CXO’s Guide to Unique Real Estate Marketing Ideas

CXO’s Guide to Unique Real Estate Marketing Ideas

At senior management level of a real estate company, the aim is to build trust among stakeholders and ensure excellent experiences for your customers. Not a cakewalk, but you can achieve that by visualizing the need around and implementing innovative as yet effective real estate marketing ideas. This process of introducing and nurturing a new marketing idea starts with learning everything you can about your existing or prospective market.

Know Your Market

Knowing your market will help you zero in on the right marketing strategy. Did you know that the number of home sales will rise about 2.8% in 2018, to 5.8 million? Also, millennials will make 43% of homebuyers in 2018. The real estate market size is growing and so do the business opportunities.

Overall Real Estate Industry Progress

Before you delve into the following real estate marketing ideas, take a look at the progress of the real estate industry over the years, so that you can better understand it and develop an effective marketing strategy. The following graph will give a ballpark idea on how many homes were sold in the USA from 2005 to 2017, along with the predictions for 2018 and 2019.

Overall Real Estate Industry Progress
Annual Average Housing Completion

Real Estate Industry Health Report

The real estate industry health report shows that the market has risen 11.4% since 2008. The real estate agent salaries are now increasing by at least 10%. Suburban markets are witnessing 80% of residential growth and urban areas will make up 15% of the growth by 2025.

Purchasing Power in the Real Estate Industry

Looking at the consistent increase of the real estate purchasing power parity in the USA, EU, Canada and Australia will help you better understand the real estate industry growth.

Purchasing power in the real estate industry
Source: CIA World Factbook

Segment the Market and Position Your Business

You need to segment your target market to reach the right customers. You can use demographics, location, lifestyle, behavior, interests etc. to develop a strategy for reaching your target audience.

Once you create the strategy, you need to position your business in the market. Identify your competitors and understand how they are positioning their brand, then propose something different. You need to showcase your unique value proposition and communicate your best attributes to leave the best impression.

Understand Your Buyer Persona

Understanding your buyer persona helps you better target your audience. Define your ideal customer and learn about their interests, needs, and expectations. This will help you tailor your value proposition to their needs and solve their pain points.

There are four major types of homebuyer personas in the USA:

major types of homebuyer personas in the USA
  • The single female
    Making up 18% of the real estate market, she has a median income of $50200 and is looking for a 1500 square feet house.
  • The single male
    He makes up 10% of the market, has an income of about $58400 and wants a 1570 square feet house.
  • The unmarried couple
    They make-up 7% of the market, have a combined income of about $76900 and are looking for a 1760 square feet house.
  • The married couple
    They make-up 64% of the real estate market, have a combined median income of $96400 and are searching for a 2100 square feet house.

Each of these buyer personas is looking for a house in a suburb and is interested in neighborhood quality, affordability, and convenience of job, family, and friends, as well as the design of neighborhood.

The Best Real Estate Marketing Ideas to Apply

Copycat Marketing

Copycat marketing can drive positive results only if you add a personal touch to someone’s successful marketing strategy. The best way to leverage copycat marketing is to find the best deals and see how they led to major benefits.

Here are the biggest real estate deals in Europe, the USA and Australia, respectively.

