I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Toronto-area real estate agent, David Pylyp. Before I continue I know what you're thinking: What does real estate have to do with technology? Well, not a whole lot. But when we take a look at how real estate is marketed then we can agree that technology has a lot to do with real estate.
Canadian start-up Homes on Mobile Phones is helping connect realtors with home buyers via smartphone technology. Zoocasa, BuzzBuzzHome and Homezilla are helping home buyers with home and neighbourhood search. Tools such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and even blogging are also being used by real estate professionals to help them market their services and sell homes for their clients.
David Pylyp is one agent who is not letting these tools get the best of him. In fact, he is looking to leverage them in such a way as to maximize his ability to serve his clients. He showed me his online strategy. It's quite impressive.
Here's a little bit of our conversation:
What is your localism strategy and why do you think it works for you?
Anyone can do the same as I do if they invest the time and effort to develop the same ads and content. The ads are based on the localism that creates hyper interest. You need to establish yourself as dominant in a small (url) pond (keeping things local) before you can become ranked in a larger URL pool. I have combined Website content, blogs, ads and YouTube video’s all related and providing links to my personal website for additional content.
What social media tools do you presently use?
I try to register on all the media that I find online. I presently use Twitter and Facebook. LinkedIn does have some registration input but is not in the same social media category. I have abandoned MySpace.
How has technology changed the way you market yourself and your client’s properties?
Open house and new listings are promoted on 30 – 40 different websites with names similar to my main website. Each listing also includes Google Streetview so that you can see what the neighbours look like and what the street placement is. Each has a flickr stream of pictures as TREB is limited currently to nine. Flickr stream can be 30 – 40 pictures in length. Each property has a YouTube video. In addition the video’s are also syndicated to other sites.
These activities all help to promote the property and the activity at the Open Houses. I now have something that is tangible that creates and directly answers the “What is different about you as an Agent and what you will do to market my home?” (Questions that we are always answering). Newspaper and magazine advertisers are obsolete. Just look at the advert revenues for Torstar, Mississauga News, Resale Homes etc. Why would you brag you advertise in a magazine that takes 2 weeks to print and is on the shelf for 2 weeks? The day it is fresh it is one month behind the market. The internet is daily and instantaneous.