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Friday Freebie: Dress Up Your Listings with this Virtual Staging Offer
As we round the corner towards Halloween, that means one thing--the season of overly decorated listings is upon us. But never fear, there's a way to make sure your listing photos remain high quality (and not frightening to buyers) throughout the holiday season. That very timely strategy? Virtual staging and photo editing. Read on to learn how you can try it out at no cost in this week's Friday Freebie. Free Virtual Staging Edit and 4 Bonus Listing Photo Edits, courtesy of BoxBrownie.com Scary home decor isn't the only thing that can mess up your listing photos. As a real estate agent, we're sure you've seen it all—clutter, mess, poor lighting, ugly furnishings and beyond. Sometimes a seller just won't work with you to prepare their home for a photoshoot. Or maybe the home is empty and it needs a little "dressing up" to pique buyers' interest. Whatever the case may be, virtual staging and photo editing can help you present the best possible version of your listing to the world. And BoxBrownie.com wants to help you do just that. That's why they're offering RE Technology readers a FREE virtual staging edit, plus four listing photo edits. Here are just a few things these edits can help with: Affordably stage both vacant and occupied listings Help buyers envision different uses for a room—e.g., digitally transform a bedroom into a home office Reduce clutter caused by the current occupant's belongings Remove seasonal items like Christmas or Halloween decorations Optimize your listing photos for color, composition, and more Transform daylight shots into warm, attractive twilight shots And more! Want to try it for yourself? Claim your FREE virtual staging edit and bonus photo edits now!
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Five Fall Photo Faux Pas
Most people won't hop in a car and drive out to see a listing until they've already examined it online and determined they like it. That's why it's important to take plenty of great photos of your listing. The quality and quantity of your images can have a big impact on how desirable buyers find your listing. Equally important is the content of your photos. Make sure you make a great first impression to attract more showings by taking care of these fall staging essentials before you send out your photographer.
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How to Take Professional Photos on Your iPhone or Android Phone
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How to Create a Virtual House Tour
It's every real estate agent's dream--a property with a breathtaking view that absolutely blows the socks off your potential buyers. But what happens when you're creating a 360° virtual tour and all the spectacular window detail is blown out and not clear in the photos? In this tutorial, we will show you how to create a virtual tour without losing the window detail so you can showcase the property in the most accurate light possible. How to Set Up Your 360° Camera For this tutorial, we will be using the Ricoh Z1 and we will be taking bracketed shots to ensure we can capture the breathtaking outlook without losing both the internal and external focus. By using the bracketing technique, we will be capturing many different exposures which we can then blend together using our 360° Image Enhancement service. If you'd like to learn more about what bracketed images are, you can check out our previous blog here. In this case, we will be programming each bracket manually, and below is a list of the settings we will be using. Pair your 360° Ricoh Z1 camera with the Theta app, which is available on both the App Store and Google Play. Select the "cog" icon in the top right-hand corner Set the Shooting Method to "Multi Bracket" Set the Self-timer to "10sec" Set the File Format to "JPEG" Next, your image size should be set to "670x3360°" (or the highest number possible on your device). Please note, this can't be changed in multi-bracket mode. Once you have adjusted these settings, simply select "Done" in the top right-hand corner Then, click the "+" button to set your first bracket Set the Aperture to 5.6, Shutter Speed to 1/3200, ISO to 100 and WB to 5600K, then simply select "Done" You can then repeat steps 8 and 9 so you finish with seven brackets at the following shutter speeds Shutter Speeds: 1/3200 1/1250 1/640 1/320 1/160 1/50 1/13 Now each time you take a photo, it will shoot seven photos automatically at the different exposures that you have programmed here. It's important to note when taking your brackets, some of the images will likely be completely over-exposed. This is normal, and the reason for this is we have tried here to create a setting that will capture enough brackets when shooting in almost any environment. This includes a really bright sunny day right through to a dark basement. Unfortunately, the Ricoh Z1 doesn't use a light meter when bracketing, so it's up to us to try and guess the exposures that will allow us to capture the property in full detail. Shooting Brackets with Your 360° Camera Now that your camera is all set up and configured, it will automatically capture seven shots each time. Once you are ready to begin shooting, you simply need to select the shutter next to the camera and hide so you are not captured in the shot. The Wi-Fi range on the app may not be fantastic, so try to find a hiding spot not too far away from the camera itself when taking the shots. As the camera captures the images, be sure to check the results via the app on your phone to ensure all the spectacular detail outside the window is being captured. Don't panic if it takes you a few tries to get the exact settings required to shoot a property on your 360° camera. This is completely normal, and once you have the configuration correct, it's easy and fast. If possible, try and shoot the home at midday, which will ensure the sun is overhead rather than shining directly into the camera. This is even more important when capturing outdoor areas to limit solar flares on the camera lens. As with most real estate photography, always have the blinds open, turn all the internal lights on, keep the camera as close to eye level as possible, and ensure the home has been prepared properly prior to starting the shoot. If you'd like to learn more about preparing a property for the shoot, you can download our free Pre-Photography Checklist. It's always best to remove any unnecessary items from the room, but if this isn't possible, we offer Item Removal and Virtual Staging for 360° images. Conclusion Capturing professional 360° images doesn't have to be hard or time-consuming. By using these bracketing techniques, you can ensure your virtual tours stand out from the crowd and showcase the property in the best light every single time. BoxBrownie.com is currently offering a free virtual staging edit (valued at $32) to every RE Technology member (new accounts only). This offer expires on September 30. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit. To view the original article, visit the BoxBrownie.com blog.
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How to Shoot Real Estate So It Attracts More Buyers
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Should Real Estate Agents Be on Instagram? The Pros, Cons and How to Get Started
Even if you're active on social media for marketing, you might still wonder if real estate agents can use Instagram to help promote their business. On one hand, Instagram seems like a perfect fit considering that it's image-based. What better way to show off your latest listing than photos? But Instagram isn't quite like other social media marketing platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, and it can take real estate agents a little getting used to before they get the hang of putting it to work for their marketing.
