Dear Ginny WTH:
I have a two-office, 40-agent real estate brokerage and I want to take advantage of marketing through social networking. I have a LinkedIn page which I’m maintaining and updating and now want to do something on Facebook. One thing I’m confused about is the differences between Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups. Which is the best for a small brokerage like mine?
-Small Broker, Hoboken, New Jersey
Dear Small Broker,
This is a great question and I just had a client facing the same situation. There are definite differences between the two. What I recommended to my client was to keep his personal page then set up a Group page behind that where he would update and send invitations to his real estate training and coaching webinars. It allowed him to have a forum in which to deliver a message broadly, while maintaining a personal page which he could also use in his business through additional message postings.
Here are some of the reasons for my recommendation:
- Facebook Groups are easier to find by Facebook users. Groups are searchable by keywords. For Facebook Pages, people will have to type in the business name in order to find.
- You can message all members of the Group and the notice shows up in their inbox for maximum attention. In Pages there are more options for posting different types of messages, but it’s almost overkill for small business.
- All activities are picked up in the Group feed, posts, discussion, photos, etc., which provides a lot more visibility than Pages which segments and tends to split up information.
- Groups tend to be more informal, which can, in itself, feel more social.
- Groups offer lots of control over who to involve. There are three different types of groups: Open (anyone can join); Closed (the group owner/admins have to approve all members); Secret (only the members and invitees know the group even exists).
- Facebook Pages do allow for more interactivity and media but Groups also allow the upload other media.
- Groups allow you to send out “bulk invites” to invite all your friends to join the Group while with Pages you will be forced to drop invites manually.
- Groups are better for viral marketing, because any Group member can also send bulk invites to friends.
- Groups are generally better for hosting a quick, active discussion and attracting quick attention.
- When you take actions on your Group, such as posting on your Group’s wall, these actions will appear to come from you as an individual.
Right now, Pages are considered more for large Corporate Brands and musicians and not more local offerings. So unless your first name is Bonovox, I’d say forgo the “Fan Page” and go for the more communal Group page.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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