Houston Real Estate Blog

From the category archives:

Social Networking

How do you showcase a spectacular property online in a way that gives people the true feel for how great it is and sets it apart from the crowd? Give it it’s very own website! But not just any old website, many of the “property websites” out on the market today are little more than a glorified MLS property page with it’s own web address. We felt like our clients deserved more.

A more personalized experience

Our sites feature full screen high resolution photos not found on the MLS as well as in-depth property information. We also dynamically pull local information for the home like nearby schools, restaurants and shopping. Each site has it’s own url and tracks web traffic specifically to that home so the home seller always is in the loop as to when and where people are coming from.

Built for mobile

Each site is built around the mobile experience. Looking at it on you iPad or tablet will give you the exact same experience as sitting on your laptop.

Easy to show off

The response from those listing with us has been great. They can feel free to share the site with friends on colleges on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter without worrying about them being distracted by other comparable homes.

More and more online users are demanding a more personalized experience and here at John Daugherty, Realtors we are happy to give them what they want. Please take a look at a few of the sites for yourself and let us know what you think. Here are a sample of some of our latest sites:



Can Google+ Do it?

September 27, 2011

by Darren Moore

Can they steal you away from Facebook?  Or is it too late? Will Google+ end up pulling the plug?

I personally think Google+ is too late to play in the ball game; they should have been there 2 years ago when Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were getting fired up.

Facebook has become a household “Digital Brand Name,” just like Coca-Cola and Pepsi.  The popular social-networking service is promoted everywhere – TV, news channels, businesses, the list goes on. It will be extremely difficult for Google+ to gain a share of the market, especially when people are still figuring out Facebook and have built up their fan base and friends list.  It would be like hitting the reset button and starting over.  I don’t think many people are up for that.  The people I’ve talked to have said, “Oh, another social media site to keep up with, why?”  It’s sort of like saying, Google will start bottling and selling soft drinks?!?

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter connected the dots and created the standards in social media.  They got the bandwagon rolling 2 years ago and now Google+ wants to jump on the fast-moving wagon?  From my perspective, if Google+ wants to play ball, they are going to have to create a new bandwagon, but that will be challenging.

However, competition is healthy and necessary! It creates better products and user-friendly platforms.  Facebook is about to launch an entire new platform in the next coming weeks, and I am sure that Google was their inspiration.  Facebook already has implemented a few features that Google+ has, such as the “lists” which Google+  calls “circles.”

I am a digital marketer myself, and I personally like Google+ better. But where are the fans and your friends? It’s not happening here yet.  Additionally, new users to social media will more than likely set up an account on Facebook because that’s where their friends and family are.

Google has their challenges cut out for them.  Perhaps if Google can develops a killer business platform, that might help with their bandwagon.  Only time will tell — and time in the digital world is only 1 day away.

Overall, Google + is an impressive product and it’s forcing Facebook to innovate faster (and respect people’s privacy a little more) which is good for everyone. This infographic provides some interesting statistics and visual data on the social network showdown between Facebook and Google +


Infographic by the creative people at Single Grain.

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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