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How to Sell a Property in 7 Days
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How to Shoot Real Estate with Only an iPhone 11
It's no secret that as real estate agents or property managers, we are always trying to get ahead of the pack. Elevating your marketing above the rest could be the difference between securing your next sale or missing out to your competitor down the street. In this blog, we are going to prove you really can shoot real estate using just the iPhone 11. This latest release from Apple features an awesome wide-angle lens that is simply insane and, when paired with the CameraPixels PRO app and HDR Image Enhancement, it can really help set your property marketing apart from the rest. What Is Bracketing? Bracketing is used by photographers to take multiple shots of the same image at different exposures which can then be combined into the finished product. This process produces an HDR image or a High Dynamic Range image that can highlight important details of the property you're shooting, particularly homes with a fantastic outlook or view that you want to capture. Typically, the photographer will shoot approximately seven images at different exposures which can then be uploaded to BoxBrownie.com using the Image Enhancement edit. Our team of expert editors will then combine these shots into one image to create a fantastic, professionally finished product. You can find out more about how HDR bracketing works in this previous blog. How to Bracket on the iPhone To set up bracketing on your iPhone, you will need to download an app from the App Store called CameraPixels PRO. There is a free version of the app. However, the functionality is limited and we recommend you download CameraPixels PRO version (approximately $7) and enter the below settings: 1. Open up the CameraPixels PRO app Click on ISO and set to 20 (this is an important step) Click on Mode Click on Bracketing Click on Set 2. Under 'Image' Resolution: 12.2MP x 4032 x 3024 Crop: 4:3 Quality: 100% Stabilization: On 3. Under 'Bracket' Type: Exposure Image Count: 7 Images EV Step: 1.0 F-Stop Flash: Off 4. Under 'Intervalometer' Timer: 1 Sec Image Count: Single Lapse: 1 Sec Click Save As Preset Give the Preset a name Once these settings have been programmed, it's just a matter of preparing and shooting the property as you normally would. For some handy tips on preparing the home for photography, check out our FREE Pre-Photography Checklist. Each time you take a photo using the CameraPixels PRO app, the phone will automatically take seven shots. The most important tip is to make sure you always use a tripod when taking bracketed images as all the exposure images must align perfectly to produce a professional result. Comparing the Finished Results The examples below highlight the before and after results from shooting bracketed images using the iPhone 11 via the CameraPixels PRO app, and then uploading those images to our Image Enhancement edit. Kitchen Before and After This is a spectacular property and it has been beautifully prepared. However, the before image of the kitchen still appears quite dull and lifeless. This is in stark contrast to the bracketed and enhanced finished shot which truly showcase just how special this home is and is sure to attract the attention of potential buyers. Outdoor Living Area Before and After This is a great example of how impressive the wide-angle lens feature is on the iPhone 11. The amount of detail we are able to capture in frame is simply remarkable for a smartphone. When edited using our Image Enhancement edit, you really can produce a magazine-quality result. Bedroom Before and After As you can see with the final bedroom image, the detail is very clear and crisp not only internally but also with the view outside. This is a great way to highlight the flow of the home and draw the viewer's attention to the amazing outlook. Conclusion There's no doubt about it: with a few simple tips, you really can produce a professional result using the iPhone 11 with the wide-angle lens feature for your real estate photography. As we have shown, by using the CameraPixels PRO app and our HDR Image Enhancement, you can elevate your property marketing head-and-shoulders above the competition. If you'd like to give our Image Enhancement edit a try for yourself, click here or sign up for FREE at BoxBrownie.com today. BoxBrownie.com is currently offering a free virtual staging edit (valued at $32) to every RE Technology member (new accounts only). This offer expires on September 18, 2020. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit. To view the original article, visit the BoxBrownie.com blog.
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Instagram 101: How to Successfully Build Your Business in 20 Minutes a Week
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Friday Freebie: Virtual Staging + 4 Bonus Listing Photo Edits
Listing a looking little lackluster? Whether your latest listing is vacant or the outdated decor of the current owner isn't exactly drawing in the buyers, there's a quick and simple solution. Even better? It's wallet friendly. Find out more in this week's Friday Freebie. Free Virtual Staging Edit and 4 Bonus Listing Photo Edits, courtesy of BoxBrownie.com Your listing photos are the first things buyers see—and the first thing that draws them in. If your photos leave something to be desired, it can result in everything from lower offers to higher days on market, and even to a listing that doesn't sell at all. But sometimes it's not the photography that's the problem—it's the subject of those photos. That's where virtual staging comes in. Like real-world staging, virtual staging adds appeal to a home by adding attractive furnishings and decor. And because it's all accomplished digitally, virtual staging is substantially more affordable than traditional staging. Now RE Technology readers can try virtual staging for themselves—at no cost. For a limited time, BoxBrownie.com is offering our readers a free virtual staging edit, plus four bonus photo edits. Here are just a few ways virtual staging and photo edits can benefit your listings: Affordably stage both vacant and occupied listings Help buyers envision different uses for a room—e.g., digitally transform a bedroom into a home office Reduce clutter caused by the current occupant's belongings Remove seasonal items like Christmas or Halloween decorations Optimize your listing photos for color, composition, and more Transform daylight shots into warm, attractive twilight shots And more! Ready to get started? Claim your FREE virtual staging edit and bonus photo edits now!
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Are Your Listing Photos Costing You Leads?
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How to Run Instagram Ads for Your Real Estate Business
Promoting your real estate business on social media is a solid part of online marketing campaigns. The abundance of platforms, however, creates a paradox of choice for real estate professionals. They often have to spend a lot of money advertising on various social media until they can find the most efficient one. Despite the fact that, ultimately, there are no perfect options, Facebook and Instagram are viable choices since they have a huge amount of ad features and a great audience. In this guide, we will take a look at how we can run Instagram ads for real estate. But first, let's talk about why we should post ads on Instagram.
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Let Listing Pictures and Video Do the Talking on Instagram
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Are Your Real Estate Photos Enticing Buyers?
