August 19th, 2011
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Getting your property in front of serious buyers and generating lots of interest in it is the way to sell your home. A good agent will work to get as many people to view your home as possible. And since most buyers start their search on the internet these days, standing out in the crowd will help develop traffic. Engaging video is one of those tools which can help create the buzz. That’s where the marketing and technology departments enter.

For the past two years, Residential Properties Ltd. has been making property videos and posting them online. We like the media primarily because of the flexibility and creative aspects. Combining the talent from the two departments to film, write, record, and edit, we’ve found that we can work off of each other to fine tune the product into something that will attract, inform, and make viewers want to visit the property.

Our videos have been viewed over 22,000 times on the ResProp YouTube channel, and we’d like to think this is not a fluke. We are thrilled to have some very talented individuals who make it their business to deliver an interesting and effective product to our clients. Working on other projects besides our own movies helps bring creativity to them. For instance, IT Director Tom Flanagan was recently on an award-winning 48 Hour Film Project team. Their video, entitled “The Lip Dub” had to be written, shot, edited, and scored in only a weekend. The team rose to the occasion, adjusting their “creative process” to succeed in this high pressure environment. They were awarded Best Cast Ensemble, Best Choreography, and Viewers Choice.

October 9th, 2009
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I’ve done several articles before on what to look for in a Realtor®. The concentration was mostly on the agent, but everyone should also look at what the office behind that agent and the state association offers to buyers and sellers of real estate.

Not all real estate companies are alike, and without getting deeply into the inner workings of each particular group, I will try to give you an overview to highlight the general activities you can expect from the office behind the face. Obviously, this may be slightly biased to our organization.

For the seller of property, the foremost interest is how is my home going to be offered, that is, how professional, how many sales people, and how is it going to be “marketed.” Your agent is the salesman for the property, but in some companies (like ours) the other agents in the company will also be sales people for the property. In companies which have different models, the agent may be the only salesperson, unless they have a team of people working with them. That means, if your agent isn’t available, your property may not be shown.

But a bigger picture item is the marketing of the property. Marketing can be everything from placing a link on Craig’s List, to an ad in the local papers, company websites, virtual or video tours, floorplans, property websites, and possibly social network marketing. It can also include open houses, newspaper feature articles, features on radio shows or even television ads. Plus, the office may have a good internal network to promote the property to buyers working with other agents in the company.

Your goal is to clearly understand what the company is doing for you and not just your agent. The “behind the scenes” marketing and technology departments are important in today’s world. Having a vision as to what should be done for a particular property is important. And understand, not every property needs the same marketing approach. This is clearly the case of one size doesn’t fit all.

For the buyers out there, the company will offer other added benefits. Not only will your agent have a better understanding of the properties in the inventory of the company (most offices have their agents tour each property), but she will have the materials developed by the company to help understand the neighborhoods. In our case, since we have five strategically located offices, others in the company will help that agent understand the areas outside their community.

One other area to investigate. Does the company have a relocation department? If you are moving out of the state, you may need help in the new area finding a good agent to help you find the property in that new town. It is always better to have someone who knows something about you through a referral instead of walking into a new market with no help.

Finally, the local Realtor board, in RI it is the Rhode Island Association of Realtors (RIAR), is the oversight body to help self regulate the industry. Each state has their own group and these groups also have local boards to focus down on a subsection of the state. Rhode Island has five local boards. The state organization is a wealth of information and has a useful site at riliving.com. One other thing, the boards provide to the Realtor valuable educational resources on communication, legal information, technology, market statistics and ethical business practices. This keeps them informed on how to do business and what is going on in the market place. In the end, that will help you understand the real estate market better.