  • The Vendôme Saint-Honoré, Paris, France
    The Vendôme Saint-Honoré, Paris, FranceNorges Bank Real Estate Management acquired in 2016 a 100% interest in the Vendôme Saint-Honoré property (26800 square meters) in Paris, France, for which they paid 1 billion euros.
    The world’s biggest wealth fund invested in the property since 2011 and, in the acquisition of the property, no financing was used. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund redesigned the property and turned it into a beautiful contemporary building with courtyards and gardens.
  • The Fontainebleau, Las Vegas, Nevada
    The Fontainebleau, Las Vegas, NevadaIn 2017, billionaire Carl Icahn sold the Fontainebleau, Las Vegas’ towering monument, for a whopping $600 million to real estate investment firms Witkoff and New Valley.
    He purchased it out of bankruptcy in 2010 for $148 million, invested a lot of money in it and completely turned it around. He and his company, Icahn Enterprises, invested in a greatly undervalued, but well-designed asset and were able to make a winning bid to save it and unlock its potential for growth.
  • The Fairfax Mansion Elaine, Sydney, Australia
    The Fairfax Mansion Elaine, Sydney, AustraliaThe 2017 sale of the Double Bay home of Elaine in Sydney, bought by Atlassian co-CEO Scott Farquhar, set a national residential record for a single property – $71 million.
    The real estate agent in charge of the Fairfax mansion sale, Ken Jacobs of Christie’s International Real Estate, successfully closed this massive deal by copying the competition’s common marketing tactics. He evoked emotions by playing the history card, as the mansion was a family home since 1891. The interiors were nothing compared to the deal price and the derelict rooms didn’t increase the odds, but the three-year campaign paid off.
    You can do the same as the real estate agents that made these excellent deals by using their marketing tactics, ideas, and concepts and customizing them to suit your own projects.
  • Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae financingFreddie Mac and Fannie Mae financing
    Real estate companies can seize many co-branding opportunities with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government-sponsored enterprises that ensure reliability and affordability in the real estate industry.
    Tower Commercial Mortgage recently secured $2.95 million in Freddie Mac financing for a 24-unit multifamily asset in Salt Lake City, Utah. The sponsor had been looking for the financing for two years and Freddie Mac made it possible for Tower Commercial Mortgage to secure the commercial mortgage for construction in just six weeks.

Leverage Inbound Marketing

Drive more visitors to your website by making sure that it’s visually-appealing, intuitive and filled with informative content that addresses your audience’s needs. Geotagging can help you engage potential buyers and connect with local communities.

Including a DTI (Debt-to-Income) ratio calculator and an LTV (Loan-to-Value) calculator on your website will help attract more visitors.

Stay Updated with Real Estate Markets

Stay up-to-date with your target real estate markets so that you can remain relevant. Subscribe to real estate magazines and newsletters showcasing current and future projects and follow the biggest companies on social media. Following the market move of companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will add to your decision-making process as they are the cornerstones of the real estate market.

Participate in Real Estate Expos

Real estate expos offer plenty of branding and networking opportunities, chances to meet industry leaders, gather real estate marketing ideas and stay updated with trends and new technologies.

Upcoming real estate expos:

Showcase Your Business in Video Format

Videos are the best way to engage your audience. Interesting and compelling explainer videos about organizational process and projects provide social proof of capability which at times is even more powerful than testimonials.

Moreover, high-quality videos will increase your SEO ranking, since a video is one of the many ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, as is user experience, which quality videos will help you improve. For creating engaging videos, you can approach real estate video editing agencies like Video Caddy.

Hire a Real Estate Photography Professional

The best sources for finding real estate photography professionals include:

  1. Freelancer hiring platforms: UpWork, Freelancer, Craigslist
  2. USA: PhotoSesh, Pretty Instant
  3. UK: Perfocal
  4. Australia: Photographers
  5. Canada: PPOC

Create a Real Estate Virtual Tour

To create a real estate virtual tour, you need to take photos of a property from various angles and then create a spherical panoramic photograph using photo-stitching software. Real estate video editing agencies like Video Caddy can help you with these kinds of requirements.

Find Local Sponsorship

SponsorMyEvent is a free tool for finding local sponsorship in any country across the world. Just register, post your event and wait for a sponsor to reach out to you. You can then discuss all the offerings, share files, contracts, and invoices and handle payments, all directly within the platform.

Make sure that your outreach emails are short and concise and that you mention a location, as that will significantly increase the response rate. Display the sponsorship info on your website, so that potential sponsors can see that you’re looking for such collaborations.

Create an Engaging Animated Video

Animated videos can create lasting impressions on your clients and their potential homebuyers. With a short video, you can instantly grab the viewers’ attention and get them to follow a story. Real estate video editing professionals at Video Caddy can provide you with comprehensive animation services that will springboard your business to great heights.

Leverage New Technology as Your Mainstream Real Estate Marketing Strategy

New technology is rapidly finding its way into the real estate markets, so you should leverage it as soon as possible.

