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I heart real estate video blogging and why you should too

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Lani’s article What you should read into stats about the growth of web video did a beautiful job breaking down the numbers for web video. The data is undeniable; web video’s potential for growth is enormous. Think back to just a few years ago when social media was proclaimed as the next big thing. Many agents thought it a passing phase, yet low and behold social media is well on its way to global domination. Some agents now find themselves playing catch up, and having to shell out the dough for overpriced social media tutelage.

Well if web video is indeed the next wave, you can bet there will be some enterprising opportunists hocking fancy-shmancy “webvideo packages” down the line. As the starlet of my own little unpretentious videoblog HabitatforHermanity.com, let me save you a few dollars in the future with a these web video tips you can use now.

Everyone and their grandma is facebooking, tweeting & blogging now. There is so much noise on-line, it is increasingly hard to break through. Cutting and pasting other people’s sales stats & articles in your blog, just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Starting a videoblog is a great way to stay ahead from the pack. It’s a very relatively untouched tool amongst realtors. Do it now, and do it first before everyone else in market is throwing up videos of themselves. Corner this niche now.

Short & Sweet

As a culture, we suffer from A.D.D. Attention spans are shorter than Paris Hilton’s mini-skirts. Keep your videos short, sweet & to the point. You doing a webcast, not reciting War & Peace. I am a big proponent of 1-3 minutes webcasts. Do not drone on and on. A viewer will think “If s/he is boring on video, s/he’ll be boring in person. Next!”

Smile

Start and end your video showing off those pearly whites. Be natural, personable & and let a light hearted sense of humor show. A little warmth goes a long way. Besides, no one wants to watch (much less work with) a sour puss.

Sell Sell Sell…Not!

It’s ok to highlight your listings once in a blue moon, but avoid using video as a direct sales tool. Some agents resort to solely showcasing their listings because a) they are vain b) they can’t think of anything else to shoot. What ends up happening is the viewer feels they are watching a late night infomercial. The agent appear to have an agenda (Tsk tsk tsk). The agent may want the viewer to buy buy buy, but the viewer is thinking bye bye bye.

“…and to our left, we have the local cemetery…”

If positioning yourself as a neighborhood specialist is your angle, give your viewers valuable content: demographics, what’s trending, school info, and recent interesting comp. Some agents make videos of local attractions & landmarks, as if that matters to clients. That doesn’t make you a neighborhood expert. It makes you a tour guide!

Be Opinionated

It doesn’t matter what your opinion is, just have one! That is why people will tune into your videos. They want your take on the market. They want your point of view about the right (and wrong) time to buy. Sometimes agents are scared to reveal too much about their true feelings for fear of offending people. Well, guess what? Consumers are starved for your true feelings. Your authenticity is what sets you apart and will endear you to them.

Start Simple

Before you go booking out a green screen studio, camera(wo)man, sound guy and editor, try a simple webcast from your webcam, Flipcam or Kodak zi8. Not everyone is born with my style, panache, class & modesty. Practice makes perfect. (Actually a more amateur vibe isn’t a bad thing. It lends a more accessible feel to videos.)

Look Presentable

Try your best to not look like a slob. Aside from looking unprofessional, you don’t want to be immortalized with bed-head hair. Once you post these videos, they will exist somewhere online in perpetuity. Watch your oily T-Zone too. A shiny forehead is worse than a foreclosure.

“You like me.. You really like me!”

The best thing about videoblogging is that by the time someone calls you, they have already decided to work with you. Most likely, they have been following your videos and like what they see. They are a fan! Isn’t it nice when people seek YOU out? Versus you groveling for their business? (Also, it saves clients time when looking for a realtor. They don’t have to interview a slew of agents, and then waste several weekends to find out they don’t like their agent’s personality.)

Warning: If u have a personality of a dial tone, vlogging probably isn’t for you. And that is ok! It’s like social media; it’s not for everyone. Neither are magic bullets, but both can be great extensions of your brand & business if you really enjoy putting yourself out there.

Watch Real Estate Expert Herman Chan put the REAL back in REALTY. In his show Habitat for Hermanity, Herman skewers the real estate business and pokes fun at his fellow agents, all the while empowering buyers & sellers with behind-the-scene tips & secrets of the industry! Get a glimpse beyond the glitz & glam of real estate. It's a hot mess! Featured on HGTV, House Hunters & other media outlets, Herman is the undisputed Real Estate Maven whose helpful & hilarious commentary you just can't live without! In fact, his real estate TV show has just been optioned in Hollywood!

