Posted by Roman Bondarchuck on Fri, 02/25/2011 - 2:25pm
The real estate industry is an ever changing, ever expanding market, and diving into this realm can be overwhelming. This is due to the huge variety of information, new technology, and new opinions and ideas that constantly surface. The best way to deal with any anxieties you have in the industry and questions about things you dont understand is to have a strong network of people and places you turn to in order to receive a helping hand. So we at Apartment Talk have decided to compile a list of the blogs and bloggers whom we have found to be particularly helpful on our journey through the real estate and property management industry (in no particular order):
1.MyNewPlace.com As the second largest rental site in the business, youd better believe that My New Place has a phenomenal blog to go with their reputation. With a blogging team made up of pet experts, moving specialists, and more, each post hits a target audience and provides helpful tips and tools for all types of renters. Going strong for over four years, My New Place has an insurmountable number of fantastic posts that weve all found useful on our own personal moving adventures.
2.Zillow Once again a big name leads to a big blog, and Zillow, a leading online real estate marketplace, is no disappointment. The thing that keeps Zillow at the top of the real estate blogosphere is its ability to explore a huge range of topics. From helpful to humorous, newsworthy to celebrity scandal, Zillow keeps readers coming back for more.
3.PropertyManager.com A leading source in the property management niche, and provided by AppFolio, every article here applies to anyone in property management. Their goal is to deliver quality information without excess garbage, and they manage to succeed in doing this while still maintaining interest, bringing new topics to the table, and really understanding the industry they are speaking to.
4.Blue Matter Coldwell Bankers Blue Matter blog has only been up since February 2010 and has already made a huge name for itself. Coldwell Banker continues to expand in all social media outlets, and was even recognized by the Google Creative Canvas book for their ability to Change the Way People Find Real Estate. They certainly arent done growing, and are guaranteed to be a frontrunner in blogging and social media in general.
5.The Shared Wall The Shared Wall, Rent.coms blog, is straight to the facts. With information on a range of topics, from green living to cost reduction, youll find fantastic advice here. With Rent.com as the #1 ILS site in the nations rental housing industry, they provide just another great service to loyal customers through The Shared Wall.
6.Apartments.com Only active since August 2010, Apartments.com created their blog by gathering contributors from all departments of their company. This blog maintains an honesty you get from people who are genuinely interested in getting involved in the conversation, and are now actively starting conversations as well! If Apartments.com continues with this as their primary goal for the blog, it will continue to be a success.
7.TruliaBlog.com Up and running for several years now, Trulia has found its niche, and delivers consistent, useful content. Trulia also has that interesting Trulia Voices platform which allows outside buyers/investors/etc. to participate in discussions about real estate, post blogs, and so on. Although like with any online community you cant guarantee that all participants are professional and giving you the most valuable, factual answers to your questions, Trulia does its best to monitor any problems you may have with the platform. All the while, Trulias actual blog remains useful, engaging, interesting and completely knowledgeable.
8.SquareFeetBlog.com Square Feet commercial real estate blog is broken into categories of commercial development, leasing tips, marketing data, commercial real estate investing and more. Those categories show right off the bat that this blog is all business, and all about marketing and resident retention. We turn here to get solid information. Its all about the business and behind-the-scenes going ons in real estate. They are based in the Silicon Valley and sometimes write location specific posts, but more often than not their articles can be applied universally throughout the real estate industry.
9.BloodhoundBlog.com Bloodhound Blog makes me want to move to Phoenix, Arizona where they are based out of, because it appears that every real estate blogger there is pithy and wonderful to read, and somehow just being in the presence of such witty charismatic bloggers would give me some sort of special power to be the same. Thatll work, right? They basically say everything you are thinking, are not afraid to disagree, but do it in a charming way full of emoticons and sardonic humor. We are committed to an idea of excellence that will flush the bums, the con-men and the crybabies out of the real estate industry. If you yearn to have your failures excused, your moral lapses absolved or your boo-boos kissed, seek elsewhere. But if you are sick to death of mediocrity welcome home.
