Getting into the Swing of Good Customer Service

Published by Jim Droz

In golf parlance, Sandy Schack negotiated several hazards in a short period of time to seal the deal on a recent transaction.

Schack, whose real estate territory of Bay Hill, Fla., is one of the top golf communities in the country, aced the test put forth by the father and manager of budding Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa during this year’s playing of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Golf Club. Her efforts led to a $500,000 transaction, with the majority of paperwork and negotiations completed before the conclusion of tournament week.

“It was pretty interesting,” said Schack, whose office is near the golf course. “It was a little tough putting the offer in because they wanted everything done in a week before they headed to Augusta (Ga.) for the Masters and then back to Japan.”

Schack said that her HouseHunt website received more than 200 leads during tournament week, including the one from Ishikawa, who won’t turn 21 until September but already has 10 professional victories worldwide. Continue reading Getting into the Swing of Good Customer Service

Add Personality to Email with Video

By Jaime Westman

The increasing popularity of online video sites such as YouTube shows that people love being visually entertained or stimulated while digesting their information. Having a video message in your e-mails, therefore, makes sense for marketing, especially in the real estate industry. Besides being an extra informational tool on your website, a sharp real estate video can offer consumers a preview of what you offer or a teaser of what one of your featured properties looks like.

Like any type of online marketing, an onslaught of e-mails can be annoying and impersonal. If you get associated with that type of message, prospects will likely start deleting your e-mails without opening them. But a video e-mail can make you and your message stand out, and you don’t necessarily have to be a high-tech genius or budding thespian to make them work.

Services such as BombBomb and Eyejot have systems set up for real estate agents and can help you create, send and track video e-mails, newsletters and other forms of online promotions. Some services also have features including streaming video, video analytics, iPhone apps, video e-mail templates, auto responders and drip campaigns. And other practical uses of video e-mails include staying in contact with relocation clients, staying in touch with past clients and referrals with holiday or birthday greetings and sending market updates to current buyers and sellers. Continue reading Add Personality to Email with Video

Effective Campaigning with QR Codes

By Jaime Westman

Depending on your point of view, QR codes can be hypnotic or annoying, useful or worthless or resemble an ink blot or a funky piece of art.

Who knew that a two-dimensional bar code arranged in a pattern of squares for the encoding of product information could be such a polarizing figure? But the codes are here to stay and will likely become more popular, so forward-thinking Realtors should think about putting them to use as an extra marketing tool in their belts.

When scanned by a smartphone camera, QR codes can direct a user to any web page you specify, such as your home page, a listings profile page, your contact information or a page with a video giving more information about you and your business practices. Some benefits are that a website address doesn’t have to be entered and agents can track how many times someone has clicked on the code. Some practical uses include direct mailing, business cards, mobile listings, open houses, flyers, lawn signs and in publications or on stationery.

Make a welcome page with a capture form and links to other listings
Use QR codes on reusable sign riders


  • Put them on yard signs and make them big enough to scan from the street
  • Put them on flyers in the yard sign box
  • Put them on business cards
  • Add video to the landing page
  • Add to any other print products you already market along with your phone number, email address, website and social handles
  • Use it in the Sunday paper
  • Use it as an electronic sign in sheet at open houses


  • Put them online or in an email- that’s not how they’re meant to be used.
  • Don’t always think of the QR code as a way of capturing a lead, sometimes it just boils down to being a simple way to be seen. You are selling a product. How many times have you drooled over an online product several times before actually buying it.


  • Quick free and easy to set up
  • Track-able
  • When used properly, QR codes can be effective ways for real estate agents to engage their target audience. But if you’re only leading visitors to your non-optimized website, you’re making it difficult for them to access your complete message. That’s where a completely mobile-friendly landing page comes in. Such a page is more interactive and informative and will likely hold the user’s attention. If they’ve gone to the trouble of scanning the code, they’re at least thinking about buying a house, and if you want your codes to work, they should be properly segmented and do something creative for the user. That way you can track your QR code results to know what works and what doesn’t.

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    If You Work in a Pet-Friendly City, Stroke it for All it’s Worth

    Published by Jim Droz

    As a real estate agent, you likely tout your city’s schools, churches, neighborhoods and community activities to people interested in moving there. But don’t forget another important member of some families – the pet. When it comes to dogs – particularly large ones – convenient open spaces to walk and run together could be important requirements for certain homeowners. The same can be said for pet hospitals, veterinary services, dog parks and beaches, pet-allowed outdoor cafes and the ability for a leashed dog to travel with their owner on public transportation.

    A cruise around cyberspace for “pet friendly cities” showed the following spots popping up most often. If you work in one, do some research and factor in a family’s pets the next time you talk to a prospect. Ask if they have a dog and if they do, you’ll have even more helpful information pointing to you as the community expert.

    Portland, Oregon: This eclectic city tops most lists because of its more than 30 parks and hundreds of pet day cares, dog-sitting services, veterinarians, trainers, groomers and boutiques. There’s even an annual Dogtoberfest that doubles as a street fair. Continue reading If You Work in a Pet-Friendly City, Stroke it for All it’s Worth