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. BawldGuy

    December 9, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    It was worth reading if only for the phrase, “…personality of a dial tone.”

  2. Joe Zekas

    December 9, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I suppose it’s useful to see all of the wrong-headed and misguided notions about how real estate agents should use video rounded up in a single post. This post does a great job on that front.

    We’ve been a YouTube channel partner for over 4 years, and have nearly 2,000 real estate videos online at our YouTube.com/YoChicago1 and other channels. We have lots of experience with what works and what doesn’t, and I’ll share some of that with you.

    People want to look at property, not at real estate agents, no matter how great the agent looks, or how much he or she knows. They also want to see neighborhoods through the eyes of a knowledgeable agent who can talk intelligently about what the kinds of housing they see cost, what they’re like, how they live, etc. A driving tour with on-the-spot, consumer-focused commentary works well.

    Forget video blogging. It’s stupid and a waste of your time, and will only accomplish what agents have historically been good at: trivializing, trashing and cluttering any useful media so that the agents who know how to use it well gain no competitive advantage from doing so. Taking dumb slide shows and adding irritating music is a huge step in the direction of killing real estate video – consumers hate that stuff and hate the people who bait them into thinking they’ll get to watch a real video.

    If you want to kill real estate video as a useful tool, by all means follow the advice in this post.

    • Benjamin Ficker

      December 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm

      What a ridiculous response to the article. Nowhere does the author say to “Taking dumb slide shows and adding irritating music…”

      You may be correct in talking about listings for your videos, if your target is buyers who don’t necessarily care who sells them a home. That’s fine. My target audience, and other agents I know (that get 10+ listings per month from their video blogging efforts), is an audience of home sellers who want to know who they are working with. They want to know that the agent knows what they are talking about.

      I believe that no matter who your target audience is, you need to be the expert. I don’t think videos of walking through a home make you an expert. I agree with Herman that “they can’t think of anything else to shoot.”

      • Joe Zekas

        December 9, 2010 at 3:49 pm

        I know what the author said. What I said was that I’d offer some of what we’ve learned about using video. That’s what I did.

        Agents who get 10+ listings from their video blogging per month? Sorry, but you’ll have to give links to those blogs for anyone to believe you. And, responding that those agents can’t be publicly identified for any reason just increases suspicion that they don’t exist.

        • Benjamin Ficker

          December 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm

          Fred Weaver and Kevin Kauffman with Group 46:10 in Tempe AZ.
          ShortSalePowerhour.com and MyFirstShortSale.com

          I’ve thrown those links around in MANY of my comments lately, I didn’t want anything to think I was schilling for them.

          The line about picture slide shows is in a paragraph that is trying to discredit the use of video blogging, which is what the author is talking about. And then you end it with “If you want to kill real estate video as a useful tool, by all means follow the advice in this post.” You are not talking about what you do, you are telling everybody that reads this article that it is a waste of time. Which it maybe in your market, not in everyones market.

          • Joe Zekas

            December 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm

            Some pretty funny stuff. Note the YouTube user name on the first link you provided: YumaCriminal96. Bet that has strong appeal to sellers. In any event, the channel’s good for another warning to real estate agents: don’t pirate other people’s images for captioning your videos. Unless you’re a Yuma Criminal.

            Of the 64 videos online from your second link (same dudes, no?), none has received more than 3 dozen views and most haven’t even been viewed 10 times. Anyone can see those stats on YouTube and measure your claim that the agents get 10+ listings per month from them against the hard numbers. And wonder how many of those views are from other agents.

            And anyone can watch these guys in action and guess just how much confidence they inspire in potential sellers. You can probably guess my guess.

            I own a company (Data Based Ads) that does print ads for major brokerage firms across the country and Internet applications for major newspapers from the Chicago Tribune to the LA Times to the Wall Street Journal. I suspect I’m familiar with agent behavior. I suspect that I’ve had far more contact with far more agents in far more markets than you have.

  3. Marc

    December 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Third Reich?

    As William Goldman once wrote, “sometimes, the best lines get left on the cutting room floor.”
    That include the not so great lines either.

    A little editing and sensitivity is a cheap but wise accessary for any writer or content producer. Consider these along with your collective embrace of social media.

  4. Benjamin Ficker

    December 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    @Joe – They have 58 active/active with contingency listings and 107 closed listings year to date. That’s not including buyer sides. If I had a way to send you the pdf of their business as evidence, I would. So yeah, I think they are great at inspiring confidence in their clients. I know these guys personally. I have worked with them. I know that their business comes from their websites and word of mouth. Good luck in the print ad business.