10.ApartmentNinjas.com/Blog a Texas local apartment finder, Apartment Ninjas got their start in 2009, launching their blog at the same time. What we like about this blog is the scale. It keeps very local and divides its topics up among specific areas of Texas, which is a different approach, as most blogs on real estate seem to want to be all encompassing and accessible to a huge audience. Were interested to see how much of a splash Apartment Ninjas will make in the real estate pool.
11.Blog.BuzzBuzzHome.com Up since July 2008, BuzzBuzzHome is your up-to-date listings of news, events & opinions in real estate. Also divided by location, this Canada based blog is able to be informative while still maintaining a positive energy that many in the real estate industry can lack (because we love being cynical, myself included). So thanks to the folks at BuzzBuzzHome for giving us the lighter side of real estate and brightening my day each time I read them.
12.1000WattConsulting.com/Blog- 1000Watt blog is written by the principals at 1000Watt Consulting, working with real estate brokerages, media companies, technology companies and MLSs to strengthen their brands, improve their marketing, and out-innovate their competitors. They analyze the way real estate is working and not working, and they are wonderful at speaking their minds. Awesome video productions and free download advice so helpful for my not-so-techie self.
13.BlogbytheBay.com- Blog By The Bay is produced SF North, a team of experienced Alain Pinel agents who are committed to a higher standard of ethics, service, and expertise. These guys are great because not only do they inform potential clients of great deals and affordable real estate listings in the area, but they also provide helpful knowledge that is universal to all involved in the real estate industry. Nice scope while maintaining focus.
14.Real Estate Tangent Elizabeth Newlin Arizona realtor has me addicted to her blog. We read it constantly. Its personable, informative, and sassy. She is honest about her flaws, and learns from them, and in turn all her readers learn from them. And shes hilarious. Its like shes writing to a friend, which keeps us coming back to read more. Each post tells a personal story that Elizabeth has experienced herself, whether it be silly or embarrassing, Elizabeth isnt afraid to share her story to her readers so they can learn from it.
15.SanDiegoHomeBlog.com- Kris and Steve Berg are successful in creating another extremely personable blog for San Diego Castles Realty. They are dedicated to a focused, smaller business model to give the best service possible to their clients. Kris and Steve love what they do and they care about their clients, and that really comes through in each of their posts.
16.BiggerPockets.com/RENewsblog- Bigger Pockets is a special interest media and publishing company focused of the business of real estate and real estate investing, dedicated to creating conversation and inspiring forward thinking in the real estate industry. Their interactive platform is fantastic for exposing readers to new great ideas and unique ways of thinking about the industry.
17.Inman.com Anyone in the Real Estate industry who is not reading Inman News should reevaluate where they are getting their information. These guys are innovative, unbiased, and current. Another news source that we at Apartment Talk are totally addicted to, and that is for its ability to stay on top of everything in such a rapidly changing industry. Information is well researched, professional, and necessary and its always there when you need it.
18.AgentGenius.com Agent Genius, winner of the 2008 Inman Innovator award, is a digestible, informative real estate site maintained and managed by over 90 industry professionals. Easy to understand and more importantly, easy to share, creating a network of knowledgeable professionals interested in the important issues in real estate.
19.Realtor.com Really and truly sticks to listening to the client! With the blog based off the Ask A Realtor function, each post is relevant to the reader because its a topic the reader wanted discussed further by these educated, informed real estate professionals. Constantly posting new content, this site is really helpful and relevant.
20.RealEstateZebra.com We love the attitude behind Real Estate Zebra. Daniel Rothamel is a unique, strong willed leader in the real estate industry. He clearly writes with the intent to not only further his own education, but the education of his readers as well. A true supporter of strengthening the real estate community, the Zebra Manifesto states, A Zebra shows respect for all those who show a commitment to honesty, equity, and virtue. A Zebra seeks partnerships with such people, so that together they may share, learn and grow. As a group, their actions will serve as a paragon for the ethical, and their success will serve as a harbinger of destruction for the corrupt.
21.ApartmentTherapy.com A fantastic resource for residents. I personally did not even realize there were this many ways to decorate your home or open up a room or add fancy accents until I read this! A bit overwhelming at first for me, mostly because I dont know how to decided on something and stick with it, so of course I read the front page and had already thought of 16 ways to rearrange the furniture in my apartment. But you got to love all these options! Apartment Therapy is one of our first stops for home improvement tips and advice.