You're well aware high-quality listing photographs are a key component to your success as a real estate agent. But here's a few stats, courtesy of RISMedia, that help quantify just how vital they are: Homes with high-quality photography sell 32 percent faster. Homes with more photos sell faster. A home with one photo spends an average of 70 days on the market, but a home with 20 photos spends 32 days on the market. For homes in the $200,000 to $1 million range, those that include high-quality photography in their listings sell for $3,000-$11,000 more. High-quality photographs have a great sway in determining whether or not a property transacts. So, if you're looking to move a current property, or if you want to take advantage of all-time cheap social media advertisements to generate interest in your coming soon listings, now's the time to seriously consider the quality of your images.
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When Should You Use Instagram for Your Real Estate Marketing?
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How to Conquer Instagram for Virtual Selling for Real Estate
While many of us are aware that Instagram is a rapidly growing social media platform, many real estate professionals have not figured out the best ways to make an investment in Instagram be a profitable venture. Michael Tomasetti and Michael Glazer from Back At You Media delivered a fascinating Coffee Chat, breaking down the mysteries of Instagram into plain English. They showed us how Instagram can help build your brand AND become a way to capture leads, especially among younger homebuyers. Here are their three suggestions for winning on Instagram: 1. Set up an Instagram BUSINESS account If you have a personal Instagram account and would like to get more serious about using Instagram as a lead gen source, convert your account to a business account. Here's a guide from Instagram on how to set up a business account. With a business account, you will receive analytics and better ways to target your local audience. 2. Use video Videos receive 38% more engagement than image posts and 2.1x the amount of comments on Instagram. There are ways for you to post a one-minute video, and using IGTV, you can post a FULL 3D virtual tour as well. 3. Use hashtags Instagram posts with at least one hashtag got 70% more likes and 392% more comments than those without hashtags (source: Augorapulse). Although you can post up to 30 hashtags per Instagram post, data shows that seven hashtags generate the most engagement, while more than nine are perceived as spam. The best types of hashtags are localized, but not TOO specific. Here's a good example: #RealEstateMilwaukee. 4. What content should I post on Instagram? Teasers to new listings and posts Behind-the-scenes! Q&A Prompts Invitations to virtual tours Design and home maintenance tips Watch the entire recording below to get a 101 course on the best ways to use Instagram: More Resources If you would like to learn more about how Back At You can help you win on Instagram and other social media channels, click here. Don't Miss These Upcoming Coffee Chats! Thursday, May 21 Earn a Client for Life by Taking Credit for the Listing Exposure and Leads You Are Generating with Trent Gardner of ListTrac Friday, May 22 Learn How to Capitalize on the Pent-Up Demand with Jack Markham of Zurple If you would like us to sign you up for all upcoming coffee chats, email [email protected] and he will get you signed up. If you would like to get notifications every time a Coffee Chat recording is published, subscribe to our YouTube channel, RETechnologyInc. Then hit the bell next to the Subscribe button and receive notifications every time we publish new educational videos. Get Recordings of All Coffee Chats If you would like to binge watch all of the Coffee Chat recordings, click here. If you would like a FREE 3-month trial of RE Technology, go to retechnology.com, click Create Account and then use one of these coupon codes: COVID-19A COVID-19B COVID-19M
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6 Apps to Help You Take Better Listing Photos
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How Many Hashtags to Use and 6 Other Instagram Tips for Real Estate Agents
Social media isn't just for high-schoolers, celebrities, or big businesses. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all free, easy-to-use tools that, when managed correctly, can be a powerful way to build your brand and create a reliable source of new rental leads. Social media is especially important for the "digital natives" — all the Millennials entering the housing market — but 69% of all US adults have a social media account. A lot of agents probably are already using social media, so we all probably recognize its potential, but don't know what to post, when to post, and what tools are at their disposal. Don't worry. Rental Beast is here to help. We've developed a guide to Instagram tips for real estate agents.
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How to Use Your New Smartphone Camera Like a Pro
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Real Estate Marketing Health Check (Episode 1)
Ever wondered how you can improve your online marketing through your images? Sometimes it's hard to know exactly where our marketing ranks when we are so close to it and are very familiar with the properties we are showcasing. Often it can take an outsider's expert opinion to highlight some simple yet potentially incredibly important areas that can be improved. For this very reason, we have launched the free Real Estate Marketing Health Check. This is where we will perform an unbiased review of your existing property marketing and let you know what could be done to improve your images. Today, we've been sent a listing in New York found on Zillow to analyze, so let's take a look.
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How to Improve Your Real Estate Photography
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Instagram for Real Estate Agents: Top Accounts to Follow Today
As a real estate agent, you are always on your phone. Answering calls, replying to emails and then all of your other time gets occupied by social media. If you have Instagram already, we have compiled a list of a few top real estate accounts to follow today. Whether you are looking for inspiration, motivational quotes, interesting photography, or humor, these real estate accounts are key to starting you off on the right foot for the day:
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Real Estate Photography: 9 Tips for Stunning DIY Photos
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3D Walk-throughs Aren't Just for Listings: Capture These 6 Local Spaces to Boost Engagement and Business Opportunity
As a real estate professional, a meaningful connection to your community is vital to the success of your business. But we know you've heard the same advice on the subject over and over--host events, be a source of community information, volunteer, etc. Today, however, we're going to introduce you to a high-tech way to connect to your local market--and, bonus, it's sure to dazzle and engage consumers in your area. That strategy? Capturing community spaces in 3D walk-throughs. Not only does this help relocating buyers become more familiar (not to mention creating sight-unseen opportunities) with your community, but it also adds confidence and comfort to the home search through knowledge of local establishments, helping real estate consumers decide which neighborhood suits them best. "Increasingly, especially when we're talking about suburban redevelopment, you're not only choosing the house, you're choosing the neighborhood and the places that are part of that neighborhood," says Charles Nitschke, Chief Integration Officer, Sotheby's Tomlinson Group. Nitschke is part of a growing group of savvy real estate professionals around the country who are tapping into the power of Matterport's technology to capture three-dimensional models, or "digital twins," of various community establishments and businesses in their market areas. Here are examples of six local spaces you can capture in your community to boost consumer engagement, lead generation and awareness of your real estate brand. Schools So you've got school