Archive for the 'Webmania' Category
Facebook has just passed google as the number one site on hitwise in the USA.
“The share of visits to Facebook.com for this week has increased 185% over the same week last year, while Google increased only 9% in the same time. Facebook and Google accounted for 14% of all US internet visits last week.”
The meteoric rise in popularity of facebook is evident in the graph
What next for this little company made massive?
Have you harnessed the power of web 2.0 for your business?
Do you even understand what social media networking is?
The aha! moment is upon us, the paradigm is shifting!
If you answered no to these questions you are not alone, the web is full of blogs about making the most of facebook but be careful! Facebook users are smart and experienced (the biggest block of facebook users are aged between 30 and 44), don’t try to sell yourself overtly on social networks, users just ain’t interested. In fact, it can backfire as nestle as recently found out.
Personally, I am an avid facebook user but am still trying to work out how to capitalize on the social networking phenomenon without annoying the huge band of FB friends I have gathered around myself. There are niches within FB that only a regular user will know about. Whole communities are gathered within certain games and applications, each community has their own language within the games and regular users within some of these applications will know most if not all other regular users. Farmville, Mafia Wars, Treasure Hunt, Four Square…. the list goes on.
There is now even a disorder related to Facebook overuse (FAD – Facebook Addiction Disorder). But is Facebook a Fad? It as moved well past critical mass and speaks into the lives of a huge percentage of the literate, Internet using people on our planet. For clues as to how to use this network to your advantage, have a look at what the best in their fields are doing.
And as for Twitter, have a read of this.
In a business sense, you have to join em to beat em!
If you haven’t yet opened a free account, go there now, find your friends, family members, and business acquaintances and begin your own odyssey!
March 23 2010 | General Real Estate and Webmania | 4 Comments »
Humans have always sought to give order and meaning to the vagaries of life by cataloging, categorizing, and breaking into segments. The infinite flow of time is but one example. Eons have been broken up into ever decreasing segments. It is natural that there are moments in this human manufactured time scheme that stand out. Certain dates take on extra importance because of how they fit in the scale. When a the dawning of a day happens to correspond with the dawn of not only a new century, but a new millennium, then humans were going to give that day special significance.
On the first of January 2000, I was married but had no children. My friends and I watched and waited on the Wellington waterfront for the “Y2k bug” to bring about the doom and destruction of everything electronic. I’m not sure what everyone expected. There were thousands of people milling subduedly around on the waterfront that evening. The weather was dead calm and eerie, as if even nature knew that this human date was of importance.
11.59pm became 12.00am…..and nothing
…..absolutely nothing happened!
No lights went out, no sirens, no massed landing of extraterrestrials….
The only thing that broke the absolute stillness of that moment were the cacophony of cellphone text notifications as everyone starting calling and texting everyone else…..Happy New Years!….Are you guys alright? Anything happen where you are?……
….stunned by the non event that the ushering in of a new millennium turned out to be, my friends and I promptly got in our cars and drove from Wellington to a deserted piece of Wairarapa coastline called Tora on the Lower East coast of the North Island. Pitching a tent, most of us bedded down to wait for the sun and dawning of a new day. I stayed up with a handful of hardier souls to share a specially reserved bottle from my cellar, and to sip, wait, muse, and pontificate. The realization glowed on us all like the soft early morning light issuing from the East, that the marking of time means nothing unless you give it meaning.
Ten years later, many things have changed in my life, but much more has stayed the same. I now have two children. I am living in a different house, but in the same suburb. I have the same job but do things differently in that job.
I am ten years older and have passed half time this year (my fortieth could have been likened to a 21st – costumes, cocktails, and dancing until 4am) but I still feel like a teenager inside. I am now more aware than ever that the duration of time is not important, its what you do with it.
When I first started selling real estate, it was important to me to be seen with some credibility as a young man still with the blush and fidget of youth upon him. When people asked me how long I had been selling houses, I would cringe inside and steer conversation in another direction. At the beginning of my time selling property (can I call it a career?), I longed to be able to say that I had been in the business for five years. I couldn’t see further than that, and I had the mistaken opinion that time = experience = credibility = success. As I look back after twelve years of digging at the residential coal face, I now realise that in this funny niche business that is almost as old as time itself (or certainly the human invention of time demarcation),
it is not what you know, it is who you know.
