What Realtors can Learn from the Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice Bucket ChallengeHave you taken or been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge? I have seen this challenge done all over the internet via, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Some have been done fantastically, and others were also funny, but mostly because of a funny mishap of dropped water or something crashing on the person’s head.  All kidding aside there is something that can be taken from the Ice Bucket Challenge that should cause Real Estate agents to pause and take notice.  Here is my take on the Ice Bucket Challenge, the use of Video, Self-Promotion, and Syndication.

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Real Estate Video Bloopers-You Learn by Failing

Upset 3d puppetEver hear the expression…“Failing fast is a lot better than failing slow?”  I think this applies to most businesses because the faster you fail, the faster you learn and overcome the obstacles that set you back.  Many of my Realtor clients here in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area are now starting learn and understand the many benefits of using Video in Real Estate.  Having said that, many Real Estate agents are still fearful of getting in front of the camera and shooting videos. You could say that they have a fear of using Video, but of course we know you can overcome by just doing.  What they don’t realize is that videos are NOT shot and filmed in 1 take.  Usually it takes many times to get everything just right, even if you are reading off a teleprompter.  This is how Real Estate video bloopers are born.

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The Title Insurance Sales Rep Trick-Don’t Get Fooled

Title Insurance Sales Rep-Don't fall for the trickBack in Phoenix, AZ I used to work with a guy that talked about how Title Insurance Sales Reps used to “Bamboozle” his loan officers. “Bamboozling” is when the gorgeous sales rep(see right) would come into the office and offer nothing of “real value” except for her stunning looks, in which the loan officer would “ohhh and ahhh” over her then send her business.  Does that still happen in the Title business today?  Yeah it does, not as much as it used to since the market downturn of 2008.  Having said that, there is still a good Title Insurance Sales rep trick that happens ALL the time. In many cases you might not even realize that it is happening.

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Stewart Title and Escrow-NEW Office Opening at One Loudoun

Searching for Title CompanyWhen I moved to the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area in June 2012 I started a new Title Company venture with Stewart Title and Escrow located in Fairfax, VA.  I soon learned that I was working at a great company with really nice people who had great knowledge of the Title Insurance business.  Two years later and having closed hundreds of transactions and working with a lot of new Realtors and Lenders, Stewart Title and Escrow has made the decision to expand!  We are proud to announce that we are opening a new office at the One Loudoun area out in Ashburn, VA on Monday August 4th.

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Why Zillow Buying Trulia can be Scary for Real Estate Agents

Zillow Buying TruliaSo…this happened.  Not surprising really.  For years Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com have been battling it out for a while and even though there will still be 3 sites…it is really just 2. I have seen on my Facebook feed many Realtors saying things like “Zillow buying Trulia is going to be awesome!” Or…”Zillow buying Trulia is exciting!”  Really!?  Exciting for them…but not the individual Real Estate agent.  In fact, it should be quite scary to hear this news if I was a Real Estate agent.  There are many factors that make it scary for Realtors now that Zillow has eaten up one of the large aggregates.  Here are some of the things to consider…

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Website Introduction Videos-Why You Should Have One

3d business menYou know what gets really old and frustrating?  Meeting someone in a business situation and having to explain to them “what” you do and “why” they should work with you (your entire value proposition).  It’s kind of like dating, where you meet someone and have to tell him or her where are from, where you went to school, what you like, and don’t like.  After a while it gets really old.  You wish these business prospects or “dates” just knew this information in advance so when you finally meet you can just get to the good part…doing business and making money.  The good news is, you can set it up so your prospects get to meet and learn all about you before you meet them.  They are “website introduction videos.”  If you notice these are not prominent…meaning that most Realtors or Lenders don’t have them.  Let’s talk about website introduction videos and how they can help you in your Real Estate business.

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Chesterbrook Woods Subdivision-An Amazing Neighborhood

Homes for Sale in Chesterbrook WoodsI came across Chesterbrook Woods Subdivision not that long ago as I was holding a Brokers Open for one of my Real Estate clients.  I decided to drive around this gorgeous area and check it out.  What I found is that Chesterbrook Woods Subdivision is a very quiet place filled with many upscale properties.  The average home price in Chesterbook Woods is over $1.2 Million dollars.  It is also located not far from Potomac High School and by the Lower Potomac River right off route 123 in McLean Virginia.  This gives people very easy access in and out of the area and close to a major road. Are you considering buying or selling a home in McLean?  If so, here is some more great information you would want to know about Chesterbrook Woods Subdivision.

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Google Author Photos REMOVED-What this means for Realtors

Real Estate Marketing Staring at ComputerSo…I’m NOT happy right now.  Not…at..All.  Why you may ask?  Well,  I noticed a couple days ago that my head shot was not pulling over in my Google search results.  These are also known as Google Author photos. I didn’t anything about it as I had just updated the WordPress Plugin that makes that happen.  I figured something new was integrated and I just need to go into my site and fix it.  When I got to work on Monday I logged into my website and went over everything for over an hour and nothing was wrong…yet the head shot wasn’t pulling over.  I then went to Google and asked it a question, kind of like what consumers do for everything Real Estate.  What I found made me so mad!  Google decided to remove all Google Author photos.  This is not a good thing for you, the Real Estate agent or Mortgage Lender, and not good for me either.  Here is how I feel this affects Realtors and their online marketing efforts…and what you can do to combat this.

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How to Get your Real Estate Listings More Exposure

Listings More ExposureI was talking to a Realtor the other day in Northern Virginia and she was complaining that her Real Estate Listings weren’t selling or getting much traffic from potential buyers.  Ok…now understand that in the last 3 months in the DC area homes have been selling over list price, with multiple offers the second they hit the market.  Not a lot of housing inventory and a large homebuyer demand.  Now…more listings have hit the market and buyers are seeing that they don’t need to rush and buy right now since they have more choices of homes.  So with this shift in the market I asked the Realtor…”So what are you doing to marketing the property and get your listings more exposure?” Her answer…” I put it in the MLS and I have done open houses the last 2 weekends.” To this I shook my head and said.  Not enough.  Lets talk about how to get your Real Estate Listings more exposure so you can sell them faster and at top dollar.

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