ratings, school district zoning, and other information on your real estate website. That's a great start, but you can take things to a whole other level by including 3D walk throughs of those schools where people can virtually experience and learn about the facility for themselves. Nitschke finds that this is especially useful for markets with colleges or universities. "[Institutions] are tremendously interested in being able to show off their space to attract students, to be able to walk the parents and students through the facility, to get comfortable with it before they start travelling to narrow down their final school selection." After scanning their first school, Nitschke's brokerage, Sotheby's Tomlinson Group, approached another. Next summer, they will scan Idaho College's athletic department and then scale out into dorms, classrooms, and eventually the whole college. The 3D scan will be available on the college's website and on their brokerage's site, said Nitschke. "It's a big part of becoming that digital mayor, becoming that tour guide for the community." Local art galleries Lisa Larkin is the designated broker for RE/MAX Select in Tucson, Ariz., and she has long understood the power of co-branding with influential local figures. For years, her team has worked with Diana Madaras, a high-profile local artist, to host client appreciation events at her gallery, license her art on their marketing materials, and more. When Larkin and her team discovered Matterport, they offered to scan a new gallery space she had just purchased so that she could put it on her website. It's now featured prominently on her site's front page. They put the scan on their website too, under a relocation tab where people new to Tucson could see different places and businesses around town. The result is mutually beneficial: real estate consumers learn of an important local artist, and art consumers learn about a local real estate company that's differentiating themselves through the use of innovative technology. Event and recreational spaces Microbreweries are a big trend across the country, and they tend to attract a savvy, upwardly mobile clientele—an ideal real estate customer. A new agent at Sotheby's Tomlinson Group captured a local brewery as a way to break into the market and to introduce himself to the owner of the brewery. That introduction led him to listing the owner's house when the owner decided it was time to downsize. Theaters, concert venues, gyms, and other similar spaces are also excellent candidates for 3D reality capture. These popular locations service what equates to a large audience every year, many of whom will visit their website where your Matterport scan is located. That means this untapped audience will have the chance to see your 3D digital twin on a consistent basis and the opportunity to learn about your real estate business. Places of worship Sotheby's Tomlinson Group parlayed their digital twins of local schools into an opportunity to scan a 60,000 sq. ft. mega church and its 60,000 sq. ft. athletic facility. Along with building awareness for their brand, the scan is also connecting their community to church-facilitated services that they may not have otherwise known existed, such as substance abuse and domestic violence programs. "If you were to walk into this large church, try to figure out where to go to find those services, to familiarize yourself with what's available, or even to get the process started, it would be an intimidating process to go down that road," says Nitschke. The digital twins of the church helps community members understand what's offered, where to go within the church, and how to reach out. The church is even leveraging Matterport "Mattertags," to embed digital media (in this case video) into their digital twins. Every week, they add their sermons in a Mattertag for people who missed the service or want to listen again. Your office While creating 3D digital twins of local spaces is a great form of passive marketing, let's not forget one very important space you should also capture—your office. "It's fantastic to send out to clients so that they know where they're going to be going, where they're going to be meeting and take some of the apprehension out of that process," says Nitschke. Unlike your office, the digital twin is available 24/7, and it can help current and potential clients feel more comfortable with your business. Sotheby's Tomlinson Group has also scanned their title company and has future plans to scan their mortgage vendor's office, too. "When the consumer is getting ready to go to closing day, they're able to navigate the building where the title company is so they know where to go from the parking garage to the title company, what the reception desk looks like, what the conference room that they're going to be signing in looks like. It just takes a lot of that stress out of an already stressful situation by being able to walk them through," says Nitschke. How Can I Get Started? We've talked about capturing some very big, important spaces in your community. If that seems intimidating, it isn't. Starting with local businesses you're already familiar with will streamline the partnering process, but creating the digital twin itself is really quite simple. It's a natural step in building relationships for an industry that relies on that ability. "I'm finding the more that we get involved in these community spaces that are incredibly important to how and why and where people choose to live, the relationships start to build on one another," says Nitschke. "Shooting this facility ends up leading to an introduction to somebody to shoot another facility, and so we're kind of growing very naturally through collecting these spaces." Once you've captured your first community space, be sure to put it on your website and promote it wherever you can. Lisa Larkin's brokerage, RE/MAX Select, has even created a website dedicated solely to 3D tours of local spaces, as well as a Facebook page for that website. An easily accessible collection of 3D digital twins of community spaces also helps real estate consumers get a better sense of what a neighborhood's all about—far better than traditional real estate tools and MLS data can. Traditional tools offer "no depth to what a community is all about, and this allows us to give them a much better idea of what the difference is between some of these neighborhoods," says Nitschke. For more in-depth information about capturing community spaces, including marketing strategies, check out our recent webinar here. And try Matterport yourself with your free Matterport account to get started with 3D differentiation.
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10 Ways Virtual Staging Can Make You More Money
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Tips to Present Your Listing in Its Best Light
At BoxBrownie.com, we (unfortunately) see hundreds of photoshoots where homes have been presented poorly and agents are missing the chance to showcase the property in its best light. Having magazine-ready imagery is crucial in marketing the home effectively and gives you the greatest chance to receive the best price. In this post, we analyze 10 images from a recently listed home, and our co-founder, Brad Filliponi, outlines key areas to help present the property to get the best result.
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Instagram's Latest Change: What It Means for Your Business
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Run Your Real Estate Business with a Smartphone Using Cameras and Scanners
We all remember cameras from our past: the film, where we dropped the film off to get our pictures, the pictures which we ended up throwing away, and of course the negatives we saved just in case. Around 2000, many of us started using a digital camera. We were so proud to buy a 2.1-megapixel camera for hundreds of dollars! Doing my research for this article, I stumbled across a news article published July 26th, 2001 which said that merging a PDA (personal digital assistant) and a camera was like chocolate and oranges. The article continues with why not have a can opener or a tear gas attachment for your PDA? I guess the author of that article was skeptical about what would become a revolution in the world of photography.
