Category Archives: Interesting

Well, it is to me at least

Aside

For years my real estate team closed a lot of transactions from home buyers and sellers we met through our websites. And now, owning a company that builds websites for real estate brokerages and now hosting over 13,000 real estate … Continue reading

Why Tech-Savvy People make the Best Realtors

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How do you choose a good Realtor? After all, it seems like you could pick a name out of a hat or use a referral from a friend and your experience will be relatively the same across the board, right? Wrong. If you’re serious about buying or selling in this market, you need a Realtor with a bit more clout. One that has a leg up on the competition.  And the best person for this job is a tech-savvy realtor. What does tech-savvy mean exactly? It can mean a variety of
things. However, there are a few tried and true factors to look for when selecting a technologically skilled agent.

The first thing you should always check for is a website. If you hear of an agent from a referral and you can’t easily find his/her website, you should move along. Other home shoppers are going to click on one of the first websites they see, so if you’re agent isn’t showing up when you search, chances are other people won’t find them either. In addition to simply having a website, your realtor’s site should be easy to use and have a nice design. Your realtor should be connecting you with other buyers or sellers (depending on what side of the transaction you’re on.) So if their web design is scaring off other people your chances of finding a buyer or seller become much slimmer.

Social media engagement is another key element of a tech savvy realtor. Granted, your agent doesn’t have to post, tweet, or like something daily. But simple interaction in the social sphere shows that your realtor knows how important online communication is to modern day buyers and sellers. After all, a good agent can utilize tools like Facebook or YouTube to further communicate their thoughts and ideas with a wider audience.

Finally and most important of all is a solid home search option. Research shows that nearly 95% of all homes sales now begin with an online search. That is a huge percentage of the market and must be catered to accordingly. This data tells us that what almost every homebuyer wants when they are searching a real estate site is a good search option. If you’re Realtor’s search option is difficult to find, or even worse- nonexistent, then you are definitely not working with a tech savvy Realtor. An online home search option is the most important weapon in a techy realtor’s
arsenal, so make sure your realtor is well equipped.

As you can see, finding a tech-savvy realtor is not terribly difficult- you just need to be aware of what you’re looking for. Simple adhere to these pointers and you’ll find the right tech-savvy realtor in no time. Good luck!

Guest Article by @AndrewHill- www.austinhomelistings.com

You’re Not Just Buying a House, You’re Buying a Neighborhood

Everyone is familiar with the cliché that the only thing that matters in real estate is location.

As you browse through local real estate listings though, it may be difficult to consider what the practical application of that advice actually is. Put simply, when you purchase your home you are buying into the neighborhood it is located in. Consider these tips for making a successful move into a new neighborhood.

Ask Questions

Ask questions about any neighborhood that is home to your potential new housing. Is it on the way up? Are there good schools? Are there active neighborhood organizations? These are all very important questions that help determine exactly how a neighborhood functions and who chooses to live there. Thankfully, the answers are likely to be readily available online or in literature found around the neighborhood. It is important to remember not to be too quick to judgment. No two neighborhoods are exactly identical, so it is unlikely that you will be moving in somewhere that is entirely like your old one.
Any new neighborhood you are moving into will have its own vibe and it is important to evaluate that honestly.
Match Personalities
Simply taking a look at local businesses will give you a good sense of whether or not an area is a good fit for you. If you enjoy crafting and the neighborhood is home to a lot of cute boutiques, you are much more likely to enjoy living there. Similarly, if you see kids out playing, you might be spotting some new pals for your own children. There is no exact science to figuring out what kind of neighborhood matches with which kind of personality. There are certain things that are obvious though, such as trying to find an area with people who are similar to you in age. These kinds of similarities foster a sense of community in
a neighborhood and will help you fit in from day one.
Do Research
Researching any potential new home should also entail researching the neighborhood it is located in. Many neighborhoods keep detailed and up-to-date websites that catalog events and goings-on. You can also research the history of a particular neighborhood and possibly discover something that appeals to you.
Ultimately it is crucial to realize that neighborhoods are constantly evolving and it is ok to try living in a place that is slightly outside of your comfort zone. Considering the neighborhood you are moving into simply means taking the blinders off and looking around you at your potential brand new neighbors.
About The Author: Hughes Real Estate Group is a Boise real estate team serving buyers and sellers in Idaho. If you’re looking for a great home in Idaho, you can visit Kevin’s website where you can search real estate including Boise homes, Meridian homes , Nampa homes , and Eagle
homes.

 

Improving Localized Marketing: Simple Suggestions to Improve a Local Profile

With a number of companies looking to build their total marketing profiles online these days, many
businesses seemingly hit the wrong target points. For small businesses and restaurants, a failure to focus
on some local marketing techniques can also lead to a failure to experience full potential and returns on
business development and technology efforts.

