2 Reasons Why You Should Add Captions to Your Real Estate Videos

Posted on: April 10th, 2012 by
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I’ve spent a lot of time writing about video marketing for real estate over the past two weeks.  The reasons are many, but the main reason I’ve written so much about it is because video marketing done right can really grow your business, and if you are going to take the time to do video then you may as well do it right.  Now that we’ve gotten that settled, let’s move on to the 2 reasons why you should add captions to your real estate videos as soon as possible.

Search Engine Optimization – Yep, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Google loves video, but it has one problem with video.  Google is a text based search engine, and video… well, it is not text based.  Captioning your videos gives the search engines text to read.  Once that text is read and your video is chocked full of your keywords, then your video will get ranked better on the search engines.  That is good!

Increase in Viewers – How well a video ranks on Google is determined in part by how many views you have.  Not just the number of views, but the number of complete beginning to end views.  By not captioning your videos you are excluding a very large part of our population – the hearing impaired.  I’ve read that there are more citizens of the US with a hearing impairment than there are total people living in Canada.  Captioning your videos includes a large sector of the market in your offers.

In one of my blogs last week I wrote about one way of getting your videos captioned.  Tomorrow I’ll give you 2 additional ways of getting your videos captioned very inexpensively.

I look forward to sharing those sources with you then.


Vinnie’s Story of Success Part 2

Posted on: April 6th, 2012 by
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About 2 months ago, I wrote a blog about a client named Vinnie who lives and works in Birmingham.  When I wrote about Vinnie back in January, Vinnie’s site was on page 3 of Google and page 2 of Yahoo. Today, I want to give you an update on Vinnie’s SEO progress because I’m particularly proud of what we have been able to accomplish.

Vinnie asked me to help him with search engine optimization of his website back in December, and I was more than happy to help him.  When we started our quest to own Google, Vinnie’s website was nowhere to be found on Google.  Google had not even indexed Vinnie’s site.  Well, we went to work, and when I say “we”, I mean Vinnie, Cindy (his assistant), and me.  After about 5 weeks, we had Vinnie’s site on page 3, and then things stalled.  Vinnie’s site sat on page 3 at number 21 for about 3 weeks with an occasional move up or down a few spots from day to day. 

Well, one day I got a call from Vinnie, and he sounded a little somber.  Something happened, and I’m not exactly sure what it was, although I have my suspicions.  Vinnie’s site moved from page 3 to page 10 literally overnight.  After a couple of days, Vinnie’s site moved from page 10 to page 14 to page 15, and there it sat for about 2 more weeks.  I worked frantically to get his site moved back up.  I gave Vinnie and Cindy homework to do to help move his site as well, but nothing seemed to move it at all. 

Then it happened!  Nope, “it” is not what you think “it” is.  “It” is the worst thing I think I could see happen for a client – Vinnie’s site disappeared!  DISAPPEARED!  Wow, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  There were restaurants that were ranking for Vinnie’s keywords “Birmingham Homes,” but Vinnie’s site was nowhere again.  Needless to say, Vinnie was not happy, and I was even more upset.  I didn’t give up, however.  I did my research, and Google had not banned Vinnie’s site.  So, I was hopeful that my strategy to get Vinnie moved back up to the ranks of those loved by Google would work.  I didn’t give up.  I put Vinnie and Cindy on hold with their homework I assigned them back in January, and I went to work to “fix” what I thought was wrong.

After about 3 weeks of working on Vinnie’s SEO, I got a call from Vinnie!  He called me to tell me that he just found his site on Google again.  Well, I was fired up when he told me this, and I had to ask where he was ranked.  I was expecting Vinnie to say he was on page 8 or 10, but he isn’t.  Vinnie’s site is now on the first page of Google for his keywords.  I’m not sure if Vinnie was more excited than I was, but we both had a celebratory telephone high-five.

As of right now, I’ve stopped doing anything else with Vinnie’s site to try to move him up the ranks with that particular keyword because I think I’ve done enough for Vinnie to get to number 1 on page 1 for that keyword.  I am now working on his other keywords.  We are still a work in progress with Vinnie’s quest to conquer Google, but I think Goliath may be getting weak kneed over Vinnie’s website.