Networking is the heart and soul of the real estate selling game. And how the game has changed with the advance of web technology in the last ten years. Who would have thought that the writing would be on the wall for real estate print media publications? Who could have predicted the rise in online social networking applications like twitter and facebook?
Going forward, I can envisage that online networking will become even more important. The legal landscape of real estate selling has altered last year with the coming into being of the Real Estate Agents Act 2008, but the nuts and bolts, the to-ing and fro-ing, the cut and thrust, the making of connections remains the same.
I believe that the Real Estate business will become even more transparent as we move into the next ten years, not because of law changes, but because of changes in the way agents (licensees) communicate with their target audience. Blogging, twittering, facebooking, and the like will further demystify the industry and make successful and committed agents who regularly communicate online, household names in their area of influence. The rest may find their long held “farming areas” slipping through their fingers. The hunt for new listings is no longer about streets, it is about people networks. Buyers now find and communicate with agents naturally on the web. I believe that this next decade will see SELLERS finding their agent of choice on the web.
As we turn over another decade, it is good to take some time out to reassess. How did you do in the last ten years? Did you fulfill some of your dreams? Did you reach some of the goals you explicitly or implicitly strived for? Is it time to make some new goals, plans, or guiding aims?
I love the movie “The Bucket List“, with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two terminally ill acquaintances who determine to live their last days in a way that ticks off things on their life wish list. Do you have things that you have always wanted to do? Is it time to tick a couple of those things off?
Make this next ten years worth looking back at, your time starts now…..
January 05 2010 | General Real Estate and Webmania | No Comments »
I’ll admit it. I’m hooked on Facebook. I somehow missed out the whole MySpace craze but Facebook has me hook, line and sinker. Each application and social game on FB has its own resident population or clique. I have made friends with people from all over the world and through the ease and immediacy of this social networking phenomina, know what is happening in their lives on an almost daily or weekly basis.
I have been thinking lately about real estate marketing through social media – should I be marketing my listings in the places where my target markets are these days. Believe me, that’s rarely in the classified sections of your local newspapers or in the Dom Post anymore.
Now, industry social networks like ActiveRain are great for connecting with your peers; but let’s face it, Consumers aren’t hanging out there. If you’re looking for buyers and sellers, in this day and age you need to be a little more creative.
The news that Facebook may launch Local Classifieds got me thinking on how you can take this idea and use social networks like Facebook to really power your business.
Here’s some suggestions:
1. Encourage past clients and new clients to ‘friend’ you or ‘add’ you to their networks. Include links to your profile in your marketing materials, business cards etc. Build out a brand new online “sphere”.
2. Creating Groups – This is the most obvious way to use the site. Create a “Homebuyers” group for example and help first time buyers with their questions. Leverage your expertise to become the expert in the group.
3. Creating a unique Group is also a great way to keep in touch with business networking contacts you meet – maybe it’s at a Property Investors club based on the recent property investment seminar you attended . You can engage in post meeting discussions, share information in a neutral open forum that doesn’t demand the intimacy of an email or telephone contact.
4. Shares – You could use Facebook to market properties to a select group or share properties with your friends . A handy bookmarklet lets you add external links to your Shares. You could add a link to a property from your own site.
Think about it, you could have an exclusive Group of buyers in your market and you could share great listings with them before they hit the mass market.
5. If you’re a blogger, add your RSS feed to your profile. Facebook lets you add a Blog feed to your Notes. You could find new readers and even drive traffic back to your blog by sharing your posts with your network.
I think that maximizing your exposure on social networks like Facebook is going to be increasingly important to small businesses – especially in industries that are already so network-dependent like real estate. Unfortunately, due to the fleeting nature of these sites, the trick is going to be to stay on top of where everyone is. The real danger is arriving too late and finding your audience has already moved on.
September 18 2009 | Webmania | No Comments »
What things do you need to ask an agent when you are looking to sell your home?
The nature of the Real Estate selling business has changed dramatically in the last ten years. The rise of the Internet as a search tool for buyers and and avenue of exposure for sellers has changed and continues to alter the way we agents do things and should become and even greater focus for us going forward.
I believe that the writing is on the wall for the traditional real estate print media as buyers continue to populate websites such as trademe and realestate.co.nz in search of their next dream home or investment, and agents and sellers require more timely up to date information and advertisement in the market place.
