Random Headlines in Real Estate

Real estate is interesting, if you pay attention.  This morning over coffee, I picked through some amazing headlines and kept thinking about the importance of location.   Whether physical, on social media, in kinds of marketing or sources of information, location means everything.

This is my first real break of the day, even considering coffee, with about a dozen phone calls and emails, several calls to clients and just a truly productive day.  Two properties seem much more likely to close and I’m waiting for a client to finish staging a home to sell.  It really is a great spot for an open house, so I’m looking forward to a change of pace and a change in marketing.  Open houses only work well if the location works.  How far from traffic or are you near a model.  Open houses don’t usually have the luxury of long preparation of unlimited budget.  If located inside a new neighborhood or near a builder’s model, the traffic is already nearby.
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A story involved a change of highway location and “48 Cars Driving Into a Home“. Location is important, but this is just ridiculous!  Apparently, a road and sharp turn, in China, was added in front of a home and cars immediately began to drive through the fence and into the front yard.  I wonder where I’d add that disclosure?   Bad Feng Shui?

Going through articles on the decline of malls, tips for using a smartphone more effectively for photos, the starter home market (new best bet, btw) and yet another negative article on malls in the coming decade, I see Zillow increased revenue by nearly 1/3rd.  Zillow and Trulia are, essentially, the same now and now either feed MLS data directly or each office opts in or out of the data feed.  As a broker, I prefer accurate and really don’t care where the data ends up, as long as a buyer is attracted to my listing.  Some larger offices try to manufacture IDX sites or custom searches, really meant to create an excuse to collect your name and email.  I can do the same things with a mls system, but in much greater detail, so see no advantage to the public.

Where would I go, as a broker, if I suddenly morphed into a consumer of brokerage services?  I’d probably pick a mix of www.REALTOR.com, www.zillow.com, the local property appraiser’s site, several lending sites and then I’d find someone like me…an experienced broker.  Relationships, not clicks, make the difference.  Do you know your agent and does he or she know the market intimately?   How long have they lived in the area?  This makes a much bigger difference than you might imagine.    Regardless, the major sites offer slightly different flavors of information and are both worth seeing, but the feeds should, hypothetically, be similar.

Social media and marketing was my next stop.  SIRI is changing the way AI might be integrated with messaging.  Anything changing the way I communicate with a client is interesting to me.  The Facebook wall changed some time ago and, compared to the original version of the wall 10 years ago, the etiquette and way it is used is vastly different.  Even the feed is customized.  Years ago, you couldn’t pay for priority and pages for business were…well, I don’t remember those at all.  Groups were around and I was an admin for several very large groups.  Anyway, the best tip of the day involved using video or pictures of an event.  Tagging or asking others to tag content makes a difference and I started doing that years ago for a political campaign.  The same article included a clueless tip on leveraging your organization.  I agree to a point.  Adding a number of connected people to an effort can improve the impact, but adding people with disparate messages is a bad thing.  I can remember reading a truly terrible post by a paid blogger on a developer’s site.  While I don’t qualify as an award-winning writer, I do know my job.  Writing about what you know always works, in my opinion.  Making it up as you go never works.   So, for social media, connecting knowledgeable members of a team is good.  Connecting everyone doesn’t work if the knowledge is not complimentary and paying an outsider to write won’t work unless they understand the subject.

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