If you would like some help with your SEO or you know of someone who needs some SEO assistance, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email.  I’ll be happy to help!


How I Found 3 Prospective Homebuyers in 5 Minutes

Posted on: April 4th, 2012 by
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I was sitting at the office working and pondering blog topics for today, and I said to myself, “Self, give your readers a tip to help them make some money… in 90 days or less… with MINIMAL work and effort!”  I’m a little crazy like that because I always want to give you more than you’ll get by reading some other blog.  So, here’s what I did.  I just found 3 prospective homebuyers using Twitter in 5 minutes, and here’s how I did it.

I opened my web browser (Firefox), and I typed the following in the address bar:  search.twitter.com.  I pressed “Enter.”  A screen came up that says, “See What’s Happening Right Now,” and there is a search bar underneath those words.  Below the search bar are the words “Advanced Search” with a hyperlink to the Advanced Search screen.

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In the Advanced Search screen, I typed in the words, “buy a house” and “Landlord” in the “All of These Words” search bar.  Note the “Landlord” search doesn’t seem to pull up results that are as good as “buy a house” but the 2 results below are unhappy being renters (I love unhappy renters!).  I entered the words “Miami, Florida” in the “Near This Place” search bar, and I entered 25 miles as the number in the “Within This Distance” box.  I clicked the “Search” button, and all of the tweets from Twitter users within 25 miles of Miami that tweeted anything with the words “buy a house” in the tweet came back in the search results.

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I found 2 leads there out of the many that came back.

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I then changed the city to Phoenix, Arizona, and I searched again and quickly found one more lead there out of the many results that came back.

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Again, this took me less than 5 minutes to search and screen the results for prospective buyers.

Well, what would I do if I was a Realtor?  I would follow them in hopes they would follow me back.  Once they followed me back, I would send them a direct message and initiate a conversation with them.  I would offer them a free report/ebook or some sort of ethical bribe to start with.  The key is to establish a rapport with them online without being pushy.  I’d eventually point them towards my website and then politely message them to ask if I can add their email address to my database where I would start my incredible drip email campaign that is designed to move suspects to prospects and prospects to buyers and sellers.  From that point, I’ll likely friend them on Facebook and then start trying to pull a phone number from them.  Once I get them on the phone they are mine!  They will be wooed by my charm and personality, and in 3 months they’ll be the owner of a home that I sold them.  That’s what I would do if I was a Realtor.

What would you do if you were a Realtor?  Don’t be the 90% and do nothing with this awesome tip.  Be a 10%’er, and leave me a comment below and let me know what you’ll do with this tip.  I look forward to seeing your responses.

 


4 Types of Real Estate Tutorial Videos That Work

Posted on: April 3rd, 2012 by
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Last week I was pretty hot and heavy on video marketing for real estate for a couple of reasons.  First, video marketing works!  There are numerous case studies of how video marketing has helped thousands of businesses (and Realtors) to grow their sales.  Second, I am now waist deep in a new video marketing class where I am learning lots of new ways to increase sales using video.  Yes, I will always be a student of the marketing game, and I’ve found sharing ideas with like minded professionals always helps develop my creative side.

On that note, today, I’d like to share with you the 4 types of tutorial (or “How To”) videos that get views and grow your viewership and sales:

1.   FAQ’s – You should be able to come up with a thousand questions buyers and/or sellers frequently ask you.  Write down a bunch of those topics, work your keywords into the video script and video title, and record your video.

2.   Demonstrations – This one is pretty self explanatory, but you may be at a loss for ideas.  How about doing a video where you demonstrate to a prospective home buyer how to research the prices of homes in the areas that she is interested in or demonstrate to a prospective seller how to best stage a room where the features of the room are highlighted rather than hidden?

3.   ABC’s of Keyword – Insert your keyword into the phrase and do a series of videos where you pick a letter from the alphabet and discuss something that starts with that letter.  For example, your title might read, “ABC’s of Buying a Foreclosure in Miami – A is for Attorney.”  I like this strategy because it lets the viewers know there are more videos to watch and you now have an endless subject of videos to record as you can repeat letters if you want.

