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CREST Launches Rad, New, Grassroots Social Media Research Initiative

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CREST launches social media research initiative


Attention all real estate professionals:

Are you looking for relevant data and figures regarding blogging in real estate? Do you need precise answers to questions such as “What tactics have the best results in social networking?” and “How does my blog compare to others?”

If so, then check this out…

The Center for Real Estate and Social Technologies (CREST) has officially launched a rad (yes, I said “rad”), new, grassroots social media research initiative specifically for REALTORS®.  

The Center for Real Estate and Social Technologies (CREST) will be the definitive research and education resource for social technologies in the real estate business, conducting surveys and other projects to generate benchmarks and best practices that REALTORS® can employ to improve their social networking, blogging, and social media marketing efforts. CREST’s surveys will always be in the 10-15 question range, real estate specific, and conducted every 2-3 months so you can spend less time filling out surveys and we can continually release relevant information to you.

CREST’s first effort, a 14-question survey focused on real estate blogging, was released today over at VARbuzz.com. CREST will be providing the aggregate results to those who complete the survey and provide an email address to send the results to. The best part about it is that it’s free (minus a few minutes of time).

Having access to information like this is something that I’ve heard a lot of people talk about and wish for (including me). It’s nice that we’ll finally have a chance to get it.

Danilo Bogdanovic is a Real Estate Consultant/REALTOR(R) in Northern Virginia and author/owner of LoudounScene.com and LoudounForeclosures.com. Danilo serves on various committees with the Dulles Area Association of REALTORS(R) and the Virginia Association of REALTORS(R).

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Jim Reppond

    June 24, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Too bad this survey is so restrictive. It wouldn’t take my answers unless it fit it’s “format” Makes you wonder if the data will mean anything.

  2. Aria Schoenfelt, Austin Luxury Homes

    June 24, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    I like the idea of knowing more about how social media and blogging work in our industry so that I know where to focus my energies, however, the survey they have up asks only about traffic, which is a small part of the story. Who cares about traffic, what I want are conversions! I want to know which avenues people are successful in and numbers would help me see how my efforts compare.

  3. Jennifer in Louisville

    June 24, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    @ Jim – I’m right there with you. While interesting, I’m not certain that any of the results would provide anything really useful. How would it be beneficial knowing that the guy in Atlanta Georgia gets 100 times more people/visits/comments than the guy in Thousandsticks Kentucky? (just an example)

  4. Benn Rosales

    June 24, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    @Jennifer, even worse, you won’t even know that it is a guy in Kentucky or Georgia…

  5. Ben Martin, Va Assn of REALTORS

    June 24, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Hi everyone, thanks for your feedback on the survey. In an effort to keep the surveys short, we’ll be delving into some of the more results-oriented questions in future efforts. There’s certainly a lot of ground to cover, as Jim, Aria and Jennifer have pointed out. But of respect for your time, we didn’t want to embark on a 60-question survey right off the bat. I want to emphasize that this is the first in what we expect will be a long series of surveys.

    However, I will take issue with the statements that this first round of data won’t produce anything useful. When we run the crosstabs, we expect to find some interesting correlations between, say, number of monthly posts and number of subscribers. Or perhaps, what is the relationship between length of time as a blogger and average monthly unique visitors to the blog?

    By way of background, this survey was developed in collaboration with REALTORS using social media in business, a VAR staff person with a graduate degree in mass media with a concentration in statistics, and another VAR staff with a long history of blogging and (more recently) social media research.

    In the meantime, give the survey a try. It should only take you 5-10 minutes. And if you have any suggestions on how this first survey could be tweaked to improve usability, or any suggestions about questions to ask in future surveys, please contact me directly. Ben at varealtor dot com.

  6. Ben Martin, Va Assn of REALTORS

    June 24, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Also want to mention that if you would personally like to help analyze the results and draw conclusions or make make recommendations, please drop me a line. That e-mail address again is ben at varealtor dot com.

  7. Jennifer in Louisville

    June 24, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    “When we run the crosstabs, we expect to find some interesting correlations between, say, number of monthly posts and number of subscribers. Or perhaps, what is the relationship between length of time as a blogger and average monthly unique visitors to the blog?”

    I think the biggest problems for those conclusions are defining the blog’s potential target audience and their search engine rankings for the sampling. Even if all things are equal (same frequency of posts, or length of time as a blogger), the person in Atlanta Georgia is vastly more likely to have dramatically higher numbers than the person in Thousandsticks Kentucky.

    Now, if you can get a lot of persons to take the survey from the same market – you might be able to generate some interesting data.

    But even with that, you’d need ALL of the blogs to have the same Theme, Layout, Design – so that items like Blog Aesthetics don’t skew the results. [If a blog is horribly ugly – people just won’t stick around generally no matter what.]

  8. Daniel Rothamel, The Real Estate Zebra

    June 24, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Is the survey perfect? Nope.