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Repurposing Your Listing Photos: 3 Timeless Shots that Live on Beyond the Sale
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[Best of 2019] Headshot Ideas from the Pros: Stand Out from the Crowd
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in September and is #4 in our countdown. See #5 here. One of the biggest agent concerns is finding ways to stand out in the crowded marketplace of other agents. Why, then, do so many agents copy other agents? From websites to scripts, originality is sabotaged at every turn. And this is most apparent when it comes to an agent's photo. Nine photos out of 10 are absolutely identical. The hands are either on the hips or arms are crossed. Is it any wonder that consumers have the notion that all real estate agents are alike? Step away from the pack during your next photo shoot. Here are some ideas from the pros.
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Is Your Headshot Killing Your Business?
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How to Grow Your Business with Leads from Instagram
Real estate is more visually driven than ever before and to be a successful real estate agent, these days you need to know how to utilize all the tools. That is exactly what Marki Lemons-Ryhal explained when she shared her tips and best practices to help your Instagram business boom during her recent appearance on the Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Increase Your Presence and Leads Quickly with Instagram and IGTV. Lemons-Ryhal is listed in the top 10 percent of REALTORS in the Chicago area and has earned the REALTOR Achievement Award and The President's Award from the Chicago Association of REALTORS. She shares her expertise by speaking at conventions and other classes to teach agents to use social media to benefit their business.
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Enhancing Photos and Virtual Staging: Know the Rules
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How Much Do Bad Real Estate Photos Cost You?
Before the average buyer even considers visiting your property, they will look at your photos. With so much competition in the real estate market, you cannot afford what you lose when you just take a few pictures with your iPhone. The gap in photo quality between the average smartphone and a professional photographer's equipment is substantial. But you also miss out on the great additional services a professional real estate photographer offers. (A couple of great examples are twilight and aerial photography, which capture your property at the perfect time of day and the most ideal angle.) Below, you'll find what bad or even average real estate photos cost you with every listing.
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13 Spooky Listing Photos that Will Terrify Prospects
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Should Real Estate Agents Be on Instagram? The Pros, Cons and How to Get Started
Even if you're active on social media for marketing, you might still wonder if real estate agents can use Instagram to help promote their business. On one hand, Instagram seems like a perfect fit considering that it's image-based, and what better way to show off your latest listing than photos? But Instagram isn't quite like the other social media marketing platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, and it can take real estate agents a little getting used to before they get the hang of putting it to work for their marketing.
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14 Easy Real Estate Photography Tips
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The Ethical Use of Photoshop in Real Estate Marketing
Marketing or Misleading? The home buying process now starts online, which makes it critical to present your listing in the most appealing way possible. From creative word play in your property description to engaging imagery in your online tour, the intent should be to attract attention to the home, never to misguide offers. But digital manipulation is ubiquitous in online marketing, and recent advances in photo editing technology have created challenges in defining what is presenting a property in a positive light—and what is outright misleading.
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Headshot Ideas from the Pros: Stand Out from the Crowd
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Analyzing the Good and Bad of a Property Photo Shoot
Today, we're analyzing a recently completed photoshoot of a property and will highlight what could be improved and what already looks great in the images. The goal of this blog is to give some tips and suggest things to look out for when shooting your next listing.
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Stay in Your Lane: How Hiring Professional Photographers Saves You Money
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10 More Ways to Increase Real Estate Leads Using Instagram
Out of all social media, Instagram users are the most likely to "take action" on posts. Because of this, Instagram has become a very welcoming place for businesses. Engagement is encouraged in a much stronger way than on other social media platforms, and there are endless possibilities when it comes to advertising on Instagram. Take a look at these ten ways to Increase your real estate leads on Instagram and take your profile to the next level.
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6 Head Shots to Stop Taking
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Cheat Sheet: Photo Editing Terms for Real Estate Agents
Professional photographers make a bunch of tweaks to your photos behind the scenes that have a huge impact. Here is a guide to talking the photography talk even if you can't walk the walk. Use the guide to communicate changes you may need or to criticize your colleague's inferior photos--up to you!
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How to Shoot Bedrooms
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23 Resources to Grow Your Multimedia Marketing Skills
June is Entrepreneurs' DIY Marketing Month--and who's more DIY when it comes to marketing than real estate agents? We'd be remiss if we let the month pass without acknowledging all the hard work you do to market your brand and your listings. After all, to keep up with today's marketing trends, you need to employ a host of multimedia skills--from graphic design to video creation to photography and beyond. To keep your knowledge fresh and your skills up-to-date, we've compiled this guide of 23 resources to help grow your mastery of multimedia marketing.
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Most Real Estate Agents Aren't Using the Right Photo File Type
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How to Shoot a House for Under $16
Real estate photography can quickly become expensive, which is less than ideal. However, creating high quality professional images can be achieved at a fraction of the cost. To demonstrate this, BoxBrownie's real estate photography guru and co-founder Brad Filliponi is going to shoot a property with a smartphone. You will learn the key tips on the most important areas in the home so your listing will stand out.
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How to Attract Real Estate Leads on Instagram
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Top 10 Real Estate Photography Tips
Want your listing to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible? Make sure you listing photos are as good as they can be. In this article, BoxBrownie founder Brad Fillponi shares his expert tips and tricks to nail those all-important shots. By following these simple steps, you can ensure you are showcasing everything your listing has to offer in your photos.
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How to Plan Your Next Real Estate Post on Instagram
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4 Tips for Growing Your Real Estate Business with Instagram
No matter what platforms you prefer for marketing your real estate business, there's no doubt that visual marketing is a massive key to attracting qualified real estate leads. That's just one reason why Instagram, one of the most popular social platforms in the world, is also among the best places online to promote your real estate business. Having a plan based on proven practices is crucial to Instagram success, and we're here to help you get started with four tips for growing your real estate business with Instagram.
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57 Hilariously Terrible Real Estate Photos
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Top 5 Beginner Camera Tips for Real Estate Photography
Starting off in real estate photography? Not sure where to begin? We're here to help! This article will explore five practical tips for anyone starting off in real estate photography that will help speed up your workflow and improve image quality.
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Building Your Brand on Instagram? These Tips Can Help!
