iGUIDE Audit – Introduction

Welcome to our new iGUIDE audit series. It’s generally thought that a happy customer is a loyal customer however a recent study conducted by NAR found that 85% of home sellers said they would use their realtor for the next time they sold a home. The sellers were happy – they said they would use the realtor again – they got what they were looking for, so why did only 25% of sellers actually use their agent again?

The reason for the difference is in demonstrated value. Those happy customers didn’t reuse their agents because they didn’t see enough unique value to go back. As Real Estate photographers, our business is no different. If we’re not clearly demonstrating value we’re not likely to turn happy customers into repeat clients and our success relies on the ability to retain clients, while we win new ones.

It is important to clearly demonstrate your value to your clients, so they will stick with you while are growing and getting new ones. Make sure they understand your value to their whole business, from preparing the listing to handing over the keys.

When I talk about our marketing value, I often talk about three things: web, search, and social. Do my clients understand our value by using our services on their agents or brokerage website, the property search sites, in their social media?

The iGUIDE Audit videos are all about unlocking marketing value for your customers, so they become repeat clients. Check out the iGUIDE Audit downloadable document below so you can follow along with us throughout this series.

iGUIDE Audit – Check your Work

The iGUIDE audit is our tool for ensuring clients are receiving our best services and using them to their maximum value. As a real estate photographer trying to build your business, it’s critical to make sure your services are consistently your best work and being used to their maximum potential.

Our first section in the iGUIDE audit is about an internal review of your work. It’s about checking the services you’re delivering and making sure they meet your high, internal quality standards. Whether you’re a team of one or a team of many, it’s important to make sure you’re consistently delivering your best every time. Our services are visual and they expose what we offer to the public and other potential clients. Every product has to be the best representation of our work.

For each audit, I start by opening the iGUIDE Virtual Tour and reviewing the various rooms. I check

  • colour balances
  • brightness
  • consistency
  • alignment
  • verticals
  • measurements and floor plans
  • agent branding
  • test for broken links
  • team branding (pano image)

Next, I check the iGUIDE Report to make sure the report has been sent to the client. This is how your client will receive the 3d virtual tour links, house floor plans, real estate photography, room measurements, and floor area calculations. Real estate pros often have members of their team responsible for preparing the listing, or preparing the marketing. If I’m not sure who should be getting a copy, then I make a call to the client and find out.

Last, I check iGUIDE analytics. I like to check and see if our clients are using it, if we’re sharing it with them. During my audit process I’ll send myself a copy of the current analytics so I can see the activity of the iGUIDE. This is a time that I make any internal corrections that need to be made.

This internal review is about making sure we’re giving clients our best product. Once the internal review is done I move on to looking at the agent websites, the search sites and their social media – which we’re going to be covering over the next few videos, so stay tuned.

iGUIDE Audit – Website Audit

I’m Kevin Klages. Welcome to Building Blocks and our iGUIDE audit series. This series is about helping real estate photographers turn occasional customers into loyal, repeat clients.

As professional real estate photographers, the success of our business relies on clients coming back to us every time they list a new property. We need to be an important part of the property listing team. And to become an important part of their team means we need to show value, more value than any other option available. The iGUIDE audit is a check-up we perform for our clients to make sure they’re getting value from our services. An agent or brokerage website is their online storefront for showcasing their properties, their marketing and their brand. Making sure our clients are using iGUIDE tools on their website is a key part of our iGUIDE audit.

A recent article by Inman news reported there are close to a million agent websites online and most are generating little to no leads for their owners. At the same time, there are websites out there generating a lot of leads for their owners. So why the extreme difference? Successful sites know that providing a great experience for visitors, complete with content that these digital home hunters want to see are critical. Successful agent websites are offering tools that help these home hunters along their journey. In turn, these websites are rewarded with the chance to sell homes faster, for more money. They get more site visitors, better web indexing and better search ranking.

Studies tell us that on average people spend 1 to 2 minutes on a website. On average people spend three and a half to five minutes on an iGUIDE. This is more than double the average.

So here’s how we audit an agent or brokerage website. First, we look to see if there’s an iGUIDE viewer, part of the listing presentation – either through a multimedia link or through embedded content. A multimedia iGUIDE link is good because the agent is sharing content with visitors. An embedded iGUIDE tour is much better for our clients and for us. It’s great for agents because it keeps shoppers on their listing, and more time on their website means better indexing, better search ranking, more potential visitors. Whenever possible we encourage our clients to look at embedding content since it’s so much better for them.

When we’re done looking for the tours, we look for the floor plans. We check to make sure our clients are serving up our floor plans. We check to see if they’ve added them as images in the photo gallery, or added them as downloadable or PDF floor plan links. Either work, both are better.