22.BehindTheLeasingDesk.com- Heather is the voice for the peoples side of the property management world, and she is a true pro at what she does. Shes a natural at marketing and her extremely likeable, knowledgeable personality shines through each post she writes. Completely unafraid to rant with the facts and opinion needed to back it up; Heather definitely produces another seriously addicting, informative blog.
23.MarkJuleen.com- Mark Juleen, AKA The Apartment Nerd, does a whole slew of fantastic online marketing that he puts together onto this one great compilation site. He is always on the up and up with the latest news and trends from the multifamily apartment industry and has fantastic ideas on general marketing and branding. Also, I really enjoy his series of apartment nerd videos and all while driving?! I am way to uncoordinated for that and would hit every other car on the road, so props to Mark for being an excellent multi-tasker, as well as an all around great asset to the multifamily/apartment industry.
24.TheRealEstateBloggers.com Up and running since 2005, Tom Royce remains relevant, factual, informative, and on top of his game. This blog is all about analysis. It is simple, straight to the point, and no frills. All the information you need on the real estate industry, available to every level of reader from the real estate pro to the curious stumbler.
25.FutureOfRealEstateMarketing.com This weblog is a community of real estate professionals examining the impact of the web and online marketing on the real estate industry. Founded by Joel Burslem (formerly the VP of content at Inman) this blog provides content as is so be careful of trustworthy sources, but overall its a great way to get new opinions and ideas, as well as be part of great, in depth discussions on real estate.
26.FlipThisWholesaler.net- Bartender turned realtor, Steph Davis documented her journey to a successful career, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. She teaches you the reality that comes with starting out in business since her own start 2006. She shows you that its okay to feel discouraged, while providing you with ways to keep your head up and stay in the game. Motivating, fun, and informative.
27.RealEstateBlogLab.com What we at Apartment Talk love about this blog is it stays true to its reason of creation wanting to help. Born out of the curiosity of blogger David Smith to have a place to post questions and receive answers regarding the gaps in our collective techie knowledge, this blog really aims to bring the real estate community together over important topics. Available and accessible for novices and experts alike, Real Estate Blog Lab aims to educate, and does with great ease.
28.REITips.com J.P. Moses give you the stripped down, bare bones facts of the real estate industry in a bite sized, easy to digest manner. It is a useful quick stop sight about real estate, real estate investing, real estate marketing, and real estate on the web. With an honest passion for the journey one takes through this industry, this blog is extremely beneficial to anyone looking to dig deeper into the world of real estate.
29.StrugglingInvestor.com/blog- We love the caring, explanatory pace of this blog. A perfect place for beginners looking to break out into the real estate industry, because the author, Scott Costello, understands what you are going through and is able to admit to what his shortcomings were upon entering the business. Scared of the difficulties of starting out this new career? Relax Scott has you covered, with helpful posts, words of wisdom, and recommendations for other great outside reading/viewing to stay informed.
30.RREA.com/blog- First of all, I love the author avatars on here. Too cute. On top of that, content is great! This blog is geared more towards clients, and we think it can be used as a really helpful example of how other realtors/property managers can engage with clients and prospects via social media. They are all about starting conversations and answering questions, and isnt that what social media should be all about? Being social.
31.BubbleMeter.blogspot.com- This national housing blog is gritty, honest, and not trying to sugar coat anything. If you get scared easily this site is not for you! But if you are looking for current, real facts about the decline of the housing bubble and the unsustainable nature of housing prices- come here to get informed. Though dont expect to be bummed out the sarcastic humor of the writers, especially in the posts on Spam Emails, is fantastic and well crafted.
32.RainCityGuide.com- This Seattle based blog is based around an important factor that is the reason that most real estate blogs can fail context. Rain City Guide provides context for all of their information and articles, letting the readers know why each story matters not only to the bigger picture of real estate, but to the reader as an individual.
