple of really neat videos made by Google on the cool features of Google Places.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6kT6LWEkZk]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUzMu8GXNUM]

I would love to read your comments on how you will use Google Places for your business. Comment below.

are you searchable? – post 2 of 31

marketing in a social age is devoting 31 posts this month to social and digital media and the real estate industry.

Are you searchable?

If not you should be.  If I did not personally know a real estate agent there are a few places I would go to search out for one.  I will share with you how I would look for them and where I would be.

Google

Are you searchable on Google (or really any major search engine)?  People might not search for you but they are searching for agents in a neighbourhood or within a specific area.  For example, if you specialize in condos in Toronto’s Scarborough Bluffs area, make sure you can be found if someone types in : “Toronto Scarborough Bluffs real estate agent”.

How do you do this?

There are a number of ways.  Here are two ways.

First, optimize your search.  A good SEO expert will make sure that the keywords you want to be found by are used on your main website.

Second, take advantage of social search.  A proper blogging and using micro blogging strategy is a great way to increase the chances of you being found.

Twitter

Being searchable on Twitter is not hard.  The point here though is twofold.

First, make sure that you tweet enough that your content gets becomes relevant and is then found by the search engines.  Second, create enough good content that people on Twitter find you interesting and useful.

Important Twitter Point:

It’s okay to tweet out your listing.  However, what might not work is ONLY tweeting out your listings.  Be human.  If you were at a party (unrelated to real estate) would you only talk about real estate? Try it and see how fast you’re looking for someone to talk to who’s interested.

Facebook

I will cover Facebook a bit more in a later blog post.  Understand this though: Facebook has become one of the world’s most popular search engines.  Many people will search on Facebook just like they search on Google.  And Facebook’s search is powered by Bing; a competitor of Google’s.

My advice here is to create as much relevant and compelling content on Facebook as you do on your blog and on Twitter.  One of the things you can do is to publish your blog on Facebook.  This allows your thoughts to be read by those who may be Facebook friends of your’s but not savvy enough to search for your blog.

 

31 for real estate – post 1 of 31

Why wait for New Year’s Eve to make a resolution.  Not that this is a resolution. But to make a decision like this one in one of the busiest months of the year can be considered insane.

All month long I am devoting this blog to sharing my thoughts on digital and social marketing.  My focus is going to be on the real estate industry: real estate agents, real estate companies, real estate service providers, and mortgage professionals are just some of the subjects that I will comment on.

How will I come up with 31?  With your help of course!

I do have almost a decade of experience in the real estate industry so I’m sure Ill have plenty of content.  However, if there are questions you have regarding real estate and how digital and social marketing are effecting this industry, please feel free to comment on this blog.

In the meantime, here is my first piece of advice:

1 of 31:

Don’t be afraid to learn.  I was recently at a real estate social marketing conference.  The one thing everyone had in common was fear of the unknown.

What was this thing they call social media?  Do we need to know how to twitter to survive in the new economy? I’ve been in business for 15 years so why do I need to learn all this new stuff now?

You need to learn because you want to learn.  You need to learn this new stuff so that you can relate to and serve your clients.  You need to learn so that you can continue to stay relevant and profitable.

Feel free to comment and ask questions below.

yorkville media centre – day 2

There’s something interesting happening at the intersection of Yonge and Bloor in Toronto.  And I’m not talking about the expensive shopping boutiques or fancy restaurants.

I’m referring to the Yorkville Media Centre.

I recently blogged about the YMC on Techvibes.  (I encourage you to check it out to read what good work the YMC is up to.)  What I didn’t say was that I was also a guest speaker during Day 2 of their 9 Day course.  Here’s a glimpse into what is taught at the YMC and a bit from my guest talk.

More that me being on video, I’m really proud of Mark and Alkarim for what have have built and what they continue to build.

Enjoy the video.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIcXLlrw0_8]