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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?

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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 Zappos.com. 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

Do you give out your phone number? You may want to rethink…

(TECHNOLOGY) As a real estate agent, its tempting to give out your number to whoever asks for it. But be cautious of what exactly you’re giving out.

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Man giving out phone number using his phone representing addiction.

Friendly reminder: You do not need to share your cell phone number with everyone.

This sounds like a simple statement, but with the abundance of accounts and reliance on technology for pure convenience, most people freely give away their personal numbers without considering the consequences.

An extension of yourself

As the dependency on smartphones has increased, privacy standards have decreased.

Using a phone number to unlock an account or shop online is so common that many people don’t think twice before typing it in.

Even if this nonchalant attitude has never led to anything detrimental, there is always the possibility of your account being hacked. Having your phone number attached to this account will only make everything worse. For example, if a hacker finds their way into a Macy’s database, they can use the phone numbers tied to member accounts to access other information.

By simply knowing your cell phone number, all the accounts associated with it are jeopardized.

Think of how many times you have been asked for your cell phone number. Of course, disregard the interested strangers, family and friends and you’ll find that this sharing still occurs multiple times throughout the week. Email and social media pages may ask for it to verify your account. Retailers may ask for it for marketing purposes.

Bank accounts, rewards programs, and even ordering a pizza requires you to share your number.

Keep it secret, keep it safe

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prevent hackers from stealing your information.

The first thing is simple, don’t share your phone number with everyone. Just because a customer service representative or online form asks for your number does not mean that it is required. You can deny their request if it is not mandatory. Second, don’t open links sent via text from numbers you do not recognize. Sending these links is a common way hackers use phone numbers to access other information.

You can also have a separate phone number for personal use to limit contact from spammers and unknown callers.

Never be afraid to ask questions when it comes to your privacy. Though freely sharing personal information is the norm these days, it does not mean that you have to participate.

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Real Estate Technology

Rating the quality of your meetings could create more efficient work teams

(TECHNOLOGY) SurveySparrow has a plugin that allows you to rate meetings. It could help you and your team evaluate and improve future meetings.

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We love data. We are in a data-driven world. We like giving our feedback via customer reviews, social media comments, surveys, and Twitter (yes, Bob, everyone knows your flight was delayed). Tell us what the data says. Well, it might be a great time to finally get some data on all those meetings you’ve been having.

Many people are sick of meetings; we sit in a lot of them that then need follow-ups because either we didn’t have an agenda, or we didn’t get through the agenda. There also may be additional meetings because no one really knows what is going on, or people are unable to have a solid plan in place (thanks to the global pandemic) and require more frequent check-ins/status updates.

Perhaps we’d all dread meetings less if they could be improved and justified as a much better use of time. G suite just made available a free plugin, by SurveySparrow, that could possibly help your company improve your meetings:

RateTheMeeting helps you improve meetings by collecting feedback to understand what works and what doesn’t for your teams, divisions, or company. With this data (feedback), it might be possible to stick to agendas and the purpose of the meeting, prevent topics that require a separate discussion and make sure that everyone’s time is well spent. It syncs to your calendar and automatically follows up with attendees to collect feedback after each meeting. You can see how it works on YouTube here.

While this seems like a helpful tool, the biggest hurdle may come from management first. They may not want feedback on meetings if they feel that meetings are necessary and the most valuable way to communicate for their teams. It also might be one more data set that they have to sort and mine.

Next, employees may not want to rate each meeting on top of their already busy schedules. They likely would only want to do this if it would make real change within the meeting culture of the organization. Either way, it might be nice to just offer a thumbs up or thumbs down for each meeting (for funsies?).

It’s always hard to please everyone, so you’ll just have to decide if adding this function is more trouble than it’s worth.

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Real Estate Technology

20 free professional marketing tools to kickstart growth for your business

(TECHNOLOGY) Running a small business is a ton of work and you need all the help you can get. Here are 20 free tools that help make it a little easier.

