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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

This tab manager uses AI to organize and focus your web browsing

(TECHNOLOGY) Tabby isn’t the first tab manager we’ve seen, but it is one of the cooler ones. Who wouldn’t want AI to help you organize web browsing?



Logo for Tabby, a new AI-based tab manager

At one time or another, we have all been a tab hoarder. They start adding up when we are doing research, online shopping, and managing work projects. No matter what it is, we have all let tabs pile up like a stack of dirty dishes. However, several tab manager solutions can help clean up that clutter.

OneTab converts all your tabs into lists that you can later restore individually or all at once. TooManyTabs lets you preview the tabs so you can quickly find what you are looking for. Google Tabs lets you group and color code the tabs for better organization. And now Tabby, an AI-based browser assistant, manages the tabs automatically for you so you are more productive and focused.

“We built it to help everyone navigate on their browser without feeling additional fatigue due to an excess of tabs,” said Merlin Laffitte, one of Tabby’s makers. Because of more online meetings due to the pandemic, Laffitte said that he, along with his colleagues, found it difficult to focus because of the clutter created by the open tabs.

Being in a handful of online meetings myself, I know what he is talking about. Too many open tabs can be distracting and time-consuming. I have heard many people say, “I have the document pulled up.” Then, they can’t find it because it is lost among the ten, twenty, or thirty tabs they have open.

Tabby attempts to solve the pain of tab hoarding by removing unnecessary tabs without a user having to click on anything. In doing so, it makes the browser “focus-friendly.” The way the AI-based plugin works is that it takes into consideration these three main KPIs:

  • The time spent on the tab.
  • The last time you viewed the tab.
  • The frequency of viewing.

Based on these interactions, Tabby scores each tab by relevance, and makes its decision on which tab to close. Whenever a tab is removed from your browser view, Tabby will send you a notification. On the tool’s homepage, you can find the removed tabs and choose whether you would like to restore one. From there, you can also set your preferences to customize Tabby’s behavior. As you continue using it, Tabby will adapt to your habits and learn when to remove a tab when it is not being used.

Tabby is “meant to help you declutter your browser view by removing unnecessary tabs.” Currently, the product has a 5/5 review on Product Hunt, and users seem to like it. With only 25 reviews as of this writing, Tabby is still in its infancy. It’ll be interesting to see how well it does among other tab manager tools as it gains more users.

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Real Estate Technology

This law-tech tool helps tenants navigate eviction notices

(TECHNOLOGY) Law-tech tool Hello Landlord helps struggling tenants meet the eviction moratorium’s rules, but it’s greatest benefit may lie in communication.



Man seated in trunk of car, head in hands as he considers eviction. New tools may help.

For tenants behind on rent during the pandemic, being shielded from eviction for nonpayment requires strictly following rules in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s eviction moratorium that began September 4 and runs through the end of 2020.

Now the makers of website Hello Landlord, which helps tenants give notices to their landlords, have updated their free tool to meet the CDC requirements.

At, tenants submit their information and answer a series of questions, including their landlord’s name and how much money they owe. The site automatically generates a customized letter to the landlord that outlines the tenant’s circumstances and includes a promise to pay the back rent. Tenants also get a declaration document that follows the moratorium order.

In the declaration, tenants must swear they:

  • Earn no more than $99,000 annually (or $198,000 jointly).
  • Can’t pay their rent because of loss of work or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
  • Have done their best to get available housing assistance;
  • Would become homeless or have to move into a home with many people, potentially spreading the COVID-19 virus;
  • Will try to make timely partial payments.

No documentation is required, and there are no official forms.

If renters don’t qualify for protection under the new order, the site will create a letter that asks the landlord for flexibility with making rent payments.

Relationships between landlords and renters often start going south because of communication issues. That’s something Hello Landlord’s letters might head off by helping tenants communicate effectively. The letters meet the legal requirements but also sound, well, human, despite being automated. The language is informal, even conciliatory. The tenant empathizes with the landlord – acknowledging that this time is financially hard on them, too – and pledges to work together.

Some sample language: “Although the CDC’s Order may prevent my eviction, I want you to know that I am willing to work with you moving forward during this challenging time.”

Hello Landlord debuted in 2019 and was originally created by SixFifty, a software subsidiary of technology law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. They collaborated with LawX, the legal design lab at Brigham Young University’s Law School, and the Innovation for Justice (i4J) Program at University of Arizona College of Law to research causes of and solutions to the eviction crisis.

A second tool,, helps homeowners create letters to their mortgage lenders asking for accommodation in payments under the CARES Act stimulus program.

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Real Estate Technology

Beef up your security against COVID with this new environmental sensor suite

(TECH NEWS) This new security sensor can help protect your company from COVID-19 and monitor the overall health of your building.



Office setting, with spaced employees for security against COVID.

Verkada, the cloud-based physical security company, is modernizing the world of enterprise building security by enabling customers to proactively respond to COVID-19 in the office.

In June, Verkada introduced its COVID-19 Response Suite. Part of the this release included People Heatmaps. This new feature allows organizations to “identify areas that are prone to overcrowding, and find ways to disperse traffic”. In other words, it helps ensure employees are practicing social-distancing.

This week, Verkada announced the release of its new environmental sensor product line, and its product, SV11. This all-in-one environmental sensor monitors changes that are happening in your physical space. The product is made from photochemically engineered stainless steel mesh that filters out large particles. The integrated sensors measure air quality, temperature, humidity, motion, and noise. Then, all the data is reported back to users for regular monitoring and analysis.

“The SV11 sensor is a cloud-based sensor that seamlessly integrates with the Verkada ecosystem of products,” said Jeff Chase, a product marketing manager for Verkada, in a recent video. “The SV11 can be used across all indoor environments and can meet the needs for a wide range of use cases, including simple remote monitoring of facilities.”

In the security system’s web-based command platform, users can see all the sensors, and can quickly scan real-time data for each location. Live footage and current readings are easy to view. Custom thresholds can be set for each sensor so a user can receive alerts as they happen. This is helpful so you can know when a server room is getting too warm, or when the TVOC (total volatile organic compounds) level is too high.

“Our customers are responsible for the systems that keep facilities online, and our mission is to give those administrators the best possible tools to do their jobs,” said Filip Kaliszan, CEO and co-founder of Verkada. “Whether it be monitoring the status of a server room, the temperature of a patient room in a hospital, or the air quality of a school, the SV11 gives facilities and staff unprecedented visibility and control over the sites they’re responsible for keeping safe and secure.”

With more companies bringing their workforce back into the office, Verkada’s security system can give them visibility on what’s going on at work. And with the valuable information rendered by the sensors, they can gain insights into what they can do to keep their employees safe.

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