25 Content Ideas for Your Real Estate Blog

By Alicia Eisenbise, Social Media Specialist

SMD_OHIO_January-1-25-blog-ideasYou are starting to blog – now what? Generating topic ideas is half the battle, so we brainstormed and created a list of possibilities.Remember, blogs don’t need to be long… just full of useful, sharable content.

Click here to download our entire Social Media Digest for January, including an article on Google+ in 2014.

1. Answer a real estate question you’ve been asked
2. Analyze local market updates
3. Create a video blog instead of writing
4. How-tos for buying, selling, staging, etc
5. What to do before you buy/sell
6. Mortgage facts
7. Neighborhood updates and things to doblurb
8. Neighborhood history
9. Story about buying
10. Story about selling
11. Beautiful photos of a home
12. Design inspiration
13. DIY home ideas
14. Your local community organizations/charities
15. Video tour of neighborhood or property
16. Why you became a real estate agent
17. Local business profile
18. Tips to buying a foreclosure or short sale
19. Final walkthrough tips
20. Home safety tips
21. Types of mortgages
22. Down payment Q&A
23. Favorite local shops
24. Home maintenance tips
25. Kid or pet-friendly housing ideas

SMD_CBRB_January-1-SMALLClick here to download our entire Social Media Digest for January, including an article on Google+ in 2014.

Tips for Facebook Ads in Real Estate

By Alicia Eisenbise, Social Media Specialist, Regional Support Center

Tips for Creating Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are a valuable tool for businesses. They are a cost effective way (Facebook is great for small budgets) to target advertising to a very specific audience and drive brand awareness.

Set a goal and strategy.
What are you promoting? Your website, listing or Facebook business page? When someone clicks on the ad where will they go? Sending a customer to a landing page, where you gather contact information is ideal. Sending a customer to a video of your listing or your listing on your branded website is also effective.

This blog is an excerpt from our Social Media Digest, click here to read the entire December edition.

Target your audience.
Facebook allows you to target your ads according to location, age, gender, precise interests, etc. Choosing a city with a radius or zip codes allows you to narrow
the audience.

Test pictures.
A great image may be the reason a client clicks your ad. Facebook allows up to 6 pictures for 1 ad. Don’t be afraid to upload multiple images. When Facebook sees that one is getting a better response, it automatically pushes that ad more often.

Set a time and budget.
Select a lifetime or daily budget. Start small – $2/day or $25 for the lifetime of the campaign. Then schedule your ad for a specific time period. Click here to create a Facebook ad.

Click here to read our entire Social Media Digest for December, covering Facebook Ads and 2014 Social Media Trends.

Videolicious: Create and Share Your Own Property Videos

Videolicious & Coldwell Banker

Videolicious is now available to Coldwell Banker agents for free. This branded version, includes unlimited video length, unlimited photos or video clips, full music library and branded ending shot.

1. Download the Videolicious App to your iPad or iPhone. Open the app, sign in (using your Coldwell Banker email address). If you have problems signing in, email Videolicious@ColdwellBanker.com.

2. Choose your photos and/or video clips.

3. Tell your story. You can now narrate the video, clicking on images to the right
as you talk.

4. Select your music and the sound level from tons of musical selections.

5. Now share your video via email, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or FTP, all at the touch of a button.

SMD-RES-NOV_p1Watch the video below for a brief overview of this new tool. 

Click here to read our full November Social Media Digest.

Screech, Screech, Screech…The Sound of Listings Being Scraped

Scraping Listings Guest blogger: Derek Light, Manager, E-Marketing 

Derek Light

Derek Light

Ever been surfing Craigslist or Hotpads and see a familiar listing with an unfamiliar name?  Scraping or stealing listing information, is a problem that seems to ebb and flow with the market.  Scraping seemed to fly under the radar over the past few years but has come back as the real estate market heated up over the last few months.  I want to take a look at few components of scraping, why people do it, if it’s legal and what you can do about it.

Why would anyone want the data?

I wouldn’t be writing about this if the data didn’t have any value.  The reason an agent or brokerage would scrap active listings would be to promote/market, make themselves seem more legitimate and/or get on the buy side of the transaction. Secondly I see listings that are off market and being advertised as for rent.  These listings are typically undervalued for the market; the scam is to get someone to put up a deposit.  Finally people selling homes are valuable to businesses that offer ancillary services.  This kind of scraping isn’t visible and I’ve never heard anyone voice concern over this (please correct me if I’m wrong on this one).

Is it legal to scrap listing data?

Parts of listings are factual and not proprietary, so by rule scraping of all data isn’t necessarily prohibited.  However courts have ruled in a case that pitted Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota (Northstar MLS) vs. American Home Realty Network (NeighborCity.com) that photos and agent descriptions are proprietary.  While this seems obvious, this was the first case that properly dealt with issue and it was only last November.

The issues I deal with on a day to day basis are scraping of individual listings.  Not only is this a copyright violation but it also violates IDX rules as often the listing is not attributed back to the broker.   This type of scraping is often worse for the agent’s that are victims as they have to spend valuable time trying to get the listing down or explaining to a past client why someone is knocking on their door to rent.

Fighting Scrapers

While the widespread theft of listing data seems to be less of a problem now, it still exists and nothing is going to stop all of it.

MLS’s and brokers have been proactive creating defenses to prevent scraping and have better agreements in place with partners that have created such a large network of channels that the value has been diminished.

There are no silver bullets to keep you listings from being scraped.  Listing agents should be vigilant and set up alerts for all listings.  Should anything pop up you should go to the offending site and flag the listing immediately to minimize any damage.

I would love to learn from you guys!

Have any of your listings ever been scraped?

Do you have any recommendations on how to fight it?

The Power of Video in Real Estate

– Emily Smith, Marketing Coordinator / Video Guru

By now it should be no surprise. Video is a powerful way to communicate, especially with the help of the internet and social media. Not only are people watching online videos more than ever before, but they are interacting with online videos by commenting and sharing them with their social networks. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, just imagine how much a video can be worth.

In real estate, online photos and text are the basis for explaining the features of a home fast and efficiently. But video, if done correctly, gives you a chance to convey more than just the facts and features, it can help you convey a lifestyle and connect to potential buyers on an even deeper level. Read More

Global is the Difference!

Ronna Streiff, Previews Marketing Manager

I am excited to announce that our global network just got bigger. All Previews properties are now featured on CN.WSJ.com, the Chinese edition of the Wall Street Journal and PropGoLuxury.com (the English version of cn.wsj.com). A recent article in the Wall Street Journal stated that “In the U.S. 75% of investor-immigrant applicants were from China in fiscal 2011”.

Furthermore, 9% of international buyers purchasing U.S. homes are Chinese, proving once again that Coldwell Banker Previews International® global network puts your luxury properties in front of the highest number of potential buyers. Read More