    However, as one of the people who collaborated on it’s development, I think it is a good start. Let’s be real here, something like this has never been done in any capacity. At least, not that I have ever heard of. As bloggers and people utilizing new media, doesn’t it behoove us to have at least SOME data? The way it is now, we are all kinda left to our own instincts and gut feelings as to how much traffic is “a lot” or “a little.” We know little about how much other bloggers are posting, and whether or not there is any correlation between frequency and traffic, as is often purported.

    I know that when I went on my self-imposed RSS blackout for a month, I noticed what I thought were interesting trends in blog posting frequency, but I had no way of quantifying any of it. Maybe this survey will yield some useful data.

    We all go around proclaiming the benefits of blogging. I know I do. We get asked all the time to show numbers, and we never can. I know I can’t. Perhaps this survey will be the first step towards being able to at least provide some data that could be used to quantify the benefits and best strategies for real estate blogging. I don’t think that is such a bad thing.

    Is the survey brief? You bet.

    Brevity was the point. It could have been much more comprehensive, and maybe it should be. That will be an answer that will be determined by respondents. Heck, if people are more willing to fill out one long, exhaustive survey rather than a more frequent short ones, I’m all for it.

    I think that if everyone will just give it a try, it could go a long way towards yielding some very useful results. How useful will sort of be left up to the respondents. The more, the better.

    It will be a very small first step, but at least it will be a first step. It might even be a stumble, but I think that with time, CREST could really hit its stride and provide some useful insight for the industry going forward.

  9. Danilo Bogdanovic

    June 24, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    retweeting @RealEstateZebra If you’re a real estate blogger, you’re participation in this survey would help a GREAT deal: https://is.gd/EVQ

  10. Mark Eibner

    June 24, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    we’re at it again CREST Launches Rad, New, Grassroots Social Media Research Initiative:.. https://tinyurl.com/5wqab8

  11. Bob in San Diego

    June 24, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    The way it is now, we are all kinda left to our own instincts and gut feelings as to how much traffic is “a lot” or “a little.” We know little about how much other bloggers are posting, and whether or not there is any correlation between frequency and traffic, as is often purported.

    Aside from ego, does it matter?

    we expect to find some interesting correlations between, say, number of monthly posts and number of subscribers. Or perhaps, what is the relationship between length of time as a blogger and average monthly unique visitors to the blog?

    These stats are worthless in a sales business.

  12. Jay Thompson

    June 24, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    I took the survey. Is it perfect? Of course not, and it never claimed to be.

    I find it interesting that so many are dismissing the data — before it’s even collected and analyzed.

    Statistics on subscribers is worthless??? I will be the first to admit (and I have said just this) that it is the type of subscriber or reader that matters, not so much the number. But numbers can certainly impact the bottom line. Real estate tends to be a numbers game. The more potential prospects you can reach, the better odds you have of converting a prospect to a paying client.

    There’s no question that a blog in say Phoenix, has far greater chances of reaching more people than a blog in Thousandsticks, Kentucky (or Georgia). On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that our Thousandsticks blogger might capture a significantly larger percentage of the total pool of local home buyers and sellers than I could ever hope to capture in Phoenix.

    Why not take the survey and then take a critical eye to the data?

    To dismiss it now seems premature.

  13. Heather Elias

    June 25, 2008 at 7:43 am

    I can’t wait to see the results. It’s probably true that a hyper-local blog about a small geographic area is likely to have different numbers than a hyper-local blog about a larger market, but I still think we are going to see correlation between number of posts and number of subscribers, or time since the blog began and number of subscribers. Agree with @Jay, let’s get our hands on the data before we start bashing the effort in an area that no one else has tackled thus far.. =)

  14. Danilo Bogdanovic

    June 25, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Is any survey bullet-proof? No. Can you always argue the results of ANY survey? Yes. Is having SOME kind of survey/data better than not having any? Absolutely.

    As some have said, I’d rather analyze and discuss the numbers and results of the survey/data than not having any number or results at all.

  15. Jim Reppond

    June 25, 2008 at 8:24 am

    From The Simpsons:

    Scully: Homer, we’re going to ask you a few simple yes or no questions. Do you understand?
    Homer: Yes. (lie detector blows up)

    Yep. That gave us volumes of data…..VERY Useful….

  16. Mark Eckenrode

    June 25, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    this is a nice step towards understanding the impact all this REnet activity is having on the industry. that’ll be the interesting thing and i hope one CREST pursues… like never before are consumers and agents able to communicate in such an open manner. how will the public’s perception of the industry change as a result?

  17. Matthew Rathbun

    June 26, 2008 at 6:16 am

    hahahahah “rad” hahahah Wanna go play pac-man after we watch “He-man” 🙂

    It’s a survey… It’s a start…

  18. Jeremy Hart

    June 26, 2008 at 6:36 am

    “From The Simpsons:

    Scully: Homer, we’re going to ask you a few simple yes or no questions. Do you understand?
    Homer: Yes. (lie detector blows up)

    Yep. That gave us volumes of data…..VERY Useful….”

    Thanks Jim.

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Business Marketing

“House has spark” – burning up the MLS with typos and other bloopers

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The year is starting a march toward its natural ending, friends…and it seems a few real estate careers may be also. This week I found some real head-scratchers in local real estate ads and the MLS.  However, I get submissions from all over the U.S., so no one is safe from the eyes of  the Blooper Scooper. Check out these blunders:

Do You Smell Smoke?

