Internet technology and marketing

June 16, 2011

Technology and REALTORS

Filed under: facebook, QR, real estate, social media, twitter — Tags: , , , — webcubic @ 11:23 pm

Approximately one half of NAR members said they used social media sites last year.  In 2009, only one third did. Further, in 2010 89% of buyers used the Internet to search for homes versus 45% visiting open houses and 36% used print ads.  The Internet is being used by real estate professionals.

The most often mentioned social media tool is the blog.  One successful real estate professional said his approach has been to focus on the town where he lived and farmed.  He was soon obtaining 300 page views per day.  On occasion he had 8,000 page views.  His first lead came almost a year later. One buyer that used this realtor said that it was the content of the blog that appealed to him. 

Real estate professionals said they optimize their websites and blogs for simple keyword phrases – like “Seal Beach real estate”.   

Other social media sites that are widely used are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (so far, no surprises), and Criagslist.  Google AdWords is used. Real estate portals are favored, too – Trulia, Zillow, and Redfin.

What other technologies are available to real estate professionals?  Quick response (QR) codes on “for sale” signs.  Individual websites for listed properties.  With the objective being to broaden the number of possible buyers, the Internet makes sense.

What have you used?

Here are some of our observations.  Social media is an effective tool.  We favor Facebook as the tool that most users are using today.  FB will provide a blog like forum by using a “like” page.  Use this to expand your reach.  Give visitors a reason to return.  Remember that the “like” page is a business page and is expected to be that by visitors.  If you want to discuss movies, restaurants, etc, then use the “friends” pages. 

As far as how rapidly you will get results, be patient.  There is the negative real estate market to deal with and that buyers need time to get comfortable with you.  They will link to your website for more capabilities – property searches. 

Be sure to provide links to Facebook and other social media sites from your website.

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June 10, 2011

Quick response codes

Filed under: QR — Tags: , , , — webcubic @ 8:51 pm

Finally barcodes are older technology.  The new barcode for the digital age is call quick response codes or QR.  QRs have the ability to deliver more information than the old barcodes.  When scanned using smartphones, they can open websites, play videos, place calls, provide text information, or haiku.   Recent information reports that QRs are scanned 2 million times monthly.  This is double what it was only one year ago.

Consider some of the ways that QRs are used.  Best Buy applies the codes on most of its high end products.  Macy’s uses them to display how products are used.  Goldilocks bakeries offered cakes with edible QRs linked to a teddy bear that opened and closed its arms.  Joe’s Jeans uses QRs to link  customers to their social media sites, provide contact information, and product specific information.  Starbucks uses QRs in a Lady Gaga related promotion.  You can even pay for your purchases at Starbucks.

QRs have great potential as a marketing tool.  Smartphone growth is increasing.  One study forecasted that smartphones will be used by half of all Americans by the end of the year.  This is significant.  The marketing potential is great by focusing on smartphones. 

However, only 5% of smartphone users have scanned a QR.  Many smartphone users, even those who are otherwise tech savvy, have no idea what a squiggly QR is.  Or what it can provide.  But this will soon change.

This technology was developed in the mid-90s.  The adoption rate was much faster in other lands (Japan, South Korea) and much slower here.

Looking forward, small businesses will be among the adopters of this technology.  Check out more information at www.facebook.com/webcubic

Here is a QR to take you to WebCubic’s Facebook page.  Open up a barcode app on your smartphone and try this QR.

qrcode

Once you try it, you’ll realize how easy it is.  That maybe one of the easy ways to get others to visit websites.

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