Viral videos are almost always rags-to-riches type stories, and Anthony's story is too. He was one of Fiverr's top rated sellers for his 10 Second Songs that he would produce for (starting at) $5. He is a master at turning a simple jingle into quality music and voice. So I hired him to do the intro for our Seattle Home Buyer Seminar promotional video. It's a good thing I hired him when I did. Because about a month ago he created a video showing 20 different styles to sing a Katy Perry song, “Dark Horse” – and it went viral on YouTube. Not just sorta popular, I mean VIRAL! He currently has over 6 MILLION views and 197 THOUSAND subscribers, all within about a month period. It's made him famous overnight. He's been interviewed and published on The Rolling Stone's website, offered to tour with Boyz II Men, asked to be on “America's Got Talent” TV show, featured in the Entertainment section of the Huffington Post,and the list goes on-and-on. I knew when I first saw his work that my videos would get a much wider audience if I could have him in them. And sure enough they have. I've been able to re-use his intro jingles for all our Seattle Home Buyer Seminars. Here's the one for our upcoming Seattle Home Buyer Seminar in July:
Seattle's landmark burger joint, Dick's Drive-in, recently decided to expand and build another drive-in location somewhere in the nearby Seattle suburbs. In order to decide where to build it they did an online consumer poll. With over 119,000 votes cast, the winner is clearly the Northend, which includes Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, Edmonds, and the South Everett area.
Dicks also had an online video contest in which several winners would receive $100 gift certificates. They used their Facebook Fan Page to promote the contest and the results were staggering. A number of great submissions were placed on YouTube. The First Place winner was my favorite too, titled the “Whiteboard Pitch”. In the video they pitch how building a Dick's in Everett “can make a better world”. You can see also the 2nd, and 3rd place (tie) winners on Dick's homepage, at least for now.
Dicks Drive in Whiteboard Pitch
This is a great real-world example of how an established local business has done a great job of harnessing social media to create incredible market-buzz for next to nothing. And they now have an instant, grateful following of customers in the Northend anxiously awaiting the opening of their new location.
Coldwell Banker Bain has just added Facebook and Twitter link icons under the photos of their Listing Detail pages so buyers and sellers can easily share listings with their friends. (see their Press Release)
The Twitter post link has the added benefit of “hashtaging” the MLS number. So agents and the public can search to see comments or RTs (re-tweets).
With the rapid growth of these social networks brokerages and agents are making it easier for buyers and sellers to post and share information in places where their friends and family are gathering. I have added a property search feature right inside Facebook for the same reason. People can search for properties without having to go to an outside of Facebook or registering.
There are some exciting developments on the way to enhance the real estate buying and selling process through social media sites. As Facebook,Twitter, and other social media networks continue to grow and dominate the internet you will see more and more of this kind of integration.
I've been curious which social networking sites agents have been marketing their listings on now that newspapers a starting to disappear. More and more sellers are accepting the internet as the primary marketing avenue to promote their homes. And fewer and fewer sellers are demanding their agents take out ineffective ads in newspapers or magazines as readership has been plummeting.
It's hard to get accurate data because most sources are trying to promote their own services or have their own agenda. So I thought it was interesting when Top Producer (makers of the most widely used real estate database systems for real estate agents) did their own internal poll. These are a wide range of agents over all geographical and demographic markets. So I think it is probably pretty random sampling.
Here's some of the results they published on their site.
By far the most popular place to promote listings was Facebook (at 34%), followed by LinkedIn (17%) and Twitter (15%). All other sites ranked in low single digits and only 12% of agents indicated they were not using social media sites at all. Furthermore, only slightly over 3% indicated they did not know what a social networking site was. I bet that is dramatically lower than even six months ago. The poll was taken from around the beginning of April 2009 and these results account for 853 votes to date.
Image by cambodia4kidsorg via Flickr
I think it's worth noting that Top Producer didn't bother to consider YouTube or Flickr as a social media websites, which they clearly are. Nor did they consider other internet promotional sites widely used by agents like Craigslist or Zillow. Still, I think this poll speaks volumes about how we agents have changed our marketing in such a short time.
I've been waiting for service to come out that will put together the best of all the real estate web services out there that doesn't come with an agenda. There are a number sites that specialize in various kinds of information about real estate, such as Zillow.com for valuations. WalkScore.com for the proximity of a home to “walkable” amenities, etc. Well, Dwellicious bookmarks listings and puts all this and more together in a way that agents, buyers, and sellers can all access and discuss properties for sale in an open environment. I first heard about this over at Agent Genius, who have been working closely with Dan Woolley and Greg Robertson on this. Dan and Greg have a long history in real estate software design and marketing, most recently at eNeighborhoods.com. For details of how to utilize this great new tool you should read Agent Genius's extensive review.
I'm not going to repeat what Benn from AgentGenius said here. But I want to point out that there is a lot of thought put into these tabs, and what they can do. Even in beta Dwellicious makes it very easy for sharing on Facebook, MySpace, and publishing on WordPress blogs. I've heard Twitter and other social sites are on the way. I would guess that embed codes for Postlets, Point2Agent, and Agent e-Flyers will be coming soon as well. By integrating Panoramio geo-coded area photos under the listing photos, relocating buyers can get a visual flavor of the neighborhood. Google's Street View is front-and-center. As I mentioned in my “Street View Comes to Seattle” blog, Google is taking understanding the neighborhood to a whole new level.
Dwellicious works with this impressive list of real estate portals already, and more are bound to jump onboard.
To add your listings they've make it as easy as bookmarking the property details page for agents, an important factor for most of us agents, who are not all that technology savvy.
I think this may become the hottest new real estate web application around. And it could be the best integration of real estate marketing and social media created so far. It's still in beta phase now, but expect it to go live around the beginning of January during the Inman Connect NYC 2009 Event, SO WATCH FOR IT!
(SEE MY LISTINGS ON DWELLICIOUS and click on VIEW DETAILS)