4.   Video Series – Pick an acronym like “H.O.M.E.B.U.Y.E.R” and record a series of videos covering each letter in the acronym just as you would in the ABC’s example above.  The major difference between the ABC’s and the video series is that there is an end to the series. 

So, when preparing your video marketing strategy, pick one or more of the How To video types mentioned above to help with coming up with a format for your videos.  Use your keywords in your title and your content so your videos will be optimized and stay tuned for some tips on how to make your videos awesome.

If you have any killer ideas for video subjects or titles, please feel free to leave those below. 


3 Steps to Rank #1 on LinkedIn Searches for Real Estate

Posted on: March 30th, 2012 by
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LinkedIn, as you already know, is THE social networking site for business.  The users of the site are on the site to do business.  I am a fan of the site for that very reason.  LinkedIn is a great way to find others to do business with and for others to find you as well. 

So, how does someone find you on LinkedIn, you ask?  Well, if you have set up your profile correctly, they find you by doing a search for “real estate agent (your city)” or “Realtor (your city)” at the top of the site.  Go to LinkedIn and see where you rank.  If you are not on page 1, then read on to learn how to not only get to page 1, but spot 1 on page 1.  Trust me here, this is not hard, and the results are immediate.

There are 3 steps to accomplish a page 1 search rank on LinkedIn.  Here they are:

1.       Choose a Keyword for Which You Want to Rank – It doesn’t matter what keyword it is – Real Estate, Realtor, Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Professional, Real Estate Sales, Real Estate Sales Professional, etc, etc.  Pick a keyword (or keyword phrase) that you think people will search for on LinkedIn and write it down.

2.       Search Your Keyword – Now go to LinkedIn and actually search for your keyword.  Look at the headline and the current work experience sections and count the number of times your keyword appears in those two sections.  Write that number down.

3.       Beat That Number – There are 5 sections to put your keywords in your profile, so click on edit profile and add your keyword in these 5 sections:

a.       Headline – This is a very important place to have your keyword.

b.      Current Work Experience – The second most important place to have your keyword.

c.       Past Work Experience

d.      Summary

e.      Specialties

So, here’s the trick to #3… Don’t be spammy!  If you are using your keywords just to increase the number of times you have your keywords in your description or title, then the viewer of your profile will immediately pick up on this and move on to view the next profile.  After you do the 3 steps above you should be ranked on page 1 of LinkedIn, if not page 1 spot 1.  If you are not then keep working on your profile and be sure to build your connections.  The more connections you have and who you are connected to have an effect on your ranking, but 90% of Realtors can rank on page 1 for their keyword in their city within seconds of following steps 1 – 3 above.

Hopefully, you’ll find yourself to be the King or Queen of LinkedIn in just a few short minutes.  After you do, please come back here and leave a comment telling me how cool and smart I am.  I love reading those comments!


5.5 Real Estate Video Marketing Keyword Research Tips

Posted on: March 29th, 2012 by
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Yesterday, I wrote a post about the 4 types of keywords for your video marketing success where I gave you a list of 4 different types of keywords you can use to really boost your video marketing efforts.  In that post I promised you I would give you some video marketing keyword research tips to help you find those ideal keywords to use as topics of your videos.  Keywords for video marketing are much different than keywords you would use to drive traffic to your website.  I never like to disappoint, so here are your video marketing keyword research tips:

1.     Use Google Keyword Tool to see what keywords people are searching for that are related to real estate.  Look for keywords with 3,000 + local monthly searches.  Write those down and actually search those keywords for videos.

2.     Reverse engineering your competitors’ videos is a great way to do some reconnaisance work.  This is done by clicking on the graph button underneath the video player to the right of the display of the number of video views.  You can see lots of interesting demographics and stats as to who is watching your competitions’ videos, why the video gets the views, and where the views are coming from (which keywords are being used to find the videos).