The lead in time for print media can be up to 10 days, far too long in a market that has had until recently, an average time to sell of 25-35 days. And the huge cost of print media advertising has seen the rise of Vendor Contributions to advertising which many sellers balk at. Digital media offers a far cheaper and more efficient means of promoting properties.
At the coal face, on a day to day basis, we are getting fewer and fewer phone calls inquiring about property and a much greater volume of emails. Buyers no longer walk in the door of our agency and expect to be taken on a tour of the homes available. More and more, we are getting targeted inquiries from buyers who have done their homework in terms of houses for sale on the Internet and have narrowed their search down to one or two potential homes that they would like to see.
What this means for home sellers
Firstly, I believe that it is critical to work with an agency and salesperson who understands this paradigm shift and has embraced the technologies involved and knows how to promote your home in digital on line form with skill and finesse.
Ask yourself and your potential agent some of these questions:
Does the Company you are considering to market your home have a good Corporate presence on the Web?
Is their website easy to negotiate?
Does it have a good property catalogue that is searchable by suburb/price/bedrooms etc?
Has the Corporate site been well optimised to perform well in Google searches?
This is a great question to ask your potential agent. It will tell you how switched on they are in terms of Internet Marketing. Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the new buzzword and will not only become more important but even vital for businesses attempting to sell products or services on the web. In essence, a well optimised site will come up in the first page of search results if you entered some keywords say into google.co.nz that described their business and location. An example for my own site – try putting into Google “northern suburbs real estate wellington” – what comes up???? My website northernsuburbs.co.nz and this blog site should feature prominently in the search results. It is important to note that I have no power over the way Google searches for results, but an understanding of the Google algorithm will help lift the profile of any well optimised site in the search results. You want to work with an agency who gets this.
Does the company of your choice have Google maps integration on their website?
Buyers find this very helpful especially they are moving from another region or are searching from outside New Zealand. Being able to pinpoint your property on Google maps allows them to get a feel for the amenities in your neighbourhood and work out distances to schools, shops, public transport etc. All this is good stuff for helping a prospective buyer determine locations and homes that they want to focus on.
How do the photos look in their advertising? Are the homes they are currently marketing, well represented with plenty of photos of the house both inside and out?
If the photos are dark, of low quality, or represent the homes for sale in a poor light you may want to ask them who takes the photos and whether they have any professional options for this.
Is the advertising script changed regularly to target different buyer groups?
It is lazy real estate to write one advert for the entire campaign. This will become more important as the average time to sell lengthens. Changing scripts and feature photos helps to sell the home to different buyer groups and will prevent your home from becoming “stale” in the market place if it doesn’t sell right away.
Does the agency have a good real time system in their office to field email enquiries and to update the websites they advertise homes on?
I have heard about agencies being so outmoded that they had no facility for individual agents to get emails through the websites they advertise on. Emails come into the office and are printed out individually by the receptionist. These emails are then put into the individual cubbyholes of the agents. These agents collect the printed emails from their cubbyhole, write a response on the bottom of the email (or bin it altogether because it was all too hard!) and hand it back to the receptionist who replys to the enquirer. Unbelievable?? You’d be surprised!!!
Which websites will your home feature on?
In New Zealand, realestate.co.nz, trademe.co.nz, and open2view.com are all important sites in terms of traffic, my own experience is that realestate.co.nz gives me more qualified leads and that trademe has a lot of traffic but very few quality leads.
Does the agent have their own personal website?
This is not critical to the marketing of your home, but it does indicate whether or not your agent has an on line focus.
Does your agent have an email database of active buyers that they contact regularly?
This type of direct marketing can really get buyer interest going quickly to give an edge to the promotion of your property early on in the first phase of marketing when your home is still fresh to the market. The first ten day period is often when you get the best price for your home. Early on in the marketing of a home, urgency exists in the minds of buyers – we had better see it in case we miss out. The existing pool of buyers have often seen and eliminated most or all of the homes currently on the market in your locale, they check regularly for for new listings. Feeding these buyers through emailing them directly and inviting them to a preview or to the first open home helps to gain a bit of extra buzz around new homes on the market.
These are some ideas, feel free to comment on what I’ve said or to add your own thoughts to this blog.
July 22 2008 | General Real Estate and Home Sellers and Webmania | 1 Comment »