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Real Estate Technology

Are video retargeting ads the industry’s next big marketing push?

Retargeting ads aren’t new, but throw in some video, and the real estate industry is likely to glom on – is this feasible for individual agents?



retargeting ads

Brand retargeting has some big players already. Think about when you have scrolled through the DSW shoe site, didn’t find what you wanted, so you cruised to Then, aha…wait… those glorious shoes of your dreams were there. They were glittering in your mind’s eye. That true sweet perfection you were seeking. Yeah, but you didn’t buy them. As the attention-span-of-a-gnat that you have become since the dawn of social media, imagine this if you will: a couple of minutes pass.

You are now on Facebook lol’ing at your dog-plus-cat “Happy” video, and whammy – side bar feed of your freshly picked out shoes from Zappos appear. Hmmm… Interesting. A day later, you’re on the local news station site:  oh, hello there… sneaky shoes. You’ve been Zappos’d again. This is effective retargeting.

Papa’s got a brand new bag

What does this have to do with real estate you ask?  Well, those who are in the know, are well aware that retargeting has been a tool in the toolbox with our buddies at Zillow for some time now. I have to tell you that I see Chris Speicher, Co-founder for the Speicher Group of Olney, Maryland more than he may know. I dig the guy. Well played, my friend. Well played. Imagine though, if Chris were in motion. If he were not just a static photo of a happy-go-lucky, world-class agent that I know that he already is? Imagine for a second that his retargeted messaging through Zillow had video content of one of the many beautiful homes that I know he and his phenomenal team had in their portfolio.

Speicher Group is already working on this tactic within their own firm, which is going to set this team up for even more staggering growth. Retargeted marketing is on its way, Olney, Maryland! Let me tell you first of all that in 2010, Chris and his wife did six transactions. Last year, they did 110. This year, they are set up to do 250. Yowzahs. They are on fire, and with a team of twelve, who are all working their online lead pillars highly effectively, the retargeted marketing campaign they are creating for their hyper-local Maryland market is going to explode even further.

The vision in video

“Video is a great idea and is the next natural progression for those on the cutting edge vertical,” Speicher said when asked about the idea of adding the video element to the retargeted marketing campaign. “In fact, we’re about to launch it on our site.” It is a huge opportunity for firms with small teams to get top of mind with their clients who have been navigating their site, sending out favorites via their social media platforms and they get retargeted messaging about that specific home that they have been looking at on the Speicher Group’s site.

The retargeting platform they are creating in-house would pull together the video of homes and even highlight the purchase process, bringing the consumer experience full-circle all from a one-time origination on their site. He came up with the idea while in conversation with his contacts at Boomtown and Hubspot. Speicher is the full-time business organization and development visionary for their business, and his wife, Peggy Lyn is their superstar agent. This dynamo agent will go on up to twenty-five listing appointments a week; way to rock it out, Peggy Lyn! Together, the Speichers have cultivated a spectacular business platform that still has room to grow. Someone is doing something right!

Some next level brand retargeting

Remember, retargeting is just a mere step in a complex system of campaign, brand management and strategy. Think of it this way, you are trying to become relevant with your prospects, so that they are seeing you and staying top of mind. You can’t just count on them coming to your site and then being done with it. The nurturing still needs to happen. Some folks have created platforms to make the process of retargeting much more simplified. This is incredible; it makes those of us who don’t know coding, or apps or how the “interweb” really, truly works eyes get all starry eyed, but to this end, also comes a big question.

Can this type of retargeting work for a single agent?

Speicher mentions that, “unless an individual has created a large enough brand in and of themselves, retargeting may be cost prohibitive.” My continuation of his thought was that not only would it be a cost prohibitive marketing endeavor, the campaign could possibly be completely pointless, maybe even lost in the shuffle, if there is no major brand identity to latch onto for the consumer. Focused-retargeting will be the way to go and that first interaction with the agent’s site will be the reason they come back for more.