3.     Look for keywords with upward trends using Google Insights.  You are looking for keywords that have an upward trend rather than downward (or flat).  Keywords trending up are being searched more frequently than downward trending videos.  However, as you can see by the chart below, our industry is trending downward.  So, think about what your family, friends, and clients are asking you about that is real estate related and search those trends, ie foreclosures, short sales, etc.

4.     Follow http://www.twitter.com/#!/YouTubeTrends  to see what is trending on YouTube.  This is a great way to get current event keywords that we discussed in yesterday’s post.

5.     If you are not on Twitter, then go to http://youtube-trends.blogspot.com/ to see what is hot on YouTube right now.

5.5This really doesn’t have to do with your keyword research, but it is not a bad idea to watch your competition closely.  Do this by going to Google Alerts and setting up video alerts for your keywords to see who is posting videos related to your subject.

 

Try these 5.5 tips when you are researching keywords for your video topics, and you will be far ahead of your competition.  Following this system will lead to more views for your videos and more business due to more exposure from those views.  If you have another great strategy for researching keywords for real estate video marketing, then please leave that below in the comments section.

 


4 Types of Keywords for Your Video Marketing Success

Posted on: March 28th, 2012 by
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Yesterday, I wrote a blog entitled, “4 Easy Steps to Search Engine Optimize Your Videos,” and in that post I mentioned that you need to have your keywords in your description and in the title of your video in order to get ranked highly on Google.  So, today I need to talk a bit more about keywords.  You see, the keywords that you will use to SEO your website may, or may not, be the same keywords that you want to use in your video description.  The reason is this… you should be doing videos about your keywords instead of just doing videos for the sake of doing videos and throwing your keywords into the title and description when your video really is not related to those keywords.  So where do you start with choosing keywords for your video topics?  Well, here are the 4 types of keywords you should focus on when determining video topics:

1.     Keywords Related to Your Niche – If your niche is luxury homes in Nashville, then research all of the possible keyword choices and combinations for luxury homes in Nashville and do videos on those keywords. 

2.     Keywords that Already Have Videos Appear in Google Results – I know this sounds weird, but you want to use keywords that already have videos in the search results.  This means that Google is already paying attention to video for that keyword and that the other search results are not too deeply rooted in their positions.

3.     Current Event Keywords – Piggybacking on a current event can give you lots o’ views.  For example, do a video where you jokingly apologize for being solely responsible for near record high gasoline prices.  Of course, everyone will know you are joking, but if your content is humorous enough the video will get lots of views.

4.     Related Video Keywords – This is done by copying the keyword tags of other real estate related videos on YouTube, and then doing your videos on keywords that are closely related (not identical).  YouTube will then know your video is related to the first video and will recommend yours after the first one is played.  If the original video has tons of views, then your video will have a great many views as well.  This is a very powerful strategy!

So, when trying to decide what your next video will be on, you should first do your keyword research and then choose your keyword as the subject of your video.  Tomorrow I will be sharing a few tips on researching and choosing keywords for video, so be sure to come back then to learn more.  In the meantime, please leave me a comment below to tell me if you are starting to get a little more motivated to add video to your marketing plan.


4 Easy Steps to Search Engine Optimize Your Videos

Posted on: March 27th, 2012 by
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I’ve written before about how Google is putting a great deal of emphasis on video in its search algorithm.  Because of this, video marketing should be an extremely important part of every Realtor’s marketing plan.  So, once you’ve gotten your video recorded and uploaded, there are a few things you should do to optimize your video for search engines.  Here’s the “what” and the “why”.
1.  Keywords – if you know what keywords you want to use to help your video be found in search then you want to be sure those words are in the video title and description.
2.  Description – Since we are on the subject of description… It is important enough to mention again. Add your keywords to your video description.  But also, don’t forget to add a link to your website at the beginning of your video description or in the first sentence of your description. 
3.  Promote your Video – It is important to embed your video on your website so others can view it there.  This helps your site a great deal with SEO.
4.  Don’t be Shy – Ask and ye shall receive!  You will get much more interaction if you just ask for it.  Remind everyone in the closing of your video (right after your call to action) to “like,” “share,” or forward the video to others and leave comments below.
Follow these 4 tips and you will start to see your videos moving up the search engine ranks.  If you have another tip to add to the above, then please do so below.


