Former Miss Australia & TV Stars Are Playing A Role In Real Estate

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A couple of weeks ago I met with former Miss Australia, Caroline Pemberton and spoke at length with her about the new role she is playing within the real estate industry.

Caroline, who is a TV Presenter, Speaker, Model has recently been doing real estate video presentations for high-end properties within the Sydney market.

Previously within the real estate industry, TV personalities and sports stars have been employed to present and/or promote larger developments/land releases, etc but now there seems to be a growing sector in the market for TV presenters to be featured within the property video of individual properties.

Natalie Lowe from the popular Australian TV Show, Dancing With The Stars has previously been featured doing property videos for a company called Real Estate in Motion and I’m sure that as the price of video becomes more affordable you’ll see lots more TV Personalities, Models and Sports Stars being recruited as presenters for the medium to high-end of the market properties.

But, Caroline Pemberton’s story has ended up a bit differently than she had anticipated. Caroline ended up enjoying presenting the homes so much that she decided to get her certificate and become an agent herself.

Recently back from travelling to Antarctica where she did a video-shoot for the TV Show Getaway, Caroline told me that she uses the same lifestyle format that the TV presenters use within programmes like Getaway, etc to help build the emotion of a home within her property videos. For example, in this video Caroline even jumps into the pool for a swim.

Note. Whilst I agree that building the lifestyle into a property video is extremely important, jumping into the pool, spa, etc isn’t something that I’m advocating agents should start doing as a part of marketing a home.

As more and more agents embrace the use of property videos, it will be very interesting to see what role TV celebrities could end up playing within the real estate industry.

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  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 8, 2010 at 9:29 pm 0Likes

    Great to see women leading from the front. Is that seriously her website though?

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm 0Likes

    Just a quick note, we are updating certain sections of the site today. So it might mess up a little 🙂

  • Jayne Harwood
    Posted June 8, 2010 at 11:00 pm 0Likes

    Wow that video is amazing! We actually use Real Estate in Motion to create QR Codes for all our signboards and are now looking at having them produce voice overs for our property slideshows. They use Des Dowling (Voices Powerball) as their professional voice over person. Being in Launceston we do not have the big budgets to do anything like Caroline’s video but for $95 they are able to put the sales message on our slideshows which can then be sent as a splash page, mobi link and also be pushed through to all major portals. These slideshow tours also then appear on our QR Codes!

  • Nick
    Posted June 8, 2010 at 11:34 pm 0Likes

    That video is impressive. Better than most. The number of clothing changes is incredible.

    Greg, I’d be more than happy to watch videos where the agent jumps in the pool. Provided that they look like former Miss Australia of course. 🙂

    Jayne just as a off topic query, how many hits do you get on your QR codes?
    I wouldnt imagine very many at all.

  • David Ross
    Posted June 8, 2010 at 11:41 pm 0Likes

    Hi Greg,
    Video is a great profile building tool for agents and their brand, therefore careful consideration is required as to how to get the best use out of the medium so that it enhances rather than detracts. Is it about the agent or is it about the property?
    Having provided property videos to agents in QLD, NSW and VIC, the difference in in how video is being used by agents varies differently.
    For example, in the Gold Coast you find that agents do jump in pools, they ride horses and jump on trampolines, and it seems to fit their market. In NSW and VIC, there is a far more conservative approach (generally) to video, where the focus is distinctly on the property rather than the agent.
    Regardless of what you think is right, getting the balance right for your market and the property is vital. Agents need to tap into the profile building benefits, not steamroll them!

  • Peter Fletcher
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 12:00 am 0Likes

    The message here is to let sounds and images tell the story of the home rather than having the agent describe a list of property features. The agent firstly becomes the narrator and then only optionally becomes a member of the cast. Good work Greg.

  • Rachael Lord
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 12:19 am 0Likes

    I really enjoyed those videos Greg – thanks for sharing. It seems to be the way of the future!

    Peter – I agree, maybe the bikini shot shouldn’t be the first thing you see when you open the website!

  • Rachael Lord
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 12:21 am 0Likes

    I just watched another video of the Skyhome in Sydney. Impressive stuff! I think they are doing a fantastic job.

  • Jayne Harwood
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 1:36 am 0Likes

    Nick – I am not exactly sure, but I will have a look at getting the figures on that. I do know we received around 150 hits from the QR Code we had in our 1 Page Advert we ran to Launch the QR Code signboards that linked to our television commercial about them in the first week.

