Friday, 22 July 2016

The Shy Agent's “How to” Guide for Easy YouTube Videos

If you have always wanted to use YouTube to provide valuable information to potential clients about your area, your expertise and your services but are a little camera shy, don’t despair. Here are some tips for making YouTube videos easy, even for the most bashful agents.


Create Slides in Power Point

Power Point offers an excellent and easy way to create slides you can convert into a video. You can create a professional looking Power Point presentation using text, images and graphs and share information such as statistics, comps, mortgage rates, etc. You can also do “How to” videos in Power Point using step by step images and instructions.

Voice over can be added using the Record Slide Show tool under the Slide Show option if you feel you can provide a professional, engaging narrative.  You can create a polished and professional video to upload to YouTube that can be used to cover your best real estate tips without ever having to appear in front of a video camera.

Upload Virtual Tours

Posting virtual tours of your listings is a no brainer. It takes minimum effort on your part and provides an excellent source of SEO to help buyers and buyers’ agents find you. Better yet, do some 3D tours of your best properties to showcase the entire home for a realistic experience for viewers. Virtual tours are also a must if you want to show potential sellers that you are up to date on the basic marketing necessities when they are searching for an agent.

Neighborhood Tours and Highlights

Use virtual tour software such as Realtour’s virtual tour application to create neighborhood tours by taking photos of the best features and most charming streets in your area. It will also help drive buyers to your channel, especially if you use SEO in the description.

You could also have some fun and record a video of your favorite local businesses such as cafés and bakeries, restaurants and other hot spots, schools, parks, home décor shops, hardware stores, etc. and tell little stories such as this is where I come to unwind, this is where I buy all of our family birthday cakes, how you always depend on Bob at the hardware store to help with quick fixer upper tips when selling a home; whatever shops and services make your neighborhood great. This type of video makes you look both personable and knowledgeable.

Record a Webinar

Platforms such as GoToMeeting allow you to record webinars. This is a great way to provide educational videos and tutorials.  “How to” videos can encompass a number of things such as how to navigate popular real estate websites to find properties, how to use a mortgage search engine, or you can review the latest housing market trends on the Realtor website in your area. The key here is to have something of interest on your computer screen you can walk viewers through. This can include preparing a slide show on your screen and simply talking to the images, be it homes you have recently sold with pricing, before and after images for staging strategy, curb appeal tips, etc. Practice a few times so you have what you want to say down pat and help calm your nerves. You can also offer a real estate webinar to clients and record it using this type of webinar platform. This can work well if you have participants asking questions to help showcase your areas of expertise.

Before and After Staging

Choose a room in your house or ask a client if you can use a room(s) in their home to record a before and after staging tips video. You can pan around the room making comments about the areas of issue and then stop recording and redo the room. Once the room is staged pan around the room again to point out the improvements you have made. You can also do a “curb appeal” video to show changes made to the front of the house such as removing weeds, repainting a door, hanging a new mail box or adding urns, etc. You can even do before and after renovation videos if you or someone you know is working on their home. This is a great way to discuss the recommended renos that get the best ROI for example. If you are not confident behind the video camera, again there is the slide or tour option to get across the same idea.

Walk Through Open House

Along the same lines of the staging video, you can use your video camera to walk a home to help people to set up for an open house. You (or an associate) can start from the outside of the home and make your way through the important rooms describing what effort has to be made to get ready for an open house. Focus on important little details, such as removing kitty litter boxes and garbage bins, clearing counters in the kitchen and bathroom, straightening closets and cleaning baseboards to show how to pass the white glove test. In this video Barbara Corcoran is on camera, but you can take the same approach narrating off screen. You can also use an existing virtual tour of a home that is impeccable and add captions to describe what prep was done to make it open house ready.

As you can see there are numerous options that allow you to post interesting and engaging videos on YouTube without ever having to appear on camera. Remember there is always the option to use a professional photographer/videographer to assist in preparing the most polished and professional videos for the best possible impressions!




Friday, 15 July 2016

How to get the Most out of your Email Signature

If you are not using a branded email signature you are missing the opportunity to share valuable information with every email you send. A customized email signature is an affordable way to market yourself and your listings using links to your website, social media and more. Here are a few ways to get the most out of your email signature.

Brand Your Email Signature

Your email signature can help to advertise your brand with customized color, your logo and other details common to your brand. You can also add a head shot for a personal touch. If your broker does not provide an email signature, or you have your own brokerage and want an affordable way to brand your emails, this is the best way to do it.

