Top Producers for January 2013

Congratulations to our top-producing offices for January 2013. It was a tight race, with just two closed sides separating first place from third place.

1) Help-U-Sell Hometown Realty, in York, Penn., held the top spot with eight closed sides split evenly between buyers and sellers.
2) Tied for second place, Help-U-Sell Keystone Realty, out of Chambersburg, Penn., finished the month with seven closed sides: three seller sides, two buyer sides and one dual-sided transaction.
2) Chino Hills, Calif.’s Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties also had seven closed sides in January. Five were seller sides and two were buyer sides.
3) Rounding out the top three, Help-U-Sell Federal City Realty closed six sides, a combination of two seller and four buyer transactions.

[Figures as of Feb. 5, 2013.]

7 Tips to Creating Successful Real Estate Videos

Video has been growing in importance as a marketing tool for the past few years, and 2013 promises to make the medium even more vital especially for real estate marketing. How can you take advantage of this trend?

We’ve compiled seven tips on what to do (and what not to do, especially regarding mobile optimization of videos) to create a successful video.

  • Avoid tiny text.
  • Use clear audio.
  • Put links to your website and related sites, such as your blog or a property listing, in the description.
  • Include keywords in the description.
  • Use close-up shots of interesting property features, neighborhood sites or interviewees.
  • Test the video on mobile devices.
  • Keep it no longer than 3 or 4 minutes, ideally 1 to 2 minutes.

Matt Kellam of Help-U-Sell Keystone Realty does a great job with the length, audio and keywords. Watch one of his recent videos of a property tour.

Not sure what to film? Try out this suggested content:

  • Property tours: If possible, record the sellers’ story of the home and focus on unique details of the property.
  • Neighborhood overviews: Give viewers a feel for the area and speak with local proprietors and residents about why they love the neighborhood.
  • Tips for buyers and sellers: Answer your most frequently asked questions (one per video).
  • Market updates: Share the most recent sales figures or give the latest interest rate information. Use graphs or other visuals to help explain the changes.
  • Client testimonials: Record your happy sellers’ and buyers’ praising you and your staff.

Do you have any other ideas for video content or tips for successful videos? If so, please share them with us.

[Special thanks to Inman News‘ Mobile Marketing Essentials webinar for a few of these tips.]

Help-U-Sell Success Summit 2012

We’re just back from the 2012 Help-U-Sell Success Summit, and the REALTORS Conference & Expo leading up to it. By all accounts, both were a great success! We loved seeing our brokers from all over the country. Several of them (Kim and Mike Zelena, Leigh Anne Losh, Kyna Baehr, and Walt Hippauf) drove hundreds of miles to be with us in Orlando.

Thank you to everyone who spent time at our expo booth. Your testimonials to prospective franchisees are more powerful than just about anything we can say to them or show them. A special thank-you to Dan Desmond, who made the trek from storm-damaged New Jersey to help out at the Expo and to attend the Summit.

We hope all who attended the Success Summit got some great takeaways. The hands-on approach and interactive discussions about OMS and website requests and your fee structures taught us, too. We also talked about partnering with a wonderful charity that gives food to the hungry and about adding a potential vendor to our program. As we get closer to finalizing those partnerships, we will keep you informed.

Those of you who couldn’t make it this year, please mark your calendars and start saving now for the 2013 events in San Francisco. The NAR dates are Nov. 8-11, and we will have our Success Summit immediately following. We’ll provide more information in the months to come.

Meanwhile, enjoy a few photos from the Expo and the Success Summit.

Help-U-Sell Real Estate's booth at the Realtors Expo
Help-U-Sell Real Estate's booth at the Realtors Conference & Expo in Orlando

Chris, Dee and Kendra working the Help-U-Sell booth at NAR
Chris, Dee and Kendra working the Help-U-Sell Real Estate booth at the Realtors Conference & Expo

Tracy Jacobs of Help-U-Sell Quad Cities Realty
Tracy Jacobs of Help-U-Sell Quad Cities Realty takes notes during the Success Summit.

Help-U-Sell Success Summit
Ron McCoy teaching about Instagram during the Help-U-Sell Success Summit

Top Producers for June 2012

Believe it or not, the year is half over! Our top producers for June have maintained the great pace that has been set the past couple of months.

1) Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties in Chino Hills, Calif., finished June with an outstanding 15 closed sides, six of which were two-sided.

2) Charlotte’s Help-U-Sell Buy Today tied for second place with eight closed sides.

2) Another North Carolina office, Help-U-Sell Triad Realty, closed five buyer sides and three seller sides.

3) Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate, out of Waynesboro, Va., was part of a four-way tie for third place with seven closed sides.

3) Wisconsin’s Help-U-Sell Jeff Braun Realty had two two-sided, one seller-side and two buyer-side closings.

3) Help-U-Sell Keystone Realty, in Chambersburg, Penn., closed five seller sides last month with a total of seven closed sides.

3) Help-U-Sell Select Services continued its short-sale and foreclosure focus and closed seven seller sides in June.

Congratulations to all of our top producers for last month! Let’s keep up the momentum through the end of the year.

[Figures as of July 5, 2012.]

Broker Focus: Matt Kellam

Matt Kellam, broker/owner of Help-U-Sell Keystone Realty
Matt Kellam, broker/owner of Help-U-Sell Keystone Realty in Chambersburg, Penn.

Matt Kellam, broker/owner of Help-U-Sell Keystone Realty in Chambersburg, Penn., takes a two-pronged approach to serving his clients and marketing their homes: tried-and-true basics and modern technology.

He opened his office in May 2005 and has learned a lot in the years since. “The basic Help-U-Sell system works,” he says. “Don’t try to fix something that’s not broken.”

One exception: He prefers to host open houses himself in order to capture buyer leads.

Personal contact is important to Kellam. He makes a point of keeping in touch with clients, past, present and future and encourages new Help-U-Sell brokers to do the same. “Be sure to be accessible to buyers and sellers,” he says. One of the benefits of running small office is that people can reach him directly on any given day. He’s also planning to put more energy into staying connected to previous clients and centers of influence this year.

For Kellam, the personal touch leads the way in client relations, but the Internet rules when it comes to property marketing. When he started out, he followed everyone else into print advertising, soon realizing that online was where his office needed to focus. Now, he’s creating video tours to help his sellers attract buyers. Having spent 20 years in radio, he says, “multimedia doesn’t faze me.”

Kellam films each house with a Sony Cyber-shot camera and uses Windows Movie Maker to edit the video. He records the audio separately using a headset and then adds the audio track to the video. He uploads the videos on YouTube and links to them on his site under the Virtual Tours tab on the property pages. One of his recent property videos shows both the exterior and interior and gives information about recent remodeling, last year’s property taxes and room dimensions.

He’s planning to phase out static virtual tours in the near future.

How do you use video in your marketing mix?