  5. FlatFeeRealty.com

    December 9, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    I think I should stay out of this conversation. Not a fan of the corny video blogging.

  6. Bruce Lemieux

    December 9, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    I find Fred and Kevin to be very informative and engaging. Herman’s 1-3 minute rule is a good one. I’ve got ADD and will click ‘next’ if I’m bored after 10 seconds. I can’t get through one of my own videos, but I can watch 5 minutes or more with these guys.

    Looking at just their YT plays, they are doing exceptionally well. Each recent vid has at least 100-300 views and they are really consistent. And their niche – short sales – is clearly defined. Arizona must be the most competitive RE blog market in the country, yet they seem to have a very loyal following.

    From all accounts, they appear to be a very good model for what an average agent can do with video to attract business (not saying they are average, because they aren’t)

  7. Herman Chan

    December 9, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    hi y’all!
    it’s really not that complicated. do what works for u & your market, be it print, vids, door knocking , prayer, yadda yadda. . that’s what makes this business so great. we run our individual business the way we want.

    have a prosperous 2011!

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Tech News

Defense startups are getting beaucoup bucks from the DoD

(TECH NEWS) Some tech companies are getting large venture capital because the Department of Defense is looking for new defense startups.

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military looking defense startups

While private investors remain wary of funding defense startups, they are still keeping an eye on the possible venture opportunities. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is hoping domestic investors will increase spending into these startups in order to compete with China’s strategy of creating private equity firms to invest into foreign technologies.

A major reason for the growing interest by venture capitalists is the shift in focus from traditional weapons to tools for information warfare, meaning software and tech systems. Defense startups are creating products that may have multiple benefits outside the DoD.

Changes in the defense venture landscape are slow with all three parties learning how to benefit from one another. Startups realize working with the DoD is a “mission-driven objective” as stated by Ryan Tseng, founder of Shield AI. “We went into this eyes wide open, knowing full well that to the venture community, the math doesn’t make sense.”

However, there are several big investor players already in the game. Andreessen Horowitz, a top-tier venture fund is banking on the economic sustainability of defense startups in the future. They’ve already invested in Shield AI and defense tech company Anduril Industries. Additionally, the Founders Fund, another big name venture firm led by Silicon investors Peter Thiel, Brian Singerman, and Ken Howery is investing in Anduril and goTenna after successfully backing SpaceX and Palantir Technologies.

Defense companies’ emphasis on tech could be the answer to challenges usually associated with DoD investments like competing against dominate manufacturers with steady government contracts and long procurement cycles. U.S. Code 2377 stipulates that commercially available items be considered first in procurement efforts. If defense startups can enter the market, they will also stand a chance of winning government contracts over bigger, traditional companies, thus diversifying the playing field.

But until there is a greater guarantee of a payoff, investors are likely to remain skeptical. The possibilities for this new generation of defense companies is going to needs some more wins to prove the future is in their corner.

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Goal-based project management tool simplifies your work life

(TECH NEWS) If you are struggling to keep tasks straight then this new tool Qoals allows for a simpler and more straightforward way to accomplish goals as a team.

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Qoals pitch

We all have goals – whether they be personal, professional, financial, etc. Anyone can set a goal, all it takes is having a thought and assigning it a certain level of importance. However, not everyone completes their goals due to the oft difficulties and confusions associated with execution.

Like anything else, if there’s a will, there’s a way. A new way has been found in the form of Qoals – a simple and straightforward tool that helps you to get aligned around business goals instead of an endless wall of tasks.

The ability to complete goals is done through: setting goals, adding tasks, collecting things, and tracking progress. With this, everyone on your team has access to this information to keep tabs on what’s happening.

With setting goals, you create and prioritize your goals, letting your team members know which ones are most important at that time. Goals can be prioritized with tabs such as: long term, short term, and urgent. By adding tasks, you can add and assign tasks to set a clear path in order to complete set goals.

In collecting things, you collect resources related to your goal and keep them in one safe place (again, this is accessible to your whole team). This doesn’t require uploading files, but simply including links to resources to keep everything easily accessible. Finally, by tracking progress, everyone on the team can see where you’re at with your goals – which saves time with the follow ups of “how’s Goal X going?”

Why did Qoals develop this goal-oriented approach? “It’s about time we simplify things,” according to the official website. “Get aligned around goals and let everyone know what’s important for the business. Add goals under various projects and start adding tasks and resources to make that goal happen.”