We want to make sure both our iGUIDE tour and our floor plans are on our clients’ websites because we know they add value to the listing. Which makes us valuable to them, which keeps them coming back.

In future videos in this audit series we’ll talk about outreach through social media and other aspects. So, we encourage you to come on back. Thank you again for watching and don’t forget to click to subscribe to our channel.

iGUIDE Audit – Search Sites

Building Blocks is about helping real estate photographers grow a successful business by gaining and retaining clients. Your success will come from your clients coming back to you every time they list a new property. You’ll achieve the success by becoming a valued member of their property marketing team.

The iGUIDE audit is a tool we created to make sure our clients are getting value from the services we provide, and they’re using iGUIDE to its full potential. This part of the series is focused on online property search destinations like Realtor.ca, Realtor.com and Zillow.

Research has been telling us for years that home hunters want to see floor plans, room measurements, photos and virtual tours when they’re searching for a home.

Realtor.ca in Canada had 264 million visitors last year who viewed more than 5.3 billion pages for an average 300,000 homes at any given time. To put this in context there’s only 37 million Canadians which means every single Canadian had to visit Realtor.ca at least seven times last year and look at 143 different properties each.

If you’re selling a home in Canada and want to reach the maximum number of potential buyers Realtor.ca is where you want to be. And with 299, 999 other homes to compete with how do you make your home stand out? This isn’t a trick, the answer is give the buyers what they want to see. The way to stand out is to offer home hunters what they want and make sure the search journey is easier. And that’s with iGUIDE.

In Canada, Realtor.ca has offered home sellers who work with iGUIDE an incredible opportunity to stand out. They are embedding the iGUIDE virtual tour directly into listing pages and including direct links to our floor plans. Realtor.ca is giving your clients a chance to stand above their competition, and it’s critical to your success that they’re taking full advantage.

In the US, search portals haven’t yet embraced our embedded content but they still offer external media links to iGUIDE. As part of the audit you want to make sure those links are there. If you don’t see the link, your client may have forgotten to add it, or they simply don’t know how. It’s your responsibility to make sure they’re aware it’s missing and help them add it.

In Canada, Realtor.ca has direct links to our PDF floor plans which the search sites in the US don’t have yet. Instead, we’ve created floor plan images that your clients can add to their photo galleries. Make sure they know how to add floor plans to their property presentations since we know they’re so important to home hunters.

Search sites are a major part of the home hunter’s journey, and you’re creating the content that home hunters are looking for. If you want to be a part of the team and show value for the money your clients are spending on your services, it’s your responsibility to make sure your clients are using the tools that you provide.

iGUIDE Audit – Social Media

Our iGUIDE audit is a check-up we created to make sure our clients are getting value from our services and are using our photos, tours and floor plans to their maximum potential. This final part of the iGUIDE audit is about checking our client’s use of social media, specifically their Facebook pages.

A recent study by HubSpot found that 76% of adults are using Facebook on a daily basis. There’s no arguing that Facebook is a powerful digital marketing tool so it’s important to find out if your clients are using social media, how they’re using it and if they’re using it to promote their listings – your work.

The importance of a well-executed Facebook property marketing program is it can help your clients funnel traffic back to their websites, to their listings generate new buyer leads, new potential seller leads, all the while increasing the likelihood of them being found during organic online searches.

To start the audit of our client social media, track down their business or personal Facebook pages. When you find them we give the page a like and a follow. Check their page for property posts specifically to see if a post has been created for the property that you worked on. If you see a property post give it a thumbs up as well, then go through it following the links to make sure they work. If the post features your work, share it on your page and tag the agent thanking them for the opportunity to work. This is self-promotion, good for your brand.

At iGUIDE, we follow a system for creating and checking feature property posts on Facebook which we call our property post guide. It follows a basic formula for communicating effectively, extracting maximum exposure from a single post and expanding that single post into a full property marketing campaign on Facebook. Using this basic guideline we look for ways to offer our clients tips for adding compelling visuals, direct content, backlinks and tags that will expand the reach of their posts and drive more traffic back to their listings and their websites.

If during an audit I find my client has a Facebook page but didn’t create a post for the property, I’ll create one for the listing that I worked on and I’ll tag them so they see what I’ve done on their behalf. This showcases my services and commitment to their business. If your clients are Facebook users, feature property posts are a way for them to showcase your listings and highlight the property marketing program. These posts will show their current sellers the efforts they take to market their homes and compel future sellers to use them when they’re ready to sell.

Checking on your client’s use of social media is an important part of making sure they see value from your services. Sharing your findings with them is also a great way to demonstrate your commitment to their success and the importance you place on their business. Check below for a link to our property post guide for you to start using today.

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