Upcoming Technology for The Real Estate Industry

  • Virtual Reality for improved buyers’ experience With VR models, your clients’ potential homebuyers can “walk” through the properties from their home and get a feel for them before they visit.
  • Drone visuals to better showcase properties Drones are perfect for shooting aerial photos and videos of real estate properties, and photos and videos of home exteriors. Drones bring properties to life and show potential homebuyers the entire neighborhood.

How to Implement New Technology

  • Convert videos to VR To experience homes in VR, you need to find a professional to record 360° videos of the properties and host them on a video platform. Potential homebuyers will only need to have VR headsets to “visit” the real estate properties in VR.
  • Purchase a camera drone and get a drone license You need to obtain an FAA certificate for flying a drone, which costs about $150. If you want to do it yourself, you can buy a camera drone for $750, but professional-grade camera drones vary from $1000 to $3500.
  • The cost of hiring a drone photographer To hire a professional drone photographer, you need $200-$400 for a 1-minute video and several photos. Expect to pay a little over $1000 for longer videos.

Set up a Google My Business Account

With a Google My Business account, your clients will find you much easier. To set it up, go to the Google My Business page, click on the Start Now button and enter your business information – business name, country/region, address, city, phone number, category, website URL and a short description. After verifying your listing, your account will be instantly created.

Here’s a good example of a real estate agency’s listing on Google:

Google My Business

Apart from the address, phone number, opening and closing hours, clients can see photos of the agency and its location on the map, visit the official website and even send directions to their phone.

Reach Out to Former Clients for Authentic Testimonials

Ask your former clients for testimonials, as they build credibility and trust. Send them emails asking for their opinions regarding your services and their experiences with your brand. Keep them casual, concise and personalized. You can offer incentives, but people are usually willing to give feedback.

Take a look at a few good examples of client testimonials to get an insight into how they can tell a powerful story and convert leads into customers.

Sample Split Testimonials

This one is even better, because it has a picture to go along with the client’s name, which creates higher engagement:

Testimonial with PhotoDisclaimer: These testimonials are for example purpose only

Create a Referral System that Works

An effective referral system will bring you more clients. People trust recommendations from their peers more than they trust direct recommendations from brands. The steps for creating a successful referral program include:

  1. Identifying your ideal customers
  2. Find potential referrers in your existing network
  3. Ask for referrals by sending emails or simply including a CTA in your weekly newsletter
  4. Connect with your referrers and ensure they understand your company’s unique value proposition
  5. Nurture your relationship with the referrers, showing your appreciation and providing incentives for their contribution
  6. Create a landing page to showcase your referral system and attract more referrers
  7. Promote your referral program on social media
  8. Track the referrers and measure the results to optimize your program.

The best example is the Tesla referral program that offers every Tesla owner a chance to give their friends up to 10 discounts of $1000 each. The referrers can also tour the Tesla factory and get access to limited edition vehicles.

Utilize Real Estate CRM Software to Convert More Leads

Real estate CRMs, such as Zoho, Hubspot and Agile, can help you store and organize information about your clients in one centralized place, access it 24/7 from any device, automate repetitive tasks and streamline your workflow, stay in touch with clients, and improve communication within your company.

Zoho CRM is one of the top ones for managing your sales, marketing and support in a single system and converting more leads into sales. You can customize it and integrate it with the third-party apps that you already use. It is an AI-powered, multichannel CRM software with powerful marketing and sales automation features and analytics, high level of security and lots of options for customizing the system to your needs.

Hubspot CRM has everything you need to grow your company, as it offers a hub for managing marketing, sales and customer relationships, all within one mobile-friendly system. It seamlessly integrates with third-party apps and has comprehensive features for real-time communication, process and performance monitoring and easily managing leads and opportunities.

Agile CRM is an all-in-one, next-generation CRM software solution that can supercharge your marketing, sales and customer service. Its extensive set of features make it one of the best ones for real estate purposes.

Case study: How Real Estate Agencies Can Reinvent Customer Relations with an End-to-End Social CRM

Box+Dice has built a technology platform that brings together people and processes. They integrated CRM, media, and transaction into one end-to-end solution, that is, a Social CRM.

It includes a Social CRM, an app for communicating with customers, an accounting module, templates for building real estate websites and portals and a toolkit for email marketing. With the help of RubyGarage, Box+Dice completely rebuilt their app, making it more customer-centric. 