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What Today's Buyers Are Looking for Online
Whether you're a new agent or a seasoned pro, chances are you're always looking for that competitive edge over other local agents to score the hottest new listings in your area. From your (perfectly on-brand) listing presentation to your rock-solid knowledge of the latest neighbourhood sales, you've got the tools you need to nail the appointment. While those factors can certainly help sway a seller's decision and win you the handshake, one thing is certain: in today's market, sellers have a LOT of questions.
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[Best of 2018] The 6 Listing Photos You MUST Upload to the MLS
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Don't Overlook These 4 Bonus Marketing Assets from Your 3D Property Tour
Have you noticed the following cube icon popping up everywhere lately? It started appearing on Realtor.com in 2017, and just this autumn, you may have noticed it on Homesnap, a property search app that's free to 900,000 Realtors nationwide through their MLS. It's the Matterport icon, and its appearance on a listing indicates that a 3D property tour is available. While 3D property tours are what Matterport is best known for, did you realize that this tool also offers a wealth of visual assets that you can use in your marketing? Here's a rundown of all that Matterport offers. 1. High-resolution Listing Photos Photographs are typically the very first thing most people see of your listing—and what draws them in or drives them away. If your listing photos are of poor quality, you risk turning off potential buyers. When your listing is scanned for a 3D property tour, Matterport also captures hundreds of high quality photographs. If you balked at "hundreds," don't worry. Matterport employs machine learning to automatically select the best photos for your listing in Matterport Instant Galleries. That means agents don't have to spend time collecting and curating photos—you have an MLS-ready gallery of photos once your 3D tour has been created. "[Instant Galleries] are great. We are using these for all our inside images," says Beth Riggs of Amanda Howard Real Estate, Sotheby’s International Realty. 2. Teaser Videos Want to cut through the noise of social media and capture the attention of local consumers? Try teaser videos or animated GIFs. Movement within GIFs and video stands out and draws the eye. Real estate professionals get automatic videos and GIFs with their Matterport 3D tours. You can share them on social media and in emails to drive greater interest in your listings. They're effective, too—a Matterport customer survey shows that 76 percent of respondents say they attract more home buyers on social media with Matterport 3D. 3. Virtual Reality Looking for a fresh way to 'wow' buyers? Let them tour listings via virtual reality. Not only does this position you as tech-savvy agent, it also potentially cuts down on in-person listing tours. Consumers who view listings via virtual reality are better able to narrow down which homes they'd like to see in person, saving agents time. Matterport 3D tours are automatically converted into virtual reality, and can be viewed via Google Cardboard, Daydream, Oculus, or Gear VR headsets. Keep headsets in your office to use with clients when selecting which properties to tour. Want to impress sellers? Take a VR headset to a listing presentation and show sellers a sample listing, mentioning that you'll do this for their home, as well. "Consumers get more discerning about their choices and sellers want to present their properties in the best light possible," says a representative from Greg Lynn Sotheby's. "Open houses are only a couple of hours a week, but when you have Matterport virtual reality, we can be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year." 4. Floor Plans Differentiate yourself from other agents by including floor plans in your marketing. This helps consumers better understand the layout of a home, and how their own furniture and belongings may fit. Matterport generates floor plans two business days after your 3D tour is created, using dimensional data captured during the scan. All you have to do is press 'Order' on the Matterport platform, and floor plans are automatically prepared for you. Live Examples of Matterport Marketing Assets Want to see what the visual collateral mentioned above looks like? Check out these two examples of homes that were captured with a Matterport camera, and the automated content that was created: http://sites.relahqdemo.com/1178carollane/?mls http://sites.relahqdemo.com/1234californiaway/?mls Visit Matterport.com to learn more.    
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How to Take Real Estate Pics Like the Pros
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How to Use Instagram Stories Ads for Real Estate
Whether it's the memories a family made in their old home or a buyer's dreams for their new one, agents use stories to build emotional connections. Instagram has a similar business approach. Originally a platform for posting pictures of lattes and fancy food, Instagram has evolved into a social media giant where people can create and share their own "stories."
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Safe Selling: How Your Headshot Can Deter Predators
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The Case for Professional Listing Photos
What's the first thing buyers see — or the first thing they're looking for — when they find a listing? Those crucial property photos. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported that potential buyers spend just 20 seconds looking at the first photo before they decide to keep looking or go somewhere else. And though it's tempting to play the part of both agent and photographer, reports show that — on average — homes with professional photos sell faster, too. So we're diving into the case for why professional photos matter — and how to make them happen.
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6 Apps to Help You Take Better Listing Photos
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Realtor Headshot Photo: Why They Matter and How to Get Your Best One Yet
Ah, the dreaded headshot photo. Some love it, most hate it. Many real estate agents take one when they first become agents and use it for the rest of their careers. If your photo is outdated enough, it'll make it so that when you meet with your clients, they're greeted by someone who looks nothing like the person they envisioned from the picture on the website.
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No Image, No Active Listing... PERIOD!
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How to Update Your Photo without Losing Your Look
Time passes and you change: your clothing style evolves, you change your hair, and you grow older. Still, when someone bumps into you around town, they should recognize you from your photo. That means keeping your photo up to date. Your agent profile photo represents you online, in flyers, in ads, on business cards, and in many other places. It helps build and maintain your brand, creates a first impression, and is one of the first steps to building client relationships. However, changing your photo means running the risk of losing presence you've built on your current image if people don't recognize you as the same agent.
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Friday Freebie: Guide to Better Real Estate Photographs
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Instagram: Best Practices for Social Success
Since the beginning of the social media era, individuals and businesses alike have embraced their online presence and shared their journeys for the world to see. However, 2017 proved a challenging year for many networks when several saw a decline in social use, especially among major players like Facebook and Twitter. Despite this trend, one social network has continue the climb upward: Instagram. Now is the time to improve your Instagram presence and make the most of your opportunities as Instagram's monthly active users increases and more attention is driven to the platform.
