Houston Real Estate Blog

From the monthly archives:

September 2010

On September 13th, MentorWave Technologies announced on their website that Google has acquired their product, Quicksee, for $12 Million.  Quicksee is video tour software that allows you to take your video camera and shoot a video of your surroundings, then upload it to create a 3D video.  Visit their website for a demo, it’s some pretty cool stuff! This works the same way that Google’s street view works; it allows you to pan the area 360 degrees.  What makes this cool is you don’t have to have an expensive camera to create your own virtual tour any more.  You can use your own video camera or iPhone!  Click here to check it out

It will be interesting to see what Google will do with this technology.  However, I can definitely see a good use for it in the real estate industry.  In my opinion, this is better than the traditional virtual tours that real estate agents use today.  This technology creates a virtual tour as if you are actually walking through the house, not just standing in one room spinning around, as most virtual tours do.   Being able to create a virtual tour of your listings on the fly with your iPhone is absolutely amazing!  What a great way to promote seller’s homes on the web.
I am looking forward to seeing this in action soon.

John Daugherty, Realtors is a proud sponsor of the 2010 Holiday Shopping Card. This is a unique fundraising event in Houston and the surrounding areas sponsored by VICTORY, a volunteer fundraising branch of the American Cancer Society. During the fall of each year, in partnership with area merchants, VICTORY offers The Holiday Shopping Card directly to the public.

For more details and to purchase the card, please click on the image below:

As new technology emerges, real estate agents can get quickly overwhelmed.  I am often asked by our newer agents what social networking sites they should join and whether they should be on all of them, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn?  Well, my answer is, social media is not for everyone. You must make a commitment to yourself that you’ll keep it maintained and up to date. If you think you can create a page and then expect that your phone will start ringing off the hook with business, then I don’t recommend wasting your time and efforts.

Social networking sites are a great tool for prospecting, especially if you are just getting into the real estate business. But it requires hard work, time and persistence, just like anything else. Some real estate agents are very successful in generating business from social networking websites.  Don’t feel that you need to be on every social networking site to be a successful agent.  As a matter of fact, we have several real estate agents in our office who are very successful and do not belong to any of the social networking sites nor do they have their own website!  However, according to REALTORS Magazine, 78% of Realtors are on the most popular social networking sites. As of today, Facebook has over 500 million active users!  So there’s something to be said about that!

So, if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and start using one of the social media networking sites as one of your prospecting tools, then the best strategy is to start out with one site and stay focused. Don’t get distracted by other technologies until you feel like you have mastered the first one. You’ll end up even more confused and frustrated if you try and do them all at once. I would personally recommend setting up a Facebook account, then creating a business page. Your business page will be the page that you will want to promote, not your personal page.

Next, what do you put on it, you might ask? Stay away from posting every listing you have or bragging about how good of a real estate agent you are, that’s a quick way to turn people off real quick and leave your fan page.  That’s considered spamming these days!  It’s okay to post your listings every once in a while, especially if you just got a huge price reduction or you have some interesting facts about your listing.

Provide informative and useful information. Engage your fans by asking a question. This will get people to respond. It doesn’t even have to be real estate related. However, don’t get too farfetched or get into politics, not a good topic. “KISI” Keep It Simple and Interesting. Also, another reason you’ll want to engage your fans is that when someone comments on your post, it pushes your post back up to the top of the news feed again.

After you have successfully built up your fan page and your fans are engaging with you, then you can pop the question in every now and then.  “Hey, does anyone know someone who is looking to buy or sell a home in Houston? I found a great buy for a home that just came on the market in the River Oaks neighborhood”.  Now you are more likely to get a response from someone because they’ve been engaged on your fan page.

Remember to stay focused on one site and do it very well until you feel that you have mastered it. Don’t get overwhelmed with technology, just take it one step at a time and you will do very well with getting new business.

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