The video gurus

When considering the brilliance of this type of retargeting, there are some amazing app developers that come to mind that come from the wheelhouse of creating video content, and are now making retargeting with video as their main advertising stream. Take for example Fuel451, formerly ignite video, which has recently launched to create retargeted branding with a focus on cost-effective, retargeted branding with video content for the underdog.

What I mean by that is the average agent out there is not Anthropologie, who has a killer retargeted marketing campaign. I will admit to falling victim to it, and yes. Yes, I bought the flipping dress because I broke down after seeing it fifteen times across multiple avenues of web-dom. Does this mean it will happen with real estate? We shall see. Maybe the addition of movement, and that non-static image will be the key. What Fuel451 has to say about themselves: “Online video advertising is now within your reach.  Fuel451 helps you create and launch online ad campaigns, so you can retarget potential customers and bring them back to your site…Our technology constantly measures your ad performance and makes the next ad even better. Fuel451 does the work for you, so you can focus on what’s important — your business and your customers.”

Some aren’t going to be able or willing to do the heavy lifting on a project like this themselves, so brokerages will be considering firms like Fuel451. Quinn Regan, Director of  Business Development at Fuel451 is in full-tilt build mode. From my discussions with him, their team can create the ad, and do the tracking and measuring. This sounds ideal for the independent agents and small teams who don’t have huge marketing geniuses behind them creating applications and the like.

Hitting the target

For now, there are a select few agents out there, maybe like the Speicher Group and those who have subscribe to Zillow’s Premiere Agent platform who get to take advantage of the retargeting rage. Will video be the next big thing? It sounds like the hyper-local focused retargeting campaigns will become a wonderful option for those looking to get known by their community.

Real Estate agents who are the “one-off” will still need to build up their brand awareness prior to kicking off a big campaign. They should think big like the Speicher Group and do test campaigns, but be able to support them before launching. Working with a company like Fuel451 can help take the guess work out of building a product from scratch, because those types of firms can do it all for you.  Do your research first and get to know the products available if you are looking to be the retargeting master in your target market.

Genevieve Concannon brings business savvy, creativity and conscientiousness to the table in real estate and social media, marrying marketing and sustainability while setting herself and Real Living at Home apart from the masses. She is a hardcore sustainability nerd, even founding the well known Green Drinks events.

Real Estate Technology

New tool translates your phone calls into 29 languages – LIVE

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) There’s no need for a language to language dictionary any longer. A lingvanex tool allows for real-time translation on phone calls in different languages.



lingvanex translates in real time

If you’ve read a few things that I’ve written on here, you know that I often marvel at how far remote work has come. The fact that I write this as my dog sits beside me is no small feat.

What teams can accomplish in a virtual setting is pretty impressive, and tools like Slack and Trello are very helpful in this regard. However, remote workers still utilize the tried and true phone call as it remains a tool of efficiency.

This can be especially helpful if you’re working with team members or clients in other countries when a translator may need to be involved. This concept was the inspiration behind the Lingvanex Phone Call Translator.

The new tool translates voice calls into 29 different languages in real time. Working on both mobile phones and landlines, users can call countries all around the world (150 countries in total are available through the app).

This option is cheaper than roaming calls, starting at 18 cents per minute through use of VoIP. The conversation is then transcribed in real time with the details of the conversation being available only to the user, as Lingvanex does not store conversation data.

“We are happy to represent you the Phone Call Translator – a real-time voice translator, which was created to help in solving questions in travel situations and urgent business problems with foreigners or help in communicating with friends abroad,” says Lingvanex. “You can speak your native language when you call through the app. Your partner and you will hear the translation of both callers during the call, the original speech and translation will also be duplicated on the phone screen.”

The app works in a few simple steps: first, download to your device (works on both Android and iOS). Next, register and create application account – during this, you’ll select your default language. Then, you will select the language of the person you are calling. Make the call by dialing the phone number with the country code. Finally, chat it up walkie-talkie style.

Say what you need to say, then Phone Call Translator takes your words and transcribes them for the person on the other end. This could be very helpful as it gives you an extra moment to think about what to say next!

Do you think this will be helpful for you? Let us know below!