Help Clients Showcase Their Best Properties, Innovative Designs, Green Homes as Their Brand Ambassadors

The following are some of the top real estate marketing ideas for helping your clients promote their properties and effectively capture the attention of a great number of potential homebuyers.

Create Viral Infographics to Share on Social Media

The best tools for creating infographics are Piktochart, Infogram, easel.ly, Visualize.me, Canva and Photoshop. There are lots of free templates these tools offer, so you can create beautiful infographics in no time.

You can create market reports and showcase new listings, then share them on social media, as you can reach more clients and truly go viral. Here are several viral infographics that you can use in your campaign.

Biggest Home Seller Mistakes

Update Your Print Collateral

Print collateral speaks volumes about your company, so make sure it’s not outdated. Revise your marketing materials regularly and update your print collateral, especially the graphic design, making sure it’s high-quality and instantly delights your clients.

Use Professional Real Estate Property Images – A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

Professional high-quality images will help your clients attract more buyers. Be sure to work with professional photographers who know exactly how to highlight a property’s best features and present it in the best possible light.

Real Estate Marketing on Social Media

You should share your every blog post, property photos and videos, announcements and industry news, communicate with your followers, engage in local groups, use hashtags and encourage feedback and discussions. Schedule and automate posts and measure your performance – use the results to optimize your efforts.

Leverage AI

AI will enable your website visitors to find what they’re looking for faster, especially if they prefer voice search. Furthermore, chatbots can answer a variety of customer queries and personalize the service.

Coldwell Banker and Voiceter Pro, who recently launched extensions for Amazon’s Alexa, are just some of the real estate companies that are leveraging AI-powered searches.

Establish a Presence on All Marketing Channels to Make Your Brand a Synonym for Real Estate

Where Can You List Your Business?

Apart from Google My Business, you can list your business on Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, MerchantCircle, Yellow Pages, Mapquest and Hotfrog, and you can create a business page with Facebook for Business.

Invest in Your Community to Generate Strong, Top-Of-Mind Referrals

Go to networking events and engage with people on social media to build and nurture relationships with your clients and potential customers. You’ll get more chances for more listings and generate more quality referrals.

Create a Blog That Answers Your Clients’ Questions

Your blog must be filled with unique, fresh, relevant and informative content. Be sure to answer the top real estate industry FAQs, some of which are:

Create a Blog That Answers Your Clients’ Questions

Reach Out to Local Radio and TV Stations

It’s very cheap to promote your business on local radio and TV stations, so send them an email with a compelling “About Us” video and pitch your real estate marketing ideas. HARO is a great source for reaching out and spreading the word about your business.

Master Zillow – This Is Where Your Customers Hang Out

Being the leading real estate marketplace, Zillow is the best place to list your business and attract a huge number of clients, so hurry up and connect with local professionals in your niche.

Publish Market Reports

Publish real estate market reports such as these below in order to establish authority, improve SEO rating and generate more leads.

The US Real Estate Market Report:

The US Real Estate Market Report

The Europe Real Estate Market Report by CBRE Research:
GDP Growth: 2018 compared to previous five years

The UK Real Estate Market Overview
The UK Real Estate Market Overview

The Canadian Real Estate Market Overview

The Canadian Real Estate Market Overview

The Australian Real Estate Market Overview

The Australian Real Estate Market Overview

Federal Report on Real Estate Market Growth Across the US, the UK, Europe and Australia

The Top Real Estate Markets in the USA

The Top Real Estate Markets in the USA

The Top Real Estate Markets in Europe

The Top Real Estate Markets in Europe

Conclusion

These unique real estate marketing ideas will help you stand out and build a strong brand that consistently attracts a lot of clients. Apply them all and you will quickly become one of the best real estate marketing companies around.

– VideoCaddy

The Magic of NLEs and How to Pick the Best for Your Video Editing Project

The Magic of NLEs and How to Pick the Best for Your Video Editing Project

Great editing is based on ideas, experience, and the eye of the editor. But that doesn’t mean that the right tools aren’t important as well. Over the last few decades, the tried-and-true methods of film (and then video) editing have been revolutionized by non-linear editing (NLE). What is NLE, what did it replace, and what are its advantages? And, if we’re going to do video editing, what are the best NLE software platforms that we should use when we dive into a video editing project?