“House has spark” (Apparently your real estate career isn’t the only thing going up in smoke.)

“Big pep area in kitchen” (Is that the cookie jar where Mommy Dearest stashes her uppers?) 

“Dull Viking ovens” (Methinks there’s something in the cookie jar that will perk up those dull Vikings.)

“Large greenhose in back” (Large, naked Jolly Green Giant in yard.)

“Mush added to this house” (Was that the overflow from between your ears?)

I Think I See Flames

“Beautifully remolded guest” (Another cosmetically-altered Barbie hits the Hollywood party circuit.)

“Enjoy a drink poolslide” ( Hell, if the pool is sliding, I’ll need a whole pint of Jack.)

“Each bedroom has own bedrooom” (Hello-o-o, Alice, how are things down there in the rabbit hole?)

“Separate pod to build GH” (That should please my pea-sized buyers.)

“Play room for the kiss” (Something tells me this is the back seat of a ’67 Chevy.)

Still Smoldering…

“Ideal for gusts” (That’s great…if you want to live in a wind sock.)

“Impaccably detailed” (Incredibly challenged)

“Stylish pewder room” (Try burning a match.)

“Stone pillars flake driveway” (Flakey agent got stoned in driveway.)

Nothing But Embers (This Week’s Fave):

“From a bygone error” (You have just written your own epitaph.)

 

 

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Point & Purpose

What makes a top producer in real estate?

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What makes a top producer?

Stop and think for a few minutes about who the top producers are in your market?

Ok, now think about what they doing that has allowed them to continue to consistently produce in a down market, when everyday REALTORS are throwing in the towel.

Every day I scan the MLS to see, what has sold, what is active, and what went under contract (I assume that is something most agents do every day.)

Over and over again the same names pop up as the listing agent with the home that sold or the actual buying agent that sold the home.

Teams

Except for one agent in my area, all the top producers have teams. Now it may be a two person, husband and wife team or a well oiled team with a team leader, several assistants, a listing coordinator or a closing coordinator. But, they all have HELP.

In my area, the names that keep popping up are on Teams. I believe it is virtually impossible to be a top producer without help. Well, you could do it alone but if you do how is that effecting time with your family? Realistically how many transactions can you juggle and give good service?

Running a Business

The second thing I notice about those top producers is the fact that they treat their business like a business. Real Estate to them is not just selling a house, but something they brand, allocate resources for, grow and manage. Not only are they thinking of ways to grow their business but they also thinking of the future and how to sell it down the road.

I remember being told by a entrepreneur friend of mine years ago, “all businesses are built to be sold.”

Far to many REALTORS, think of Real Estate as a job they do and someday when they retire then all the hard work of creating and nurturing relationships they have built is gone. (I’m outta here)

Focused and Positive

One other observation I have observed with top producers is they are focused and positive. I never see them “hanging out at the office”, or attending broker opens, or really for that matter, serving much at all on their local boards. Oh there are a few, but really very few.

Finally, I don’t see many top producers in my market on Twitter, Facebook, Empire Avenue or other social media sites during the day. I don’t see them at every conference known to man around the country.

What I do see is they work everyday, on their business and in their business.

How ‘bout you?

Think of the top REALTORS in your market, what characteristics do you see?

Flickr Photo Credit

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Business Marketing

“New bd pans inc” – Making a Splash on the MLS

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I have two things to say this week: 1. When you drink, you can’t think. 2. When you drink you can’t- … uh, what was I saying? Oh, yes – the MLS.  It was so full of bloopers this week that I am led to conclude that happy hour started Monday and never stopped. Read these and tell me if it is any wonder I was driven to throw back a few martinis myself:

Booze ‘N’ Fools

“Free membership to gin inc” (It seems someone else beat us to it, Martini Mary.)

“Grab now use imagination” (That’s what Arnold said to his housekeeper.)

“House has new edition” (Agent lacks erudition.)

“Babblying broke runs in back” (Bumbling buffoon runs amuck.)

“Drop by for cocktail ho” (Oh, is the Sunset Strip for sale?)

Puff ‘N’ Stuff

“Near Sacramento airpot” (I believe his name is Jerry Brown.)

“Claw me for selling” (I’m too busy clawing my eyes out over your spelling.)

“Reduction on mid-century ner Holywod” (Another mid-sixties porn star is looking for work.)

“We can sake your home” (Can I get fried rice with my sake?)

Proof or Goof

“Nice streem” (Said Grandma to Grandpa after his diaper  exploded.)

“Nice for dog kids” (Uh, they’re called ‘puppies,” pal.)

“New bd pans included” (Thank you, Nurse Nancy – can you warm those first?)

“Good stable in neighborhood.” (Have you contacted Mary and Joseph?)

“Drawing for plasma” (Is this a blood-bank?)

And This Week’s Winner Is:

“Good school in areola” (Thanks for keeping me abreast of things.)

PROOF OR GOOF, FRIENDS – I’M WATCHING EWE 🙂

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