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Real Estate Technology

Should digital assistants have empathy? Big investors say yes

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Bonding with your digital assistant might be more likely than you expect with ElliQ. The rising numbers of AI assistants have created unique interactions.



ElliQ assistant

It sounds crazy to think that you could form an actual bond with something like Siri or Alexa, but actually, humans are pretty dang good at forming emotional connections to machines. For instance, a Canadian company threw an entire retirement party for five mail delivery bots. People will use Roombas as a substitute for companionship, not unlike a cat or dog. Humans just seem to enjoy connection – even if it’s with a lifeless robot.

Intuition Robotics is taking this desire for emotional connection a step further by working to create digital assistants that can more easily bond with their human companions. At the moment, their biggest product is ElliQ, a robotic digital assistant designed to bond with eldery users. In fact, according to Intuition Robotics, their average demographic falls between ages 78 – 97.

And ElliQ seems to be doing its job. The company reports that customers interact with ElliQ regularly throughout the day, even holding conversations with the machine, and are more likely to listen to ElliQ’s suggestions, which often include proactive behavior like getting outdoors or eating more vegetables.

By working to create a more empathetic and emotional digital AI, Intuition Robotics has started to discover a whole world of new possibilities. And they’re just getting started, having recently raised another $36 million to continue research.

One of their plans? Combining these empathetic digital assistants with the automotive industry.

Imagine an assistant that could suggest you pull over when it senses you’re getting drowsy, or provide something to talk to during longer drives. Plus, unlike ElliQ, which stays put while you move around, you and the assistant will be together in a car, making it easier for the AI to learn your preferences and habits.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg for Intuition Robotics, which has recently majorly expanded its workforce. A digital assistant that can provide a better emotional connection to humans has a world of possible applications, from nursing homes to elementary schools.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons to be worried about a more empathetic AI – the marketing capabilities alone are something I’m side-eyeing. That said, humans have been befriending vacuum cleaners and we’ve turned out alright, so for now, let’s focus on the positive possibilities that could come with tech from companies like Intuition Robotics.

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Real Estate Technology

Moving just got a lot easier with this NAR invested app

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Worried about moving? There’s an app for that, updater, and NAR has taken notice. They want to help their customers from beginning to end.



updater app

Moving isn’t exactly a walk in the park. There’s coordinating movers, finding boxes, cancelling services, changing your mailing address on, well, everything, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! With so much to do, it’s easy to get overwhelmed but good news: turns out, there’s an app for that. And it’s promising enough that the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) have invested in it.

The app in question is Updater, which serves as a one-stop shop for everything you’d need for a move. Not only can the app help you craft your moving “to-do” list, but with its connection to all sorts of businesses involved in the moving process (from moving truck companies to cable services) you can keep all your prep in one place. Essentially, Updater is designed to make moving as stress-free as possible.

Updater’s current successes have drawn Second Century Ventures, the venture capital section of NAR, to invest in Updater. Which is cool, but why would a company focused on realtors want to help a company that focuses on what happens after a realtor has done their job?

“Updater’s platform delivers unique value to Realtors®, property managers and consumers alike,” said Mark Birschbach, senior VP of Strategic Business at NAR, “This investment is well aligned with SCV’s mission to support and advance technologies throughout the entire real estate ecosystem.”

Plus, Updater is a great tool for realtors to have in their back pocket. If a client seems nervous about moving or overwhelmed, Updater is a great recommendation. Not only does it help the mover, but it shows that the realtor cares about their client’s well-being, even after the deed is signed.

So, what’s next for Updater? Growth. Recently, Updater acquired Bridgevine, a company that works with home subscription services like cable and internet. This merger will allow Updater to offer more options to users while also increasing their reach. This is the first in what will likely be many growth initiatives for Updater.

David Greenberg, founder and CEO of Updater, is also looking forward to the partnership with NAR. “We’re excited to deepen our great relationship with SCV and NAR by investing heavily in the real estate industry and by enabling Realtors® and property managers to deliver an unrivaled moving experience.”

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