    Our point with QR Codes is it provides us with a point of difference and promotes that we are at the forefront of the technology, and basically use it as a free self-service option for people to access our mobile property pages and video without the cost to them of an MMS for instance. Part of our plan is a bit of market education, but we are truly seeing a point of difference when selling a home because we can now leave our sales message with the person inquiring. What seems to happen is that we get a better result as that person can get buy in from others that they show the information to. It really is like viral marketing, so the QR Code hits are not that important, as we really only need one genuine buyer to access it and share the information to really increase our chance of a sale.

    We already have proof of one property selling the same day we put the QR Code on the signboard at an open house. The guy who did it rang that afternoon to say to the agent he wanted to buy the house after showing friends at a BBQ. Amazing thing was it had been on the market for 4 months and no sale, but that day it sold. I believe it was the ability to show others that made them buy it.

    I know this is only one example but the reaction at our listing presentations regarding QR Codes has been fantastic.

  • Sal Espro
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 3:55 am 0Likes

    Greg, What would the pricing be for something like this without ‘talent’ costs? (Rather, just the agent going thru a property).


  • Brian Chua
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 3:59 am 0Likes

    Awesome video. More agents could adopt this method to sell their luxury properties.

    In my opinion, videos are a fantastic marketing tool if it is done right. I agree with David Ross that the right balance needs to be done before a video could be produced. Targeted audiences yields better ROI.

  • Sal Espro
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 4:15 am 0Likes

    Jayne, we have been looking at individual property websites as like your QR codes they can be flicked around to friends. They also have the added value of 1.the client seeing obvious value ‘upfront’ and 2. linking back to our own website for SEO (?)

  • Nick
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 5:32 am 0Likes

    Thanks for that Jayne. After just recently buying a new phone without a reader, and most phones dont have one let alone people not knowing how to use QR codes, it made me curious how much they were used.

    Sal individual property websites are worthless for seo purposes as its the quality of the links not the raw number that matters. A brand new site which has no backlinks has no benefit to the parent website.

  • Jayne Harwood
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 5:40 am 0Likes

    Nick – We did do a pretty intensive Teleivison and Print Media campaign when we Launched QR Codes and our Signboards give instructions on how to download the reader. if you go to it automatically knows what phone you have and you can then download the iNigma reader.

    I am interested in what you have said to Sal as we are also now looking at individual property websites but were under the impression that if our website host Portplus created the individual sites and the property was pushed from our main site to the individual property site that it would link for SEO purposes. Is this the case? Appreciate your advice!

  • Nick
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 7:19 am 0Likes

    Jayne they dont have a reader for my phone but its a niche phone so its ok. 🙂

    Search engines place some influence on the age of a domain. A site that was registered yesterday isnt as good as a site which is 10 years old. Additionally it takes quite a while for search engines to update so the house will probably be sold before you get any benefit out of it.

    They can be good for other purposes, but they are worthless for SEO.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 9:43 am 0Likes

    Jayne & Nick, as a provider of Individual Property Websites and the author of this post I have to be careful with what I discuss about this matter. Can I suggest that you check out the discussion that has previously taken place around the Individual Property Websites topic on this blog

    Sal, how long is a piece of string? Costs of videos depends on the quality of the production you require and the length of the video, etc.

    There are lots of different video companies to choose from now & their pricing & quality is so different.

    Rachael, I believe that The SkyHouse had been on the market for quite some time with another agent & Caroline told me that the tenants have been amazed at the amount of buyer interest that they have generated from the video. I’m not sure if they’ve sold it as yet but she said that they’ve had some strong International interest generated from the video.

    Here’s the Sky House video

    David, I agree that it’s different strokes for different folks but I’ve seen agents try to be too quirky and too clever. I’m sure you’ll agree that there are property videos that some agents are doing that make people cringe.

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm 0Likes

    Video: Are they stretch jeans? Faberge maybe?

  • john Simon
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 12:42 am 0Likes

    Hi All,
    Caroline and I have been working on some new styles of video content within the real estate industry. We have approached things through more of a ‘Getaway’ style…….informative AND emotive.
    I started the production company LightsCameraSold a few years back and have gained fantastic experience through some of our camera operators and editors. It was time to get back into real estate sales myself under the banner of Real Estate of Distinction. Ive missed it and happy to be at the coalface once again! Caroline presents and I negotiate.

  • Sal Espro
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 5:08 am 0Likes

    Hi Jane, What does Portplus charge for an individual property website including individual street address URL?

    (Ps Nic, Google says their new search algorithm indexes new pages within a day! to try to capture recency).

  • Jayne Harwood
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 10:52 pm 0Likes

    Hi Sal, Cost is $295 per property and there are a number of templates to choose from.

