Staff Reports

Ebby Halliday Companies has entered a marketing partnership with Curbio Inc., the fast-growing real estate technology company that specializes exclusively in pre-sale home renovations. Under the agreement between Curbio and Ebby Halliday, which includes Dallas-based Ebby Halliday Realtors, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, and Fort Worth-based Williams Trew, Curbio will provide agents with an array of print, digital, and live content with which they will educate their seller clients on the benefits of renovating before selling their homes.

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half-nekkidWhat would you do to make a listing stand out? Getting good photography is usually an obvious choice, but making sure it’s staged well is another. Maybe you’d put out a funny sign, or hit Facebook and Instagram.

Or maybe you’d, you know, put a half-nekkid couple of fitness models in the listing photos. Just slide ‘em right in, so when a prospective buyer is paging through them it’s all, “Oh, nice hallway, love the crown molding in the living room, oh look there’s a half-nekkid lady and a half-nekkid man making cookies.” That’s not a euphemism.

I mean, we’re no stranger to oddities in listing photos that are placed there for the express purpose of getting people to look at the listing and share it.  But when one Houston Realtor took it a bit further, pearls were clutched.

See, Kristin Gyldenege prides herself, according to an interview with the Houston Chronicle, of having a bit of an edge. So when she decided to market this listing in Conroe, she decided to put uh, assets in seats by posing half-naked fitness models in some of the photos. (more…)

EZ Stow Signs

Conventional real estate signs are a necessary and familiar accessory for real estate agents. But they’re also kind of a pain. They’re big and bulky and don’t easily fit in most car trunks. The stakes can damage a car’s interior upholstery and seating. They’re dirty and muddy, and many agents have to pay someone to install and remove them.

Longtime North Texas Realtor Patricia Manos wanted an easier way to market her properties. She came up with the idea of EZ Stow Signs. They solve many of these common complaints agents have about lawn signs.

“I’ve put up with conventional signs for 37 years and I never found a good solution— my car is a vital asset to support my success, but it seems that every time I wanted to buy a new car, one of the issues I had to consider is the transporting of the signs,” Manos said. “So I, along with the help of my family and some great engineers in Ohio, came up with the solution, and that is when EZ Stow Signs was born.”

This Dallas-based, family-run company is aiming not only to make their products popular in DFW, but also to take their signs national.

“We have created relationships with Keller Williams, Fathom Realty, and ReMax, and I’m sponsoring prep courses at the Champions School of Real Estate,” said Robert Spragins, sales manager for EZ Stow Signs and Manos’ son who has taken his mom’s idea and launched a business. “We’re also attending the National Association of Realtors convention in Orlando in November — we’re renting a booth there to get national exposure, and we’re also attending area trade shows and will be adding more sizes to our product line.”

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Floorplanet 1

I will never buy a home with a bathroom opening into a kitchen or dining room.  I will never buy a home with a fireplace in a corner, off-center or next to the front door.  I will never buy a home with an enclosed kitchen that can’t be opened, nor one requiring off-site laundry.  Deal-breakers — we all have them for every aspect of our lives.  I won’t date smokers or the tattooed.  I won’t buy a non-white car.  Of course my deal-breakers are someone else’s checkbox item.  One man’s trash … blah, blah, blah.

Agents, how many times have you shown a property, and within seconds heard “no” from a buyer? How much of your and your buyer’s time has been wasted getting to that visceral “no”? The home buying process has already been made more efficient by using the MLS and creating listings that offer pictures, virtual tours, room and lot dimensions, school districts, and the like.   So why doesn’t the average U.S. home listing include a floor plan while other countries do?

Oh, and it’s doubly maddening to see high-rise listings without a floor plan when all that’s typically required is a stop by the front desk to pick up a copy.

In order to move the needle a bit, I’ve looked into the costs and offers of three companies offering a floor plan creation service specifically for real estate agents. (more…)

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When we first heard of Yurz, it definitely piqued some interest. Sure, some Realtors definitely need help with branding and photography. We’ve seen some awful websites out there, with some listing shots sporting horrible glare off of mirrors and windows and a flash that drowns out any details that buyers wouldn’t want to miss.

Of course, the logical side of me says that these agents should either take a photography course at a community college or perhaps do one better and hire a professional to take great snaps and build their website.

But Yurz’s “Instagram for real estate” app claims to “deliver top quality, custom web design, strategic search engine placement, Facebook management, reputation support, and more, all under $200 per month.” It could be a great way to help brand an agent, sure, but promote listings?

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Lydia 2013

A perennial top-performing agent, Lydia Player offers her wisdom on real estate marketing

As an occasional feature, we’ve asked several high-performing agents about their marketing strategies. We wanted to know what does and doesn’t work for real estate agents in a variety of situations. This time we’re focusing on getting ready for the off-season. We asked star Ebby Halliday Luxury Portfolio agent Lydia Player: “What are the best actions and biggest mistakes agents make when marketing themselves.

Look for her answer after the jump:

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Katie Lance offers five "don'ts" for real estate professionals who want to use social media to connect with clients.

Katie Lance offers five “don’ts” for real estate professionals who want to use social media to connect with clients.


Marketing is one of the most challenging parts of having a successful real estate business. Great marketing ensures that, even after the peak season ends, your business will weather less-than-stellar sales. Truly, real estate is a cyclical industry, marked by seasonal highs and lows. Not only do you need to be prepared for the lean months financially, but by employing some strategic marketing tactics, you can stay in the forefront of potential clients’ minds.

But how can real estate agents keep the home fires burning on social media? What are some of the best ways to take advantage of your social networks?

Katie Lance is a fantastic business guru, often speaking at conferences focusing on content strategies. She is totally brilliant. If you’re not following her blog, you’re missing out! Lance just posted this great list of the top five “don’ts” for social media marketing when it applies to real estate professionals, and it’s a must-read! I agree with every single one of these suggestions, especially No. 5.

Jump for the complete list!

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Home For Sale yard Sign

After living at 7303 Coronado Avenue for 16 years, Karen Nealy decided to try and test the waters to see if she was ready to sell her home in Lakewood Hills. She’s been looking to move closer to the lake, perhaps Rockwall, with plenty of room to roam around.

“We almost bought a house yesterday that we really liked,” Nealy said a week or so ago. That’s what prompted her to “test the waters” and put her three-bedroom, two-bath home on the Lakewood Online Yard Sale Facebook page without the help of a Realtor. Since then she’s put it up as For Sale By Owner on Zillow, advertising the 1,504-square-foot traditional for $299,900.

“We know Realtors can get it out there to more people,” Nealy said, but she is doing a more improvisational trial and error approach to selling her home, which she calls a “fixer-upper.” She thinks it’s a fantastic property to add on to, perhaps for a family that wants to be inside the Lakewood Elementary School attendance zone.

Do-it-yourself listings on social media is a growing trend, but will it end up costing sellers in the long run?

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