33.BawldGuy.com- The folks at Brown and Brown Investment Properties have created a fantastic blog with a lot of charisma. Launched in 2006, with a post laying it all out on the line, saying, Besides, this isnt for marketing anyway. This is for me to be able to rant and rave about what I do for a living, hopefully with more than a little wit and wisdom. Youll find out I dont have problems venting, and youll always know where I stand. The opinion is strong, the wit is quick and the information is useful. This is a well-rounded blog with a whole lot to offer.
34.BuildBankroll.com- Launched in the summer of 2008, the people at Build Bankroll started out as real estate investors and brought this blog up along the way, documenting their own progression, with weekly updates on projects they are working on. They are based in the Inland Empire of Southern California and they write a lot about their location and the huge decline in real estate value that they have seen. This site follows the journeys of each house they work with which is an interesting perspective and a fresh approach to real estate blogging.
35.LifeAsRealEstateInvestors.com Dave Peniuk and Julie Broad created this calm, friendly, personable blog a little over a year ago and it truly suits them. Theyre naturals, making the blog feel really comfortable and welcoming. With a vibe that radiates that learning together sort of vibe, Dave and Julie are trustworthy, informative sources into information regarding real estate tips, tools, and more.
36.AStudentOfTheRealEstateGame.com- Joe Stampone started this blog January 1st, 2009 and truly hit the ground running, creating a site filled with passion, spark, and overwhelming amounts of information. Exploring all aspects of the real estate game, ASotREG works hard at Demystifying the complexities of real estate investment and the various sub sectors it encompasses, providing a forum for the co-education of followers where they can post questions, learn financial modeling, learn the different career paths a real estate professional can pursue, network with like-minded individuals, and share common and at times esoteric terminology. [Providing] cutting edge updates on the use of social media to build a valuable community and increase your business, and much more. This blog is an extremely valuable asset to real estate marketing.
37.Landlord-Success.com This blog hails from Melbourne Beach, Florida, though it reads and applies to a national audience. One of the best sources for landlords in my opinion, this blog deals with tenant issues, occupancy issues, contacting issues and more. The way to be a successful landlord is by accepting that not everything is going to go smoothly, and by learning from all the bumps in the road. This blog lets readers see that and explore each issue before it happens to them, creating a really educational forum.
38.SpencerBarron.com Spencer Barron is a straight-to-the-facts entrepreneur, investor, and realtor from Denver, Colorado. A realtor with FlatGrass Realty in Denver, he shows us how he got so successful in real estate- through his constant exposure to new technology, trends, and information in real estate and his drive to know more. This blog shows us his dedication to real estate. He backs up all of his information and truly helps his readers learn through his experiences. His software background helps him excel at the techie side of real estate, and he is able to explain new trends to us in real estate that may not pick up on it so easily.
39.TheFrontSteps.com The Front Steps blog is really the pinnacle of San Francisco real estate blogs, with over 400,000 unique readers annually, with fantastic topic choices and local knowledge. Primarily written by Alex Clark, an active real estate agent in San Francisco, he is personable and engages in conversation with readers, which is what makes this site so fantastic. Information is always being exchanged and shared, and new readers instantly feel welcomed and that their opinions count.
40.OhMyApt.ApartmentRatings.com The blog of ApartmentRatings.com, Oh My Apartment is a great guide for renters on how to live a better, happier life in your rented apartment. This covers everything from decoration tips, money saving techniques, simple problem solving, home improvement, and much more. This blog is well written, fun, and light, and keeps readers interested. They are very active on all social media and certainly know what they are doing on the web. Also, they have a unique tag cloud feature on the blog that shows readers the most popular topics on the site a t that time really neat!
41.Lansner.OCRegister.com- Jonathan Lansner and Jeff Collins deliver the latest and greatest in Orange County real estate through the Orange County Register, the local online news source. They are well versed in the real estate in the area and keep readers up to date on all the need to know facts. Their Really? series also offers a humorous side to the business, showing the hilarious and extreme new stories to break in the real estate world.