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Should Real Estate Agents Be on Instagram? The Pros, Cons and How to Get Started
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Drone-in-a-box for Real Estate? How Drones Are Transforming Real Estate Marketing
Real estate has become the number one industry in North America that uses drones for marketing purposes. And the numbers projecting the growth of the drone industry are staggering: 10 million drones were sold worldwide last year; that number is expected to nearly triple by 2021 Drone industry value was estimated at $3.3 billion in 2015; by 2025, it's expected to be $90 billion NAR reports that the interest in using drones for marketing is already pervasive: 44 percent of members either use drones for marketing (14 percent), report that someone in their office uses drones for marketing (12 percent), or plan on using drones for marketing (18 percent). CREA is also monitoring the development of drone use in real estate. Drones have transformed real estate marketing when it comes to listing a property. Overall, the impact of drones has made aerial photography commonplace. Soon, most sellers may request it for their property listings.
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The 6 Listing Photos You MUST Upload to the MLS
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8 Accessories that Give Your Smartphone Superpowers (Part 1)
Want to soup up your mobile phone? Rather than relying on apps for that (as we so often do), let's head down the road less travelled instead. Today, we're exploring the world of physical accessories that work with--and enhance--your smartphone. Enter the World of Smartphone Accessories That's right, we're ditching the digital in favor of things that attach to or sync to your phone and boost its functionality. And we have to say, there are a LOT of different types of mobile phone accessories--so much so that we've broken up this article into two parts. Today, we're taking a look at accessories that enhance the multimedia capabilities of your phone, and make those photos and Facebook Live videos so much better.
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How to Secretly Use Instagram as Your Photo Editor (without Posting)
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25 Resources for Mastering Real Estate Photography, Video and Beyond
When it comes to their skillset, real estate agents are a bit like a Swiss Army knife. They need interpersonal intelligence, negotiation know-how, sales chops, and a whole lot of patience. But when you started out in real estate, I bet nobody told you how important multimedia skills were to the job—and how many different types of media you'd need to be comfortable with. From taking property photos, to creating listing flyers, to shooting video, agents in today's DIY digital age are expected to be media whizzes. Of course, there's only so much time in the day. To lessen your workload, we advocate automating where possible, and then filling in the gaps with a little do-it-yourself chutzpah. To that end, we've combed through our library of educational content to find the best, most helpful articles on media of all sorts—everything from photography to graphic design to virtual tours and beyond. Consider it your crash course in multimedia skills for real estate.
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Stand Out in Your Market and Win Listings for Less with All-in-one Marketing
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Rules of Instagram Engagement for Real Estate Agents
Though it doesn't have as many users as Twitter and Facebook, Instagram offers companies a rate of return for branding products and services on the platform almost 60 times that of Facebook. And compared to Twitter, it provides 120 percent more user interactions. Instagram for real estate agents is the cash cow of digital marketing and lead generation platforms. But achieving customer interactions isn't simply a matter of posting the right photos or videos—ones that prompt a response. In fact, identity and community management are more important than the click rate of photos and videos! Even a popular photo or video cannot generate enough customer interactions to qualify as a successful lead generation strategy. However, a moderately high number of clicks from new and would-be customers on a large quantity of photos is a sign of a building brand on Instagram. These are the four Instagram Rules of Engagement for your social media battle:
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Real Estate Property Photos: Drones and Aerial Photography 101
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Instagram Posts for Realtors
How many times have you posted on Instagram in the last week? The last month? Instagram used to show the most recent posts from accounts you're following, but they have recently adopted Facebook's content algorithm so you don't have to post quite as often. However, Instagram still prioritizes people who post more often. Tips for Posting on Instagram
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4 Free Photo Editing Tools for Real Estate
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The Low-Cost Way to Generate More Real Estate Leads
Want to get more visual assets and reduce your marketing expenses? With Matterport's all-in-one media solution, real estate agents can generate everything they need to market a property online and offline from the same fast, easy system. From a single 3D shoot, agents can get hi-res photographs, 3D virtual tours, and 2D floor plans - and give buyers exactly what they're looking for. In a recent survey of home shoppers conducted by realtor.com, buyers listed high resolution photographs and 3D virtual tours as the top two things they're interested in seeing on an online listing. That's no surprise—a strong visual marketing strategy has long been crucial to selling listings faster and for more money. A 2015 study from Real Trends shows that agents who consistently use professional photography earn 100 percent more in average Gross Commission Income (GCI) than those who never use professional photography. This echoes Redfin's famous 2010 study, which found that listing photos shot with a DSLR camera (implying that they were likely taken by a pro photographer) sold for between $934 to over $16,000 more than listings that weren't. Today, advanced technology like Matterport is enabling Realtors to take their visual marketing strategy to the next level. In the amount of time it takes for a typical photoshoot, Matterport's Pro2 camera can scan an entire listing and offer the following:
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Should You Post Your Client's Photo on Social Media?
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Why Use Instagram for Real Estate?
Do you have an Instagram account? Are you active on your Instagram account and getting results? If you were to go into Instagram, you'd see that there are millions of advertisers using it, and that there are a lot of benefits in using their platform, as well. The Stats There are two major stats that convinced us Instagram was the way to go:
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5 Tips to Finding Images for Your Website
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Photos Taking Up Too Much Space? A Few Tips to Compress
When you see a warning that your storage is 90 percent full, you might begin to panic. And you probably know exactly what's causing your problem: your photos. For most real estate professionals, photos and videos have become both a blessing and a curse. They are a blessing because powerful visuals help sell homes. But they are also a curse because they are data hogs. Yet, there are ways you can use less space on your device without losing all the luster of your great photos. Let's take a look at some of the things you can do to reduce the amount of space your images are taking up on your phone and your laptop.
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Real Estate Property Photos: Property Photography 101
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Tips on Choosing the Right Instagram Username
To become successful at digitally marketing yourself and your brand, it is important to have a presence across most social media platforms. Since Facebook expanded its ad platform to include Instagram as well, it's important to build your presence there, too. Along with a presence, it is even more important to have an identity on social media. One of the first steps in creating that identity is picking out a strong Instagram handle or username. For those of you who already have an Instagram account, you may even want to go back and change that username if you find yours isn't as strong or identifiable as it could be! First, Here's What NOT to DO
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Win More Business from Your Sphere: 3 Ways to Tweak Your Marketing
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6 Tips for a High-Octane Instagram Account
As social media continues to evolve and grow in popularity, Instagram is the platform on steroids that dominates the social media game, making it the fastest growing social media platform across the planet. Consider this: in less than six years, we've shared over four times more photos than there are human beings on earth! It's mind boggling how much our society loves to consume enthralling media – and businesses have long understood the power this visual storytelling behemoth holds for brand building, user engagement and what it could mean for their bottom line. Instagram by the numbers:
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How Visual Storytelling is Shaping Real Estate
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More Updates from Instagram!