Engaging in social media efforts are a must for any business trying to improve its digital footprint these
days, but even more so for those trying to improve their local footprint. With localization of social media
efforts, it’s always crucial to have a profile that’s geared specifically to the customers. With a small scale
company, using these social media profiles should be first used to build a local image.

With social media, one of the growing trends in major marketing is the use of check-in services. These
services have allowed many companies, from restaurants and retail stores, to really build up a larger
local reputation. With check-in services, businesses can offer discounts and benefits in exchange for
check-ins at the location of their business. With a high number of check-ins, businesses will see impact
from two separate ways. First, repeating customers will come back because of discounts and friends of
patrons will see the business throughout social media platforms, attracting new customers.

Along with social media improvements, businesses should also put a large focus on their online profile,
just like companies looking to improve national marketing strategies also do. Local businesses often
struggle to take advantage of some customers because of a failure to build an online presence. Even
though it may not seem normal, local businesses can still find major profits by expanding their websites
and digital footprint.

With a good website, many businesses are starting to look to mobile devices to further spread their
profiles. In a local setting, a restaurant or retail store can benefit from a mobile site by helping to
increase their search optimization. Also, mobile information is critical for potential customers who are
on the go, looking for either information or directions.

Once social media campaigns and a good website are setup to improve brand development, the site
can be spruced up in the content department to reach out to the customer base. The information on
the website can be targeted to remind visitors of the area where the business is located throughout the
site. Also, websites local information can be improved by putting the business’ directions on most of
the pages. By using this strategy, visitors to the website are continually reminded of exactly where the
business is.

A number of businesses are in search of strategies and suggestions on how to properly improve their
marketing footprint from a localized perspective. Many retail stores and restaurants often lack the
proper manpower or knowledge to truly have a great impact in their marketing efforts. For those
companies who may be short on staff or time, using professionals is a great option. For example, a store
or restaurant looking to break into a Florida market could use a Tampa, Jacksonville or Orlando SEO/
Development platform to really kick up their online profile.

-Guest Article by
Melinda Carter
melindacarter204@gmail.com

Most Active Online Home Shoppers

People Searching Online

The real estate industry has reluctantly been pulled online during the last three years and today most agents and brokers know that people are searching for homes online.

Hopefully this will be the year that brokerages start building great websites- and hopefully they will hire a great website design company like BlueRoof360 to do it.

But which areas are people most actively looking online for homes? Using Google Trends we can see which states and cities are the most active searching for different terms. Let’s look and see where people are really looking online…

Real Estate For Sale

For the term “homes for sale” Salt lake City ranks at the top, followed by Orlando, Phoenix, Tampa, Atlanta, Dallas, and Denver.

sell-my-home

For the term “Sell my home” the top states are Arizona, Florida and Utah, followed by Missouri, SC, Georgia, Tennessee, Colorado, NC, Texas.

The term “Search for Homes” ranked like this;

1. South Carolina, United States
2. Arizona, United States
3. Nevada, United States
4. North Carolina, United States
5. Georgia, United States
6. Florida, United States
7. Oklahoma, United States
8. Tennessee, United States
9. Maryland, United States
10. Colorado, United States

Since I’ve posted about  this before, let’s look at where people are most actively searching for other popular terms;

Term                                        Area most searching for that term

Family Activities                          Salt Lake (and Utah) by a landslide

God                                             Tennessee

Jesus                                          Alabama (and Tennessee is #2)

Hell                                              Kansas

Porn                                            Kentucky

Foreclosure                               Miami, Vegas, Tampa

I am afraid                                Philly, Boston, Orlando

Self improvement                      Salt Lake (and Utah) by a landslide

Teen problems                           Iowa

Politics                                       D.C. (surprise), followed by Maryland, NY, Connecticut

Singles                                        Salt Lake (and Utah). followed by Denver, Phoenix, Tampa

Go to Google Trends and try for yourself- you might be surprised at what people are searching for in your area…

Healthiest US Cities For Women, Men

healthiest-cities-in-america1

MSN just released a report, in conjunction with Men’s Health, naming the healthiest cities in America for women and men.

From MSN;

To compile our first annual survey of America’s Best & Worst Cities for Women, we joined forces with Men’s Health to analyze how 100 U.S. metropolises stack up when it comes to health, fitness, and quality of life. (Check out this month’s issue of Men’s Health to find out whether your city is guy-friendly, too.) Our number-crunching team tallied 38 factors, including cancer rates, commute times, air quality, and the number of residents who swipe their gym passes regularly. When the dust finally cleared, a few of the cities had trounced the competition.