Add Links to Your Email Signature

You know better than anyone that you never know who might be in the market to buy or sell their home. That’s why a branded email should contain links to allow you to share important information that can help establish you as an expert. Sharing your website can tell your story and provide details about your services and listings. Your social media links allow people to learn more about what you offer and how you can help them. A specific link to your listings helps boost views and spread the news about the properties you are selling.


View My Listings

Taking your listings to the next level with an interactive Google map can make it easier for buyers to find properties and amenities. It also allows you to show an additional marketing tool to sellers as part of your marketing strategy.

Realtour email signatures offer a View My Listings link with a unique URL on househunt.biz. House Hunt automatically collects all of your active Realtour listings with a purchased photo shoot, virtual tour or eflyer with a minimum of five images and places them on a Google Map. The map features listing details, price and your Realtour virtual tours as well as your contact information.

Send a Message with Your Email Signature

Your email signature is a great way to share holiday messages throughout the year with every email you send. You can switch things up throughout the seasons with images that reflect winter, spring, summer and fall, as well as share holiday greetings from Valentine’s Day to Easter and Halloween to Christmas.


Realtour offers an easy DIY email signature with numerous templates that allow you to customize your email signature easily and affordably. We also offer seasonal options allowing you to switch things up a little during the holiday seasons. You can save and edit your email signature as often as required, or choose new email signatures for a low cost to suit your needs and budget.
Features include:
  • Numerous templates
  • Head shot
  • Contact information
  • Logo
  • Links to social media
  • Link to website of your choice
  • Unique View My Listings URL on househunt.biz

For more information about email signatures or to get started on yours today click here.


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

How to add or remove House Hunt Listings

When you publish Realtour eflyers and virtual tours, our system will automatically upload your listing information to househunt.biz at your request. Here are the steps to follow if you wish to add or remove a listing from House Hunt.

Adding a Listing

New Listing: When you create a new listing for a virtual tour or eflyer, you will see a pop up window appear once your listing details page is complete.


  • If you do not wish to add your listing to House Hunt, simply click “No”.
  • If you wish to add your listing to House Hunt click “Yes” and then choose the date you wish your listing to appear on the House Hunt map. Click the Save button.
  • Your listing will then appear on the date you have selected. If you select today’s date, please keep in mind it can take up to 30 minutes for your listing to appear on the House Hunt map.

Active Listings: If you have an active listing with a tour or eflyer that you wish to add to House Hunt follow these easy steps:
  • Log onto your account and click the Virtual Tour icon on your dashboard
  • Go to the Property Details tab and click the Edit button


Click "Yes" and choose the date you wish your listing to appear on House Hunt and click Save. 


Removing a Listing

There are two ways you can remove your listings from House Hunt:

Inactive Listings: If your listing is no longer active, you can log onto your account and click Edit Existing on the Virtual Tour icon. You can then set the listing as inactive by clicking the Set Inactive button.




Active Listings: If your listing is still active, but you wish to remove it from House Hunt, click the Edit Existing button on the Virtual Tour icon. You can then click the Edit button for the listing you wish removed. Go to your Property Details tab and scroll down to the Edit button. The House Hunt pop up window will appear. Click Edit and click the “No” button to remove your listing from the House Hunt map.


Please note: All listings that were active in your account prior to July 6, 2016 will appear on househunt.biz unless you set them as inactive. It is a good idea to do a little "house cleaning" in your account and ensure that all inactive listings have been set as inactive to avoid enquiries regarding the listing. If you require assistance with your inactive listings, please contact amanda@realtour.biz.



Understanding Realtour’s House Hunt

House Hunt is a free lead generation service provided to all Realtour clients. It is designed to allow real estate agents to automatically share active listings with clients and buyers’ agents with one easy link. When you publish Realtour virtual tours and eflyers, our system will automatically upload your listing information to househunt.biz at your request.

House Hunt is a Google Map based tool that shows all of your listings at a unique URL.

How House Hunt Works

Here’s what happens:
  • As you create new photo shoots, virtual tours and eflyers in your Realtour account you will have the option to add your listing to House Hunt and choose a date you wish it posted.
  • Once your images, virtual tour or elfyer is published, our system automatically generates a unique House Hunt URL for your listings.
  • House Hunt then automatically collects all of your active Realtour listings associated with a published virtual tour or eflyer with five images or more and places them on a Google Map.

House Hunt Features

Your House Hunt URL only features your listings. However, a Show All tab as well as a Search Listings button also allows visitors to see all Realtour listings This means your listings can get more exposure through your fellow agents’ accounts.