Additionally, Qoals boasts that this provides users with a birds-eye view of what’s happening with their team, allowing them to be more human-centric. You can create unlimited projects, set and track your goals, collected everything related to said goal, keep the discussion relevant, access your tasks with one click, stay connected to your team, and see what’s going on at a glance.
Qoals is currently in beta.

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7 ways AI will transform health care

(TECH NEWS) Instead of worrying about the singularity of AI technology, let’s shine a ray of hope, and show one of the best ways to use AI robots.

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robot AI health care

Artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized business practices across many industries. With 39% of health care providers investing in AI-related technologies, it’s safe to say it’s about to transform the medical industry as well. AI’s disruptive potential may increase profits in other sectors, but in health care, it can save lives.

While robots aren’t quite ready to replace doctors, they can help them accomplish their tasks with higher speed and precision. AI in the hospital is not just a thing of the future, either. All around the world, smart machines are already assisting medical staff in a variety of ways.

As this technology refines, machine learning will become an increasingly regular part of medicine. Here are seven ways AI will transform health care in the coming years.

1. Robot-Assisted Surgery

It may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but surgery robots are already in use. In 2017, more than 690,000 surgeries were assisted by robots in the U.S. alone. As these machines continue to demonstrate their worth, they’ll appear in more operating rooms.

Robotic surgeons like the da Vinci Surgical System offer more precise and less invasive movements than human hands and traditional tools. With AI, they can improve upon surgical methods. AI-enabled surgery bots can notice reactions in a patient invisible to the human eye and make necessary adjustments.

2. Early Diagnoses

Intelligent programs can quickly analyze vast amounts of information. This unique talent makes AI ideal for making preliminary diagnoses in patients. Smart machines can take note of patients’ symptoms and interpret them to make an early diagnosis while doctors make their rounds.

The accuracy of these diagnoses will improve as AI develops, but even at its current state, they can be useful. Doctors can use them as a starting-off point. A list of likely diagnoses can be a helpful resource to doctors when trying to diagnose patients as quickly as possible. They might also make health care professionals consider options they otherwise wouldn’t have thought of, increasing accuracy.

3. Administrative Assistance

Treating patients is not the only duty of health care professionals. Doctors and nurses have to take records of patient data, from symptoms to insurance information, so they can refer to them later or send them to other hospitals. This process can take time, and any issues along the way can create problems for patients and doctors alike.

IT usability is a critical part of health care, and AI can optimize it. Intelligent systems can find ways to streamline the information-sharing process, ensuring health workers get the data they need as soon as possible. AI can also handle administrative tasks like scheduling and logistics, allowing hospital staff to focus on more pressing concerns.

4. Health Screenings

Just as AI applications can diagnose patients, they can also make predictions about a person’s fitness for a given situation. Predictive analytics is an AI function that analyzes historical data to make predictions about future outcomes. AI systems can use predictive analytics to perform more nuanced health screenings.

AI can tell doctors is a patient would be fit for surgery or not. Similarly, it can advise people if they aren’t a suitable candidate for physically exerting activities or tests. These analytics consider a wide range of data, including things a human might overlook, leading to more accurate predictions.

5. Remote Monitoring

AI can also optimize health care outside of the hospital. Wearable technology is already prevalent with products like Fitbit, and the medical industry can use this to its advantage. With wearable health-monitoring devices, doctors can monitor their patients remotely.

Remote monitoring devices can alert patients if they need to see a doctor. Should an emergency occur, they can also alert hospital staff so they can send an ambulance. These noninvasive technologies will allow patients with conditions such as heart disease to live without fear by providing them with almost instant assistance.

6. Robot Nurses

Intelligent robots can help fix the nursing labor shortage by filling in those vital roles. Nursing robots are already working in Japanese hospitals and may soon see use in the U.S. These machines can help patients move, reduce their stress and remind them to take their medicine.

With AI, these robot nurses can adapt to each patient’s needs and desires. By analyzing how different people respond to various stimuli and situations, they can customize care. Intelligent nurse robots treat patients in a manner ideal for their health and comfort needs.

7. AI-Enabled Genomics

Compared to humans, AI is better suited for data-heavy tasks. Since DNA sequencing is a form of data analysis, it’s an ideal area to employ AI.

Using artificial intelligence in genomics has already shown impressive results. In 2019, an AI system identified new genetic mutations that contributed to autism. The system could detect patterns in DNA humans would not be able to, as well as predict how changing each gene would affect a person.

AI Is Revolutionizing Medicine

Artificial intelligence is changing the way the health care industry operates. With continued research and improvement, AI systems could save countless lives.

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