I like video. I’m a visual person, and maybe a bit lazy too. If I’m trying to do something around the house I will almost always see if there is a how to video first before I read ANYTHING. So it’s no surprise that video plays an important role in our company’s strategy and I wanted to share some of those successes here, if only to demonstrate how important video is becoming. For years our agents have done virtual home tours. There are any number of companies out there that will show up at a property, take some still shots, shoot some video, add some titles and stitch together a 2 minute clip that gets uploaded to our YouTube account. No fuss, no muss. On the Bosley Real Estate YouTube channel, those videos can generate 20-30 views and may hit 60 if we’re lucky. These videos also show up as attachments to agent’s listings on MLS and Realtor.ca and get a lot more views outside of YouTube.
Several years ago someone came up with the idea of shooting “lifestyle” videos. Conceptual in nature, these videos add a unique angle to the traditional home video by using actors to show what LIVING IN THE HOUSE is like. Cool idea. These videos have gained some success and have contributed to the house being sold. In fact some of our agents are using them quite successfully. Of course they are more expensive to produce and once the property is sold the video has limited appeal except as a tool to get other listings. Which begs the question, if a potential client says he wants a lifestyle video and the house is a dump, how are you going to back out of that one?
For our part, our video success has come from two sources. First we recognized that Bosley Real Estate has deep and long-lasting roots in the various communities in Toronto and so we were the best ones to talk about neighbourhoods. We created a video series called “Neighbourhood Navigators”. Currently we have 13 done and another 4 in post production. We also have one of the most experienced management teams and advice that is worthwhile and relevant so we created advice videos with topics like “Do I have to accept a full price offer on my home?”. These videos have responded to the statistics that are available. A 2013 Google Consumer Survey reports that 47% of RE researchers use YouTube to view video home tours, 21% use it to learn about neighbourhoods, 18% use it to learn about RE companies of agents, and 13% use it to watch “how to” and “advice” videos. With barely 9 months under our belts our success has been extraordinary. Check out a snapshot of or analytics. We were basically flatlining but the major jump happened the moment we published our first neighbourhood video in June of 2013. . Video continues to play an important role in our online presence too. On our new website we created a Neighbourhood Navigator and Advice page. Our agents are embedding the videos into their own websites and are reporting additional traffic. Of course we still have a lot more up our sleeve. Version 2 is coming out in a few months and will see some video content coming out in our app.
It is no surprise that video is an important tool for the real estate brokerage. In our fast paced, no time to read, life, video plays a critical role. We are also a big fan of agent videos as they give a consumer the chance to meet someone before they meet them face to face.
mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office.
Mastermind for June 20th. Chattels and Fixtures in Good Working Order and Status Certificate Delivery
Okay, we had one of our biggest Masterminds of the year today. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it was everything to do with the great learning and camaraderie that exists at my office and absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it’s beautifully cool inside. Anyway if you missed Mastermind you missed some great discussions on chattels and fixtures in good working order and condominium status certificates.
So, you sold a home and you have included in your offer a clause that says the seller warrants that all fixtures and chattels will be in good working order upon closing. A week before closing your clients go for a visit and decide to pull one of the roller blinds down in the kitchen. The only problem is that it won’t go back up. It seems like it is broken. So being the good agent that you are, you call the listing agent and let them know, as nicely as you can, that the blind is broken and would they please have the seller fix it before closing. The seller responds, through their agent, that you can go jump in the lake. That blind was broken when they bought the home three years ago. Naturally we got into a debate about what “good working order” means. It seems everyone had a different opinion. The blind is meant to keep out the sun, and it certainly does a good job at doing that, even if you have to hand-roll it up every time. So what is the expectation of working order? How do you define “working”? For instance a slow draining sink still technically works but is it in good working order? That depends. So how can you protect your client? Is it fair to walk through the house or condo and video every square inch? Is it your job to make sure every door handle works or are you better off explaining to a buyer that they are buying a “used” home that may have quirks and quarks to it? Someone in the group summed it up nicely with the phrase “welcome to home ownership”.
Next up…Status certificates. One of my agents asked what to do about the fact that he ordered a status certificate 10 days ago and he didn’t think it was going to arrive in time. Naturally the first thing that pops into our heads is to extend the condition but did you know that if a management company doesn’t deliver a status certificate in the allotted time it is deemed that, 1. There is no default in the payment of condo fees 2. There has been no increase in condo fees since the existing budget in place at that time and 3. There has been no special assessment since the date of the budget. So what if it turns out that there IS a problem? The understanding is that the management company would be responsible. Check out section 76(5) of the soon to be outdated Condominium Act. I want to thank David Feld for the quick responses to our questions. You may not know this but most status certificates are available on-line now. Check out Conduit https://www.statuscertificate.com/ for more details.
You know the old saying ‘things go better with Coke’? Well, today’s Mastermind went better with a little champagne and orange juice. Despite the coming holidays, the diehards will always come out, champagne or no champagne. Anyway, if you missed it this morning we had an interesting discussion around TREB’s prospect match function.
An agent opened the discussion by talking about a stressful conversation she had with a client who was annoyed that a home was emailed to him in his morning prospect match. The client was of Asian decent and the home in question was across the street from a cemetery. While some may think ‘quiet neighbors’, many people of Asian decent are deeply superstitious of cemeteries. While it is important to understand the idiosyncrasies of different ethnic groups, the story brought up an interesting conversation about explaining TREB’s prospect match to clients. One agent said that he screens all the prospect matches and then sends the appropriate ones to the client. Great idea when you have worked with a client for sometime and have a good relationship, but what you DON’T want is to have client surfing through realtor.ca and see a property that you missed or thought inappropriate and that is the one they specifically want to see. Another agent mentioned a situation where a client specifically needed a two car garage so when he set up the prospect match, he specified a two car garage. The client ended up buying a house with one car garage because the home exceeded every other expectation in what he was looking for and he was able make the mental adjustment and park one car on the street. I mention this because often, clients purchase the exact opposite of what they set out to buy. Still another agent told the story of a client who ended up firing him because she thought he didn’t have a handle on what she wanted. In her mind, her wish list was simple; a historic post and beam loft. The agent set up his prospect match to send her properties listed as lofts. Unfortunately she was also automatically sent new loft style condominiums which are usually constructed with raw concrete. The agent thought that he didn’t adequately explain prospect matches well enough. The reality is that while the prospect match is a valuable tool for buyer clients, it is somewhat limited in its functionality. You cannot screen out certain streets or buildings. Lesson learned.
As I have stressed in past, communication is the cornerstone of our business. Part of the initial buyer consultation involves explaining automatic prospect matches. While you think you have an understanding of what a client wants, there is no way you will ever get in their heads enough to know what their hot buttons are. A few last notes on prospect match; it is important to keep updating it. If you struck out on one criteria search, add more. If it is clear the client is dead set on one particular type of house, fine tune your search parameters. Finally, don’t forget to cancel the Prospect Match when you sell him a house. The last thing you want is to bring attention to the better house that came on the market a week after he bought.