Last week, Instagram released new enhancements to their My Story feature. Just two months ago, I called it the “B-movie version of Snapchat.” Well, I’m here to tell you Instagram has shed that skin and has throttled the My Story feature into A-list territory. Folks, Instagram was a content sharing and marketing dream before these updates were launched. Now, Instagram can certifiably say that it is a POWERHOUSE of a social network and can, quite literally, do it all. It’s time you learn how to harness that power for yourself!
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Professional Looking Photos Don't Have to Cost a Fortune: Smartphone Photography
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How to Use Technology to Make Gorgeous Listing Photos
Are your listing photographs eye-catching enough? Your photos need to make an impact and stand out to potential home buyers. These tips from Mark Richardson will help add visual interest to your photos. The result at the 18:24-minute mark is a game changer.
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Add Your Entire Listing to Instagram? It Can Be Done!
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Learn to Convert 95% of Your Listing Appointments
Are you interested in elevating your marketing approach to win more listings and outsell the competition? Matterport's 3D tours and virtual reality walkthroughs are the key to engaging buyers and delighting sellers — while differentiating your services from the competition. Register for Matterport's webinar on Feb. 28 to learn how agents and brokers from RE/MAX, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Sotheby's International Realty, and more, are using 3D and VR to win listings and outsell the competition. In a recent customer survey, 74 percent of real estate professionals agreed they win more listings, while 90 percent stated they have a stronger brand because of Matterport. It's true—real estate brokers and agents are seeing immediate results after using Matterport in their listing presentations and online marketing. Here's the proof: The Creig Northrop Team of Long and Foster Real Estate, the number one team in Maryland in transaction volume since 2006, improved their sales transactions by 10 percent after committing to use Matterport for all their listings. Cressy and Everett Real Estate, one of RealTrends' top 250 brokerages in the United States, receives an average of 10,000 visits monthly to Matterport 3D tours on their website. HomeVisit, a Matterport service partner, has seen a threefold increase in demand for 3D tours year-over-year. There's a reason brokers and agents are realizing such success: Home buyers are 65 percent more likely to email an agent and 95 percent more likely to call after seeing a property with Matterport 3D versus listings displayed only with pictures, according to realestate.com.au.
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Quick Tips for Taking Better Listing Photos with Your iPhone
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The Best Real Estate Drone Footage Is Less Drone Footage
A primer for hiring drone videographers for real estate marketing In military parlance, they're called UAVs, or unmanned aerial vehicles. "Drone" suggests the device operates autonomously, implying that it doesn't require years of training to pilot. There's probably no selling that military acronym to the public today, as "drones" have become a popular way for people to capture extreme recreational exploits, or in the case of real estate, powerful listing visuals. In the late 90s, it was digital cameras that allowed real estate professionals to capture creative visuals and quickly turn around property content. Then, there was the Internet. Alongside 3D tours, aerial photography is the latest advancement in real estate marketing that has agents scrambling for ways to offer it to their clients. The fastest, easiest way to get started with drone photography is to hire a professional. Every major market has a licensed person or marketing company with certification for operating an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the most recent formal legal terminology. For years, the only form of legal structure the FAA could apply to monitoring drone flight was what already existed: actual pilot licenses. To tackle the rapid growth of consumer-level drones, they settled in 2016 on "remote pilot certification."
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29 Resources to Help You Master Real Estate Video and Photography
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Best of 2016: 5 Basic Tips for Taking Great Photos With Your iPhone
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published back in March and is #5 in our countdown. See #6 here. Every day we see an increase in people replacing their digital cameras with their smartphones to take pictures. This is mainly because manufacturers are adding some incredible lenses to smartphones that make it a very convenient device to capture daily moments and upload them quickly to social media apps. Smartphone cameras do not provide the quality photos that a good digital camera can provide, which are recommended for listings. Nevertheless, here at Tech Helpline, we see a trend of agents using their smartphones to take pictures for their listings. For this reason, today we will show you some quick tips on how to get the best possible image using an iPhone with iOS 9. All features listed below are available on the iPhone 5 or newer. 1. Use Auto Focus (AF) This is the most important feature to use. Without using this option, your image could appear blurry or lose detail. Here is what you do: Tap the area on your screen that you wish to focus on, remove your finger and wait a couple of seconds to allow the camera to focus on the subject before taking the photo. You can also tap and hold the area on your screen, until the yellow "AE/AF LOCK" appears (Auto-Exposure/ Auto-Focus Lock). This will allow you to take photos from different angles without losing focus on the subject.
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How Instagram's New Features Impact Your Real Estate Business
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How to Make Your Listings Stand Out with Facebook 360
We don't have to sell you on the importance of adding strong visuals to your real estate listings. As a real estate professional, you know that a picture is worth a thousand words, and directly contributes to the emotional decision making process of making a home purchase. Many of us spend hundreds of dollars on companies that can produce virtual tours, or empty our budgets on expensive professional equipment so we can showcase our listings. Not every home we list requires that kind of technological investment, but all of them will require engaging, attractive visuals. The technology landscape has changed, and people no longer want to jump in the car and drive to see 10 random homes in a day. (Neither do we.) The modern consumer relies on the convenience of viewing homes online at their leisure. Your challenge as a real estate professional is to make your listings stand out from the rest without breaking the bank. Well, thanks to Facebook's new 360 feature, you can do that for free from your mobile device. You can give tours of exquisite home features, neighborhoods, yards, and so much more. And you can do it in minutes from your mobile device. With Facebook 360, you can now place your prospective clients in the center of the action, ensuring there's something to see and experience at every angle. Create a story with your photo that encourages your followers to explore your property the full 360 degrees. See our live Facebook example (You may have to be logged into Facebook to view it properly):
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