A search tool provides an email collection tool for lead generation. As well, visitors can see listing details, price, marketing materials and your email address so visitors can contact you to get more information.

Each listing appears with the details, images, street view and links to your tour and contact information.

Integrated Marketing

You can easily access househunt.biz using your Realtour account password. As well, your unique House Hunt URL works in combination with Realtour virtual tours and email signatures.

Amenities can be searched and will appear on the Google map as well as house icons that show your listings.
Your tours will feature the House Hunt icon to link to the location of your property. A neighborhood amenities feature tool allows buyers to find schools, shopping, restaurants and more by simply clicking the amenities that are important to them from the check list.

You can also add your House Hunt link to your Realtour email signature to instantly share all of your listings with every email you send and even add it to your eflyers, social media pages and websites.

Visit househunt.biz to see all of the Realtour listings, or log onto your account and click the House Hunt icon to view your listings and access your URL.

How to Create your Realtour Email Signature

Realtour email signatures provide you with an affordable branding tool that includes your contact information and important links to your listings, website and social media. Here are the easy steps to follow to create your own customized email signature:

Step 1: Log onto your account and click Create Signature on your Email Signature Icon

Step 2: Name your email signature and select “Yes” if you are using Outlook for your email or “No” if you are using a different email provider. This is very important as there are two different format requirements for different types of providers. Click Continue.

Step 3: Choose the type of email signature formatting you prefer either Left Aligned or Centred by clicking Select. If you wish to preview the formatting you can click preview.

Step 4: You will then see our template library with different categories. Choose the category and find the template you wish to use. You can preview the email signatures by clicking Preview, or click Select when you have made your choice.

Step 5: You will arrive at the Template Editor page where you can choose your head shot and logo by clicking on the image you wish to use in the photo bucket on the left. If you wish to upload a new head shot or logo, click the upload button. If you do not wish to use a logo or head shot simply click the image with the red X.



Step 6: On the Main tab on the right you can add or edit your contact information.



Step 7: Click the View My Listings tab and choose if you wish to show the listings currently active in your Realtour account using our House Hunt website, add a link to your own website and listings, or do not wish to show listings.

Step 8: Click the Social tab and copy and paste your links for your social media pages into the text fields. You will see an icon for each link appear on your email signature.


Step 9: Click the Disclaimer tab and click “Yes” to include the disclaimer provided, or to edit or copy and paste your own disclaimer, or “No” if you do not wish to include a disclaimer.

Step 10: Click the Continue button to save and then the View Proof tab to see your email signature. To make changes click the Edit Button, or click Continue to proceed to the shopping cart.

Once you pay, you can then return to your Home Page and click Edit Existing on your Email Signature icon. You will see your email signature saved on the left. 


Make sure you pay close attention to where you have saved it so you can find it! Here you will see the highlighted areas that indicate where the file will be saved.


It will then usually appear in the bottom banner of your screen as shown here. If it does not you will have to go to the folder you saved it and double click it to open it.


Click the icon to open the file. You will then see a new window open in your browser where your email signature will appear. Click on the screen and enter Control A and then Control C on your keyboard to highlight everything as shown below and copy your email signature.


You can then click the Instructions button in Email Signatures to learn how to set up your email Signature for use.


Choose the email type you use for instructions.












Tuesday, 5 July 2016

How to add Captions to your Realtour Virtual Tours

Adding captions is now easier than ever. You can now create captions, manage your photos and control the order in which images will appear on the Manage Photos tab. Here are the easy to follow steps to help you create your captions and manage your images:

Step 1: Select the Manage Photos tab highlighted here in yellow.

Step 2: Click to highlight an image you wish to move and then drag your image to the position you wish it to appear.

Step 3: Click the Add/Edit Caption link below your image circled here in green and a pop up window will appear

Step 4: To add your location, such as kitchen, master bedroom, backyard click the top box circled here in green.

Step 5: Your caption is then added by clicking the box below shown here circled in green. You will see your caption and location appear on your image as shown here circled in blue.

Step 6: To continue adding captions, just click the next image link circled here in green.

When you roll over images in your Manage Photos box you can see your captions appear with a close up of your image as shown below.

Editing

To edit a caption, simply click the Add/Edit Captions link and make the following changes as required:
  • Delete a caption by clicking the text box and deleting all of the copy. Do not click the X in the captions box, circled here in green, as this will not remove the caption!
  • Edit your captions, by clicking on the text boxes circled here in red.
  • Choose or change your font by clicking on the font selection box circled here in blue.


This captions upgrade will save you time and frustration, making it a snap to highlight the features of your listings for a more enjoyable and informative viewing experience.