42.Curbed.com- Curbed has found its niche as the guilty pleasure website for realtors and general readers alike, with articles that are sometimes gossipy, sometimes factual, but always interesting. Topics of posts are often on the latest trends in interior design and dcor, as well as the dcor seen in television, movies and politics. With divisions for New York, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, the Hamptons, and then a National site. This is a site that whenever I visit it, I end up spending way to long reading back posts and browsing the site, because they have the ability to hook you with every topic, and every word.
43.BostonRealEstateObserver.com- Boston Real Estate Observer is one of the leading sites for real estate information in the Boston area. They compile the most important news in lending, commercial real estate, residential real estate, real estate law, and much more. Every member of their staff has a strong real estate background and contributes a unique voice and perspective to the page, offering readers the ability to see every side of a story, which is so beneficial when learning about the industry.
44.WebRealEstateTools.com/Real-Estate-Marketing-Blog- Web Real Estate Tools covers everything you need to know about real estate on the web. From simple posts on best blog practices to in depth reviews of the latest real estate site or application, Peter Toner and Drew Burks have got you covered. Their extensive knowledge of the real estate industry is visible in every post, while still speaking on a level everyone can understand, while encouraging reader engagement. You can even chat with them through the site and get answers to your own real estate questions.
45.RETechVideo.com Dean Oullette presents us with fantastic videos on real estate, the industry, success stories, and the ugly side of things that we should avoid. The all-video approach is awesome and unique, and Dean is able to keep viewers engaged the entire time he is on screen or giving a screen shot tutorial. Really great for those who like to learn by seeing how its done first.
Posted by Roman Bondarchuck on Tue, 08/24/2010 - 7:55pm
Okay, we have done our research, gone to websites, talked to different Realtors, and established the right price. The critical part is now getting your home ready to sell. I cannot stress enough how important this phase of the process is so please pay particular attention.
Number one, most decisions to buy your home are made in less than three seconds. What I mean by that is that somebody is literally going to drive up in front of your home, look at your home from their car for approximately three seconds, and determine if they have fallen in love with your home or not.
At that point, after just three seconds, they are going to decide to continue driving or they are going to stop, write down the phone number, get the flyer and make inquiries. That first initial impression is absolutely critical. Nothing is more important.
So how do we do make a great first impression? The first thing is landscaping. Landscaping could be as simple as cutting your grass. It could be as simple as planting a few more flowers.
If you think about Disney there are always two things that are very memorable. The first thing is that there are always lots of flowers, lots of color. The second thing you notice about Disney, no matter where you are in the Disney Park, is that there is always music in the background.
You can literally create this resort type feel just by having lots of colors, lots of different plants, lots of flowers and having some outdoor music. These things are very inexpensive but really take your property to the next level. This completely differentiates you from everybody else not only in your neighborhood but anyone else selling.
So these are some of the tips youll find when you go visit model homes at some of these big real estate offices or big developers - youll always see some incredible landscaping. They say that landscaping adds more value to your home than anything else. So the first tip in getting your house ready to sell is the outside appearance, get that landscaping perfect. This concept of landscaping however changes when dealing with downtown Toronto condos. The condos in downtown Toronto already have perfect landscaping so they do not need to worry about this issue. These owners need to concentrate on remodeling their homes or at least making it look presentable.
Posted by Roman Bondarchuck on Sat, 08/21/2010 - 4:26pm
IDENTIFYING YOUR BUYER IN THE TORONTO CONDO MARKET
So lets talk about the kind of person thats going to buy your home. Most of us think that the person thats going to buy your home looks just like you. Perhaps you are married with kids so the assumption is that the person who will buy your home will be married with a few kids.
You may be right, however there is an 80% chance that you might be wrong. What I would really challenge you to think about are the possible buyers for your home not hundreds of different buyer profiles but say five different types of people that could be a good fit.
For example, it may be a couple that is relocating to your city or to your neighborhood. Maybe they have different wants and needs. So if you think about that person, they are going to come with a very different perception of your home.
Ill give you an example. They might come from a very expensive real estate market and maybe your market is less expensive. So theyre not so concerned about the price of your home, they might be more concerned about safety or security or how good the schools are.
Let me give you another example. Lets say you have another prospective family and perhaps they have young children. Well, people with young children have an entirely different set of criteria when looking for a home.
