The Value of Real Estate Video-Bios and Testimonials

_DSC00924Image by gamerscoreblog via Flickr

In a new era of ‘social’ media and more direct communication with buyers, it’s important to remember to be sociable without the appearances of a hard sell. Realtors are very much used to the meet-and-greet with prospective clients so a natural extension of this is to display these skills on the web.

When we here at Union Street Media talk to our Real Estate clients, we frequently hear that before the dominance of real estate websites they received many more direct calls from perspective clients. These days, they say, there are so many more barriers before that initial phone call happens. Many potential clients want to avoid the pressure of a face to face meeting and are more inclined to make contact via email and contact forms. In this sterile online environment, the opportunity for the broker to display his or her knowledge and personality is limited, thus reducing their direct impact on the buyer. In effect, there is so much more run-around before the broker and buyer actually meet and make a personal connection. This is where the video-bio comes in. If used correctly, the video bio can break down these communication barriers to get across the knowledge and personality that you just can’t achieve through email.

We are proud to present our own video bio for Brian Boardman here, which we produced in-house. Clearly comfortable in front of a camera, you get to see a more personable view of him and not just a slick advertisement.

What are the advantages to video bios?

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The Evolution of Facebook and Twitter

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The graying of Facebook

Two articles that comment on the increasing median age of Facebook users, in particular the 35+ crowds. A recent one, ‘Facebook Users Growing Up Fast’ from, talks about how now over half their users are over 25 in part due to the aging of existing users and the influx of older users. It also discusses ways in which marketers are looking to serve this new group of users.

The second one ‘My Midlife Facebook Crisis‘, which came out a year ago,  is a hilarious day-in-the-life style article from the Wall Street Journal. It anecdotally makes the point that we’re all inescapably social net-workers now.

Twitter flying high

Twitter has been getting a lot more mainstream media attention lately, so we thought we’d post this article ‘Putting Twitter’s World to Use’ from the New York Times. Amongst other things it talks about the increasing interaction between businesses and their customers driving business decisions and as a research tool diving into the world’s collective mind.

It’s only upwards for the folks at Twitter.

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Twitter for Customer Service

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Image by Martin_Heigan via Flickr

Increasingly, companies are using Twitter to enhance their customer service. Handling customer service in a public environment like Twitter is probably just the next round of transparency. Want to know how good a company’s customer service is? See if they’re on Twitter and what they’re doing there.

Here are some articles related to using Twitter for customer service.

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Getting Started with Twitter for Business

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As with any buzzwordy new hip trend, the barrier to entry for using Twitter is probably just sitting down and playing with it. If you have ten minutes, scan one of these articles and just give Twitter a try.

Wrapping your head around Twitter

If are looking for some specific uses of what you might do with Twitter, read some of the use case scenarios for Twitter that are available on the Twitter for Business page. Or you could just read this one article over on Mashable that gives a wide variety of little benefits accrued through Twitter use.

Sometimes you just need some ideas and pointers about what a piece of software is. How can use it for marketing? Or other business tasks? Is it like text messaging but not? Here are some articles to help get you started in understanding what Twitter is and how Twitter works.

Twitter: Get Started

If you’re wanting some ideas and help to get going with microblogging and Twitter, you’re on the right page. There are plenty of articles that give you a good “here’s how to start using twitter” overviews. Some in a narrative style, some with bulleted lists. Here are a few of my favorites:

Find people to follow

Once you have your account, you’ll want to start using it. It starts with you following (i.e. listening to) other people. Here are some articles with ideas about following and increasing your followers:

Start posting on Twitter

You’ve got your twitter account. You have started following some people. Maybe some people have started following you, even. Now it’s time to start posting on Twitter. Here are some resources to help you get the most out of posting on Twitter.

Articles to help you navigate etiquette and other social issues on Twitter

Bird beak adaptations.Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes you just want to fit in. Is it okay to post every five minutes with your latest and greatest deal? Should you really talk about your cat twice a day? When is it alright to approach someone with an offer? Here are some articles to give you a sense of the kind of communication people are expecting to have via Twitter.

You’ll find that it’s a lot like going to a cocktail party. If you’d feel awkward saying something at a cocktail party hosted by your best friend, then don’t post it on Twitter. Here are some more thoughts on getting along in Twitterland:

Twitter: Cautionary Tales

We can probably all remember the first time we sent a “reply all” email when we really didn’t mean to send a message to everyone. If not, we know someone who has. These are the sorts of gaffes that scare us and prevent us from using a new technology. No one wants to look foolish. Below are some posts that help you avoid blunders and other cautionary tales as you use Twitter. But also remember, you still use email even though you sent that embarrassing message that one time.

Alright. You’re ready to start using Twitter for your business. Head on over to the Twitter for Lead Generation page or go to the main Twitter for Business page and find a use case that’s relevant for your business. In real estate and not sure who to follow? Try the Twitter for Real Estate: Who to Follow? article.

Feel free to use the comments to let me know about other good articles for beginning Twitter use.