According to the report, the top cities for women are;

1. Salt Lake City

2. San Francisco

3. Seattle

4. San Jose, Calif.

5. Denver

6. Minneapolis

7. Fargo, N.D.

8. Madison, Wis.

9. Manchester, N.H.

10. Aurora, Colo.

For men the report states the top ten cities are;

1. Madison, Wis.

2. St. Paul, Minn.

3. Salt Lake City

4. Seattle

5. Aurora, Colo.

6. San Jose, Calif.

7. Lincoln, Neb.

8. San Francisco

9. Boston

10. Minneapolis

New BlueRoof Website Includes Phoenix and Denver Markets

BlueRoof expands to Denver and Phoenix markets

Since BlueRoof first launched three years ago we have accomplished a lot- we’ve been voted “Best Real Estate Website” three years in a row, we’ve won the W3 Award (Silver in 2007, Gold in 2008 ) for Best Homepage, Visual Appeal and Navigation, we’ve sold hundreds of homes/year with only a few people, and we’ve built a strong brand in the Utah market with very devoted clients.

And although I have been offered (over two dozen times) to expand into new markets, I haven’t. Don’t get me wrong, the plan has always been to grow, but so far I have not had the chance for a few reasons- first of all Prudential bought the BlueRoof brokerage (but not the website or technology)  just 5 months after I started it, back in 2006, and I had to sign a contract stipulating a few things that prevented me from doing anything else. Then we started BlueRoof360 (in April of 2008 ) and in the last 8 months have built over 1200 websites for agents and brokers around the country, which has obviously taken my focus.

BlueRoof Agents

But the most important reason I did not expand BlueRoof sooner was that I needed to decide what was the best way for me to grow the brand while ensuring the client experience would not suffer. I’ve watched as other brands have grown to other areas but I didn’t want to grow in the same ways.

Roost partners with a company in each area, meaning the leads are going to any of the company agents, some of whom will do a good job for the clients and some will not (every company has good and bad agents) so they are basically selling leads. Redfin hires their own agents in each market, but that would require me raising capitol and they hire agents who are relatively inexperienced (top agents don’t want to be a desk jockey for another company). Estately refers leads out to other agents and although I like that they have say in the quality of service these agents provide, these agents don’t have an investment in the brand so they aren’t going to promote the brand or be dedicated to it.

I did not want to franchise the name because that would risk the brand being diluted by bad agents/brokers or not being marketed properly and I would have no control over it. I did not want to open my own brokerages in other markets because I would have to bring in investors to raise the necessary capitol and then have other people who do not know the brand, or the real estate business, telling me how to run it. And I didn’t want the website to simply be a lead generator. .  I wanted BlueRoof to be represented by people in each market that were invested in the promotion and growth of the brand and the overall experience the client receives working with the BlueRoof team.

I needed to find good, strong, established Realtor teams to work with. Teams who have a lot of experience and can handle the new business that will come, would be dedicated to growing the brand, and also offer excellent service to their clients. People who shared the same vision I have that technology should not only be used to get new business, but to improve the home buying/selling experience of our clients.

Today, I am excited to announce that I have found these teams to partner with in the Denver and Phoenix markets. Teams that I am proud to have represent the BlueRoof brand. And today we are all together  launching a new version of the website with some  cool new features and upgrades, but have maintained the overall look and feel of the original, award-winning, design.

Bob Maiocco

Our Denver, Colorado team is led by Bob Maiocco with Keller Williams. Bob got into the business in 1992 and he and his team have a lot of experience working with online web visitors, in fact has been a speaker at Keller Williams technology events discussing best practices in utilizing technology. Bob’s team averages $12-$15 Million/year in sales.

Nate Green

In the Phoenix market our team is led by Nate Green, also with Keller Williams. Nate was named the agent recruit of the year in 2004, Rookie of the Year in 2005, was ranked #10 in the nation for volume at Keller Williams November 2005,  in 2006 he was named “Cultural Icon” , in 2008 his team were spotlighted in Residential Executive magazine, and the last two years they have been the top agent and team in their office of 120+ agents and have consistently closed $12-$15 Million in sales.

BlueRoof Client Area

Our new backend system gives our clients tools that are unlike anything else in the industry, including the ability to follow their entire transaction as it happens and see showings and feedback on their listings immediately as it is left. Our new search is, in my opinion, the best in the industry- with the most visual and fun home searching experience online.

I believe that design is the most important element in a website. And by design I don’t just mean looks. At BlueRoof360 our philosophy can be summed up by a quote by Steve Jobs,

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like, design is how it works.”

We still have a lot of cool social and mobile features we’ll be adding soon, but we wanted to get the new site launched so we can begin promoting it for the spring season and using the cool new back end system for our clients. By the way, I realize that having a landing page that is a map is so… Web1.0, but I wanted the actual site to be able to represent each area separately, but also allow the web visitor to select which area they are interested in.

If you have a few minutes to spare, stop by and look around. I’m always interested to hear what people think.

Here’s to the economy stabilizing, a new presidential administration that actually cares about people who don’t give them money, the Utah Utes crashing the BCS party again, and to a fun and prosperous 2009!

Greg