What is NLE?

Film editing began with the cutting of film. To create a transition from one piece of footage to another it was necessary to physically trim pieces of footage and splice them together. With the advent of digital video, it was possible to remove the destructive element of cutting film from the act of editing. Instead, editors can manipulate clips on the timeline of a software program – rearranging, trimming, and manipulating the footage as much as they wish without losing any of the quality of the original footage. This system is non-linear, in that the editor can access any portion of the clip directly, without having to play through an entire tape or film clip.

Linear Versus Non-Linear Editing – What’s the Advantage?

With early video productions, editing had to be done tape-to-tape. This had to be a linear process – you couldn’t insert or delete scenes later without having to rerecord the entire tape from the point of the change. Not only is this process slow and cumbersome, every time you record from one tape to another there’s a degradation in quality. If you’re old enough to remember VHS tapes you undoubtedly viewed someone’s “copy of a copy” and cringed at the quality.

With the advent of powerful computers, it was possible to break the boundaries of tape to tape editing – linear editing – and move to a new paradigm – non-linear editing. Digital recordings can be sliced into as many pieces as you want and then arranged on a timeline. Need to add or delete scenes? Just drag and drop and you’re good to go. While non-linear editing had some teething problems related to the quality of captured digital information in the early years, the ever-increasing power of even humble laptops has made NLE the default option for virtually all the video editing that is now performed.

When You Want the Best

NLE video editing software is available at all levels, from simple apps you can download to your phone, to sophisticated and high-end platforms that are utilized by the professionals creating your favorite summer blockbuster. At the high end of the scale, there are three programs that dominate the field – Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, and Final Cut ProX by Apple.

Adobe Premiere Pro

If it concerns digital media, Adobe has a program for it – Printshop, Illustrator; the list goes on. Premiere Pro is Adobe’s entry in the NLE video editing software sweepstakes, and it’s a strong contender. In part that’s because of Adobe’s other products. With a little practice, you’ll soon be deploying Jedi-like skills in integrating materials from Adobe’s other products into Premiere Pro – in particular After Effects, Adobe’s well-regarded animation package.

Adobe’s given a lot of thought on how to design the workspace by giving you a lot of control over how it’s laid out. The user interface is constructed around four windows that can be moved, resized, and customized to suit your style, and you can select or deselect the particular tools you want to be displayed in each. You can save your layout as a preset or choose from a variety of ready-made layouts.

Premiere Pro also gets high marks for its compatibility with a wide variety of native media formats. There’s no modification required to work with them since it’s designed to allow you to edit in the native format. You’ll also find a wide range of rendering options, with a variety of presets for the commonly used device and social media formats.

Avid Media Composer

Talk to long-time video editors and Avid’s Media Composer will be at the top of many lists. Its deep roots in the industry are evidenced by solid, trouble-free performance. The capabilities of Media Composer are many, and that comes with a steep learning curve that may cause cold feet for some less-experienced video editors looking to change programs. But ask the pros, and they’ll tell you that time spent learning will pay off in the end.

Don’t be scared off by the discussion of Media Composer’s learning curve. The basic roots are the same as other programs, with a track-based timeline structure. And Media Composer has powerful collaborative tools that will let a team of editors work very smoothly together. And Media Composer is well-equipped to handle various media formats, both with input and output.

Final Cut Pro X

Apple’s Final Cut series has been around for a while and has stuck pretty closely to the usual track-based structure that’s the model for the majority of NLE video editing systems. Final Cut Pro X (FCPX) has taken things in an entirely new direction.

FCPX eschews the traditional track approach by using a “magnetic” system that lets you arrange and add clips, effects, and more without having to create new tracks. FCPX also relies on a keyword collection system for organizing media, rather than the more conventional bin structure used by other programs (and earlier versions of Final Cut Pro). The downside to this is less manual control to the editor, while the upside is the potential for increased organizational power and flexibility if you trust the software to do more of the underlying work.

