Jessica Koltun, a Realtor with The Associates, has found her niche in the real estate industry focusing branding for both new construction and renovations. While she doesn’t miss the chance to swing a sledgehammer, she’s just as passionate about building strategic marketing campaigns for her clients. She leverages her interior design experience, her attention to detail, and her market savvy to give the properties she represents a serious leg up. Of course, it’s taken some trial and error to develop these strategies, and in the process, Koltun has found that Realtors often lack the tools to really make the most of their marketing efforts. 

Right now, her work with Kalterra Court really speaks to that experience. It’s fresh and exciting, and considering how many properties we see on a weekly basis, that’s saying something.

Want to revamp your marketing strategy? Ready to take your listings to the next level? Here’s some sage advice from Koltun:

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When a real estate agent launches their business, building an online presence and generating leads is usually the first big hurdle they encounter. How do you choose a company that will have such a huge impact on your business? And then how do you afford it?

Michael Zobeck

“Marketing and branding is absurdly expensive for Realtors,” said Michael Zobeck, one of the founders of Agent Brand, a Fort Worth-based automated marketing company. “If you put a real estate logo on a marketing piece, the cost doubles.”

But Zobeck and his team — which includes co-founder Justin Hammond and his wife, Ashley — has plenty of experience in vertical marketing. They’ve operated heavily in the franchise space, building websites that are mobile-ready platforms for retailers such as Dickeys BBQ, Menchies Yogurt, Medici Pizza, and more. 

“I have been working with Realtors for years with a couple of different companies that I founded when I saw this platform,” he said.  “I knew there was nothing like and jumped aboard immediately.” 

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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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