2 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Need Personal Websites

Posted on: March 22nd, 2012 by
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A guest post written by Tammy Adams with Stratus Social Media, LLC.  Stratus Social Media is a social media management firm who has just introduced their 5 Minute Social Media Marketing Program for Real Estate to the market.  This program provides Realtors with their daily content for their blogs, Facebook posts, tweets, and LinkedIn status updates.  This program is a real time saver.  You can learn more about it at Stratus Social Media’s website.  In the meantime, enjoy Tammy’s guest post:

As I speak with Realtors from around the country, I am often amazed at the number of agents who do not have a personal website.  When I speak with them about designing and building a website for them I’m often asked why I think having a personal website is so important.  Well, there are numerous reasons, but there are 2 basic reasons why I believe every Realtor should have a personal website for their real estate business – full time sales help and no competition.

1. Full Time Sales Help – This is the main reason for having a website, period! A website is your full time sales person.  It never takes a day off (hopefully), or a vacation.  It never calls in sick (and if it does, you need to look at a better hosting company), and it always tells your prospects exactly what you want it to say.  When you go to bed, the beach, the mountains, the lake, or just to lunch, it is still selling for you.  It should be constantly gathering buyer and seller leads and delivering those to you for your follow up.  If your website is setup properly, there is no better sales person around.

2. No Competition – Wait a minute!  I’m not saying that you will have no competition on the internet just because you have a personal website.  To the contrary, you’ll have a lot of competition online, but you won’t have any competition on your website itself.  It makes me shiver when an agent tells me he just uses his company’s website.  My question to him then is, “So, let me ask you, how many agents are in your office?”  That question usually sparks an answer in double digits.  When I explain Coke and Pepsi do not share websites (nor do Apple and Dell, nor Ford and Chevrolet, nor…) that is usually when the light bulb goes off.  Getting traffic to a particular website is a tough battle, keeping the visitors on the site by providing great content is another major hurdle, but then you’ve got to compete with 48 of your office mates for the attention of those site visitors?  That is just too much competition.  Now, you would be crazy to have your name and contact information removed from your company site, but you’d be downright bonkers to send any potential prospect to your company site only to have the prospect call an agent who is better looking or who has more listings.  With WordPress and IDX available at little to no cost, there simply is no reason for any Realtor to be without a personal website anymore.

If after you finish reading this post, you have decided you need a personal website, but don’t have the time or knowledge to do it yourself; then please call me at 205-202-1723 or email me at tammy@stratussocialmedia.com.  I’d be honored to help you, and I promise I won’t break the bank to build you a site you can be proud of.


An Awesome New App for Real Estate Agents

Posted on: March 21st, 2012 by
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As I mentioned yesterday, I love to share cool apps, software programs, and websites that make my life easier – especially when they are free.  Well, I found another one today that I also must share with you.  I’ve just downloaded it, and I’ve been playing with it some.  So far, so cool!

The app is called eSign, and it is by LandTech.  This app upgrade allows users to take a photo (scan) of existing documents to automatically create a PDF to sign.  As if that wasn’t cool enough, when you view a PDF within your Safari browser or any application that is displaying a PDF, you have the option to send the document to eSign for signatures.  The app has a built-in emailer so you can email your signed documents anywhere and anytime.  With this app you can eliminate the fax, print, and scan processes like you have to do when getting signatures on paper.

I can see so many uses for this application for Realtors.  Now you can write a contract, snap photos of each page of the contract, and email the attachment to the listing agent right there on the spot.  How cool will you look to your clients when you do that?  Here’s another application for eSign… After taking your next listing, you can snap photos of the listing agreement, email copies to your new client and to your office for your assistant or secretary to enter the listing in MLS for you so the property is on the market without delay.

I’m telling you this app is just too cool!  If you are excited about this useful new app, then go to the Apple App Store to download your free copy of it today.  Come back here after using it and tell me your thoughts.



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