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digital tools

When running your business, big or small, you’re only as good as what’s in your arsenal. This applies to your ability to be creative and think on your feet, as well as to have tangible tools at your disposal.

Below, we’ve outlined 20 of the top free tools that are designed to help grow your business – let us know in the comments what you love or what you’d add!

  1. Google Analytics – this is a definite need. With the world continuing to grow more and more digital, it’s necessary to know how your business is operating in the online realm. Google Analytics provides data about your small business, including traffic to your site and clicks on links. It gives you an idea of who is visiting and when, allows you to track your goals, and generate audience reports. Google also offers virtual classes that teach you how to master the platform.
  2. Hotjar – want to understand exactly how visitors are using your site without getting lost in the shuffle of numbers and data? Hotjar is where it’s at. You can see a user’s behavior and their exact process of perusing the site. There are also tools like feedback polls that allow your audience to interact with you when using your site.
  3. Canva – this is one of the best visual tools to create graphics for your company, both to print for physical display and to use on social media. The platform is easy-to-use and allows for a myriad of sizing options, backgrounds, and stock images.
  4. ProProfs Help Desk – this is a ticketing system that allows your visitors to contact customer service and start a thread of communication; all while keeping everything ticketed and organized. This also allows for shared inboxes, ticket resolution via chat, and ticket reduction up to 80% with knowledge base.
  5. JungleScout – this is your best friend when it comes to learning to sell on Amazon. Regardless of where you are in your seller journey, this tool will help you maximize your skillset.
  6. Kickstarter – crowdsourcing for your business without giving away the equity. This lets you recruit micro-investors and donors for your new business venture.
  7. MailChimp – This is an all-in-one tool that is necessary for all small business users. According to their website, “Bring your audience data, marketing channels, and insights together so you can reach your goals faster. With Mailchimp, you can promote your business across email, social, landing pages, shoppable landing pages, postcards, and more — all from a single platform.”
  8. Shopify – this platform has helped over one million businesses around the world and is continuing to help small businesses thrive. Shopify allows users to create and design an eCommerce website that is backed by helpful tools that help discover new customers, drive sales, and manage your business’s day-to-day operations.
  9. Buffer – provides simple social media tools that receive authentic engagement. Tell the story of your brand while growing your audience. The platform includes publishing, analytics, and engagement.
  10. Qualaroo – this is a customer and user feedback software that states its value as ten times higher than email surveys. It comes with what you need for useful feedback, including AI-powered analytics and reports.
  11. Zapier – a platform to connect your apps and automate workflow. Zapier moves information automatically between your web applications, allowing for more focus on the most important work.
  12. Doodle – a scheduling platform that allows meetings to be booked faster and smarter. No more need for an hour of back-and-forth emailing in order to nail down a meeting time.
  13. Docracy – a home for contracts and other legal documents, created by the community that uses them. The idea is to make these common documents easily available for everyone.
  14. Slack – the ideal way to communicate with your team and keep everyone on the same page at all times. This is a central communication hub where you and your team will stay in the loop, ask questions, and share updates.
  15. GoDaddy Website Builder – this is an extremely user-friendly tool that allows you to build websites that looks as though you paid someone hundreds to build it for you. There are many options for customization, and they have the tools that help your site look great on both desktop and mobile.
  16. ToDoIst – For many, it’s impossible to stay organized without the use of a to-do list. With this tool, you (and your team!) can stay organized with the most important tasks and priorities.
  17. Grammarly – When writing copy for your business’s brand, it is important to have as many eyes read through it as possible for any errors. Grammarly is a tool where you can plug your copy in and it will automatically find and highlight any grammar errors or typos. You can never be too careful!
  18. AdobeSign – Formerly known as EchoSign, this tool allows for paperless signatures that help make signing contracts and agreements as easy as the swipe of a finger.
  19. Sumo – a platform filled with tools to help you grow your website. It’s a free email capturing tool that takes only seconds to sign up.
  20. Pixabay – We don’t always have the time or the money to take photos to go along with our website copy and social media posts. Pixabay helps alleviate that need with free stock images that will help your message pop.

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