One last one I want you to think about. Think about an elderly couple that may be downsizing. Perhaps they currently have a much larger home and want to move into something smaller, but stay in the same neighbourhood.
So when you think about your sales and marketing, you need to keep the needs of various possible buyers in mind the couple thats relocating, the young family or perhaps the empty nesters.
Remember not to be too narrow minded when determining your potential buyers - keep an open mind so you can understand and deal with each of these different circumstances.
Posted by Roman Bondarchuck on Wed, 08/18/2010 - 12:16pm
TAKE AN EMOTIONAL APPROACH
If you look at the old ways of selling real estate, the outdated methods that worked in the past, none of those things will work now. So it is very important that you pay attention as we go through the step-by-step approaches that you can act on today.
First I want to explain the difference between selling in a boom real estate similar to what we have experienced in the past and selling your home today. In those days your agent could list your home, fill the place for an open house, then sift through the offers.
In most cases you could sell your home on logic and reason you could tell your prospective buyers about square footage, price point, granite counters, stainless steel appliances and people got excited.
Today those things are just a given granite counters and stainless steel appliances are now commonplace, along with things like hardwood floors.
In todays real estate market those kind of functional details are simply not going to get people excited or motivate them to buy. As well there is often a great deal of inventory, so people have many homes for sale that they are able to choose from.
Therefore the only way to make the sale is to make sure your sales and marketing approach is based on emotion.
Of course people want to have a bigger or nicer home with more luxury features. But what we have found is that if you focus on the emotional benefits of buying your particular home the results are truly amazing.
Suddenly the conversation is focused on how happy your home is, and how incredible the neighbours are. When you start talking about experiences and the lifestyle that your home can offer the dynamic takes an amazing shift. So my advice to you is that if anything looks like logic or reason in any of your marketing approaches, get it out of your vocabulary.
When youre talking to a homeowner, and Im hoping that youre focusing on the woman, because shes really the decision maker, focus on the memories, on how happy this place is, on the incredible neighbors and friendships that youve developed in the neighborhood. These are the important selling features you need to employ today.
Lets just do a quick review. The first thing we talked about was the fact that the world has changed dramatically. In the past 10 years weve gone from analog to digital - most of the information we access is now found on the Internet. So when we talk about marketing your home, were going to spend most of our time talking about digital techniques.
The second thing we covered was the difference between selling your home in a boom market when you could use logic and reason you know, things like price per square foot, number of bathrooms and the size of your back yard. These days you absolutely have to focus on the emotional benefits prospective buyers will experience if they own your home.
Lets take a closer look at these important fundamentals and how you can use these proven techniques to sell your home effectively in any market conditions!
Posted by Roman Bondarchuck on Fri, 08/13/2010 - 4:05pm
THE INTERNET AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE TORONTO CONDO SALE PLAN
The first thing we all need to realize is how radically the world has changed in the past ten years. Think about it for just a second ten years ago we were not using Google, Facebook or YouTube. There were no Blackberrys, iPhones or iPads, no digital cameras, high speed internet at home or USB memory sticks none of these things even existed.
As a direct result of these massive changes, consumer behavior has also undergone some radical changes specifically the Internet is now at the very core of most consumer decisions. What that means for you is that if you are trying to market or sell your home running a small print ad in a local or even national publication it is not going to work.
Consumers research almost all large purchase decisions online and are not reading newspapers the way they used to when they need specific products or services and definitely not when they are looking to buy a new home.
The reality is that most consumers are making real estate purchase decisions at home using a computer and are not sitting in a real estate office at this point in our history. In fact online marketing has now overtaken traditional marketing as the most cost effective way to sell any product or service.
The consumer is now in control so you have to cater to their needs and where your most qualified buyers can consistently be found. So if you are not generating most of your leads online your plan is not going to work. Well discuss this further when we get to the marketing your home section.
So here is the great news the process of selling your home using proven online strategies is simpler and easier than you think. And no one is going to work harder to sell your home than you.
Right now you can set your home apart, take some unconventional steps and leverage the awesome power of the Internet to get your home sold fast and save a serious amount of money on real estate commissions.