  • Jayne Harwood
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 11:13 pm 0Likes

    Hi Greg, I checked out the blog you mentioned, thank you! I understand that individual websites are more a Listing Tool than something to be used for SEO purposes but we currently are Number 1 on Google if you type in Launceston Real Estate and Real Estate Launceston BUT if you google Kings Meadows Real Estate you only get the major portals. SO if I can use individual websites as a listing tool and increase my SEO on other suburbs it would be a WIN WIN. We had 68,000 property views to our site in April and I want this to increase. In the blog you mention it states;

    “How this really helps your SEO is that you can link all of these websites back to your main agency website increasing the direct traffic it receives. Also, it

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted June 11, 2010 at 12:23 am 0Likes

    To rank for Kings Meadow Real Estate there are 3 main factors that the search engines take into consideration.

    1. URL
    2. On Page SEO
    3. Off Page SEO

    The SEO value of the individual property websites is based on Off Page SEO. While Nick is right in what he said about having no SEO value in the initial stages, whilst the property may be sold within a couple of days (before Google even indexes an Individual Property Website) you have the option to then delete the site from the web or leave it hosted for the full 12 months, during which time the domain name grows older and the Individual Property Websites then start to provide some Off Page SEO value to your main site.

    However Jayne, if you haven’t done any On Page SEO in an effort to rank for Kings Meadow Real Estate then having lots of Individual Property Websites in Kings Meadow linking back to your website won’t make a huge difference to your ranking on that keyword. Your On Page SEO is vitally important.

    Google looks for relevance and tries to provide the most relevant sites for a search done on that keyword eg. “Kings Meadow Real Estate” and if you don’t have that keyword mentioned & optimised on your site then Google won’t recognise that it is a relevant site to rank for that particular keyword.

  • Nick
    Posted June 11, 2010 at 12:56 am 0Likes

    Sal Espro, I will bet a good amount of money that Google Caffeine’s fast updates are confined to existing sites, not brand new sites. It will still take a week (roughly what I’m seeing atm) for a brand new site to be indexed. There are several indications that this is the case and there is a lot of work done to add a brand new site compared to a new blog post.

    Greg Vincent, ah but individual property sites arent terribly relevant – especially if they are sold. Whats more relevant? A site with a single house for sale in a particular suburb, or a site with dozens of houses for sale in the suburb?

    Also the backlinks are non-existent for a single property site, so there is little run on effect by linking to your main site.

    I am by no means saying dont use individual property sites – they do add a certain amount of exclusivity to the listing and do look very nice, just dont expect them to help you SEO wise.

    Jayne definitely do give them a shot. They might work well for you, they might not. There is no harm in trying.

  • Jayne Harwood
    Posted June 11, 2010 at 3:50 am 0Likes

    Thanks Greg and Nick! You both have a great knowledge base on SEO! I have learnt a lot 🙂 Is it worth me buying the domain and linking it back to my site or am I just wasting my time!

  • Nick
    Posted June 11, 2010 at 4:01 am 0Likes

    Thats just wasting your time and money Jayne. Unless you actually used the domain, chances are Google wouldnt even know it existed. The mere presence of the domain doesnt help you in search engines at all.

    Its also rather long which means no one would ever type it in.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted June 11, 2010 at 4:08 am 0Likes

    Jayne you could buy the domain name & put a blog up onto it & then link that blog to your main site and do lots of other things but if you are simply looking to buy the domain name & use URL forwarding to point it to your site it will actually hurt rather than help.

    Nick, you’ve got me curious. Does putting the word SOLD on the website impact on Google’s relevance or weight that they would put on a link?

    If so, should agents & portals change the wording that they put on their listings from SOLD to say SETTLED or Buyer Moved In, etc?

  • Nick
    Posted June 11, 2010 at 4:43 am 0Likes

    No, Google cannot tell that its a property that is sold from the text. Its not that smart yet.

    However Google does deduce it because it would be a lone page that isnt updated, without much traffic or backlinks. The site cannot be too relevant or authoritative in that case from Google’s point of view..

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted June 11, 2010 at 9:46 am 0Likes

    Peter & Ryan, I really like the new look B2. It looks great.

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 12, 2010 at 11:05 am 0Likes

    Greg, thanks for that, the feature stuff just was not working, so over the next few months we are going to add a bunch of new features to get more people involved in the conversation

  • Marmellows are yummy
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 2:30 am 0Likes

    i would say bringing in “miss australia” is pretty poor taste. my 2c dont flame me!

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