While fans of FCPX are applauding its new approach, the slow rollout of this iteration has limited adoption by studios and indie houses. It will be interesting to see how that changes over time with increased familiarity.

– Video Caddy

Video Editor’s Guide to LUTs and Color Grading

Video Editor’s Guide to LUTs and Color Grading

Read any discussion of the work of highly regarded film or video editors, and you’re bound to come upon a discussion of the “look” of their work. This term can mean a lot of things, but it is often applied when discussing the color balance and grading of a film or video. These elements are a big part of what defines the look of a film. Consider the differences in the color balance and grading between “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Blade Runner 2049,” and you can begin to appreciate how important color grading is as a tool in the editor’s kit.

A Versatile Tool for Grading and Finishing Your Video

The first challenge a video editor faces in color grading is consistency throughout their work. While you can use a variety of tools to individually adjust the color levels and RGB values of the clips in your work, it’s a lot easier to apply a consistent set of values to your work as you proceed. That’s where LUTs enter the picture.

LUT is short for “Look Up Table.” A LUT applies a predetermined set of values onto your source material, with the goal of creating a distinctive or specific look as a result. One of the most common applications is to emulate the look of film stock for video footage, but a variety of outcomes can be tailored for different LUTs, including using a LUT to preview how existing images will appear on specific output devices.

Not All LUTs Are Created Equal

One of the factors that create confusion about LUTs is that the term can refer to any of several different software packages designed to do different things in the production process. Carefully employing LUTs throughout the process can eliminate time-consuming and costly color-grading caused by the differing standards of gear used for photography and monitoring. We’ll follow the main categories of LUTs through the production and post-production process.

  • Display LUTs – Display LUTs are used to ensure that monitors and cameras on-set will display images that match a reference standard. Applying these LUTs doesn’t change the actual footage that is recorded but allows the videographer and others to adjust exposures and other parameters correctly during videography.
  • Calibration LUTs – These are used to ensure that the monitor or display you utilize in editing matches up to specific standards. This is especially important when working with a larger production team, as it ensures that you see the same thing that they are when you view the footage.
  • Input LUTs – Input LUTs (sometimes called “camera patches”) are used once you reach post-production. Editors will employ these LUTs as a launching point for the remainder of the color grading process. Typically, these LUTs are designed to alter the footage from specific standards to the standard that has been chosen by the editor.
  • Creative LUTs – Creative LUTs are what many editors think of when “LUT” is mentioned. Creative LUTs are used to add a “look” to your shots – for example, to mimic film stock or to capture a specific look, like in our movie examples at the beginning. As with all LUTs, a creative LUT can’t simply be applied to all your footage with the expectation of consistent results. You may need to tweak your images (or even apply an input LUT) before you apply the LUT to the body of the work.

Applying LUTs to Your Work

Let’s start with one simple precept. Apply a LUT to your footage doesn’t eliminate the need to perform color grading to correct flaws or to apply more sophisticated effects. But LUTs are a great place to start when you’re looking to emulate the look of specific film stocks or film style. Think of your LUT as a bridge between your source footage and the result you want. Most popular video editing platforms, like Premiere or Final Cut Pro, allow you to apply LUTs to your footage as you edit. If you’re only concerned with color grading and LUTs applications, and not the entire spectrum of video editing, you may want to use specific emulation software packages like FilmConvert or DaVinci Resolve. You can split the difference by using plugin software like Color Finale or Colorista to add capabilities to your editing program.

Sourcing LUTs

If you’re just getting started with LUTs consider checking out some of the many free LUTs available from companies like PremiumBeat, RocketStock, or Color Grading Central (one of my favorites). As you gain experience and hone your preferences, you may find that you want to upgrade to more sophisticated packages. Check the forums at sites like Creative Cow, Lowepost, and others for information and advice.

Take the Plunge

It may seem a bit intimidating to move into the world of LUTs. But when you’re ready to move beyond the world of “good enough” and make a statement with your video editing, you’ll find that these are excellent tools to employ. As with any new skill, you’ll find that there’s a learning curve. But there are a wealth of tools and resources available for the aspiring editor. Take the first step and use a LUT on your next project.

– Video Caddy