Adapting to this New Virtual Environment

Monday May 04th, 2020


It's been a stange few months (to say the least). Most businesses have adapted to this new 'normal' and for some, the new digital, or virtual, world can be a very daunting and intimidating place.

My brokerage, Sutton Group - Heritage Realty, is one of the best places I've ever worked. We have loads of tools available to us that help us be 'virtual agents' in 2020. As a matter of fact, Sutton Group Realty (at the corporate level) is incredible as well. They have been able to secure several multimedia professionals (with backgrounds in Real Estate!) to hold webinars for any agents who want to brush up on their skills. 

Most of the material in this blog is from webinars presented by:

John Mayfield, The Real Estate Tech Guy

Danny Wood, Coach, Presenter and  Real EstateTechnology Guru

Chelsea Peitz, Real Estate Social Media Tips that help you increase your following and grow your business (and my new Insta-BFF!!!!)

I wanted to dedicate this blog to them and share some really good information that's helped me immensely in the last little while.

The general concensus amongst the experts is "video is where it's at." Make sure you have a YouTube channel and you aren't afraid to use it. Jump on and do a quick walkaround video of a new listing or even the neighbourhood where it's located. You can post the video on your Facebook Business page at the same time, or simply publish the YouTube URL to your Facebook page. Find your passion - talking about things you actually like will ensure you come across more naturally and you won't be as nervous!

When it comes to useful pieces of technology for video production, you can download and install an app called SwitcherStudio. It's kind of like a digital TV studio on your iPad. You can switch between video sourceslike a webcam, smartphone camera, and even add titles to the video.

From a hardware perspective, there's this thing called "Swivl." It's a dock for your smartphone that comes with a remote control. The remote is also a sensor and a microphone. The idea is you hold the sensor in your hand and the Swivl dock will 'steer' your phone to wherever you are to make sure you are always in the camera's frame.

One thing to keep in mind about video production: "Done beats perfection every time." Sometimes having a 'polished' video can work against you. People want to see authenticity and over-produced videos might turn people off.

I'm a big Instagram user and I love hearing about 'hacks' or simple tricks that help get more engagement. The Apple Clips app will allow you to add subtitles to an IGTV video. Subtitles will almost guarantee way more views than a video without subtitles. iSkySoft and Kapwing are a few other programs that add subtitles to your video. Kapwing can even reformat your video aspect ratio so it works with Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. iSkySoft will actually allow you to download a video from YouTube and even separate the audio from the video.

Speaking of Instagram, you can actually insert 'alt text' which can be a description of the photo so visually impared people can experience your post as well. It also helps your post be more searchable.

Instagram Stories are massive. More people look at Stories than actual posts. Use the stickers that Instagram makes available to you. Hashtags, location tags, tagging other accounts - all of this things help train the 'algorithm' and will make your post visible to more people.

Post consistently and most importantly, be yourself.

Ever hear of Zillow 3D Home? I've used it a few times for listings. Think Google Street View for the inside of a house. It works great and can be shared with interested buyers.

A few other things worthy of note are LinkTree (organize weblinks on one page that you can display on your various social media feeds), (which can automatically remove a background from an image), Canva (publishing templates and images), and (which also provides high quality publishing tools and layouts).

Keynote is a presentation tools similar to PowerPoint. It's a little more slick and modern looking. You can put presentations together on your phone and run video along with it.

Loom is a very cool program. It gives you the ability to record your screen and have you in a little window. You can use it to make videos of listing walk-around tours without even going into the home. It provides you with a web link that you can then share with anyone who wants to see it.

Feel free to comment with anything YOU use that makes your business awesome! Can't wait to add a few things to my own toolkit!


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