The Unconditional Blog

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Archive for the ‘social media’ Category

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Real estate marketing – practical online advice

Posted on: September 20th, 2010 | Filed in Agent Tips, Featured, Online marketing, social media, Website searching

iStock_000000504669XSmallThe recent “Future of Real Estate” conference held in Auckland provided us with the opportunity of sitting down with the keynote speakers and interviewing them to provide some global perspective to the opportunity emerging in online marketing.

Blogging

Joel Burslem is a highly regarded consultant with a background in online real estate marketing which has included stints at Inman News, Prudential as well as 1000 Watt Consulting where he currently works. In this interview I seek to better understand Joel’s perspective, advice and insight into blogging from the standpoint of a real estate agent.

Search Marketing

No successful business these days can ignore the importance of search marketing and search engine optimisation. For real estate this is ever more important as the future of lead generation for agents will likely come from online referrals and evaluations. To achieve standout requires a deep appreciation and understanding of search. For the conference we invited Charles Coxhead to speak on this key topic. Charles has an extensive experience in this area and in this interview I speak to Charles and get him to share some of the critical issues and advice around this subject.

Online Marketing

With such an excellent line up of speakers, we grabbed the opportunity to have a panel discussion with Joel Burslem, Charles Coxhead and Simon Baker. This free flowing discussion starts off looking at the dynamic shift in real estate advertising from print to online as witnessed around the world. It then goes on to talk about the priorities for real estate companies, offices and agents in their online presence and marketing, covering the tools of Facebook and Google Adwords, amongst other things.

We split the session into 2 videos covering the 20 minute discussion:

Part 2

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Social media is the future of business

Posted on: September 10th, 2010 | Filed in Featured, social media

Social media croppedThis was the somewhat contentious moot of the debate held by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce this week. The moot was at times professionally, and at times somewhat irreverently debated by the two teams of which I confess I was one of the team members (speaking in favour of the moot).

The outcome at the end of the session was found in favour of the opponents of the moot; a result which, whilst disappointing from the standpoint of being on the loosing team was on quiet reflection not surprising.

After all it is not factually correct to say that Social media is the future of business, business is about far more than just social media. It is about products and services, it is about investment and development, it is about customers and marketing. Sure social media is a key component of the future of business – given that, as was stated in the Cluetrain Manifesto “markets are conversations” and there is no doubt that social media is all about conversations.

In providing a summation of the debate I thought that rather than detail the arguments for and against the moot, I would look at the panelists and examine their profiles and their social media interaction or at least the applicability of social media to their business or industry.

Starting with the negative team, suitably titled the “Privateers”. Jeremy Elwood was the team captain and suitably described himself as a biting social commentator and possessor of a devastating delivery style that will leave you in stitches! Jeremy is a comedian, a profession I would judge wholly reliant upon reviews and recommendations, in this context social media with its ability to share “live” experiences and thereby create viral waves of support would be the best medium of business development for any comedian. Clearly living by the sword (and dying by the sword) would be the consequences of the twitterati’s review of content and performance – however this would be no difference to the classic word of mouth of a decade or so ago.

Supporting Jeremy on the Privateers was Hannah Samuel. She describes herself as a Reputation Champion, providing as she does professional speaking and coaching on the subject of reputation. How perfectly topical for the age of social media – an age where your brand is ever more in the hands of your customers who define and communicate your brand message – so far different from the heyday of Madison Avenue driven brand messaging of the 1960’s to the 1980’s. Her business is modeled on her reputation and how people share the experiences she creates through her speaking engagements. Social media amplifies that messaging – she engages with the audience, they evaluate and share their experience and in so doing she grows her business.

The final member of the Privateers team was Mark Blackham. Mark is a specialist in government relations and communications, clearly an area where consultation and collaboration are key. It maybe the case that a lot of these activities wish to be managed within carefully orchestrated siloed and filtered channels (and I make no judgment of this) – however for the long term benefit of democracy the openness and interactivity that fundamentally underpins social media can only be seen as positive and constructive.

As for our team – the Socialites advocating for the moot. Our captain was Paul Brislen who is head of corporate communication at Vodafone. His passionate use and advocacy for social media has really established a deep and passionate relationship between Vodafone and its customers. There are many instances of this – one most actively seen on the night of the event was the deployment by their promotional twitter ambassador Vodafone Treats who simply offered a $150 voucher to retweeters of his offer – simple, effective, spontaneous and engaging. To see the impact just look at the twitter stream for the search term #aklchamber on the night.

Nobody could say our team lacked passion, especially with our second team member – Giapo, or more correctly Gianpaolo Graziolil. Giapo is the living embodiment of social media. His business is a classic SME – a single store in the centre of Auckland selling ice cream – however when judged on the social radar of Aucklanders, New Zealander’s and internationally he is a veritable rock star. He currently has over 4,000 followers on Twitter and over 11,000 on Facebook! – not bad for a sole operator. He recognises that what he does is not sell ice creams. He hosts an event. Every time people come into his shop, the act of coming to his shop is a memorable experience, and his passionate customers and even aspiring customers share their experiences through social media. Giapo has to be seen for being a living embodiment of the power of social media and the core of how social media is and will be a core part of the future of business.

My thanks to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, to Murray Chapman for chairing the debate, to Rebecca Seymore-East who put the whole thing together and to Claire Del the marketing manager for having the courage and team to put this all together.

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