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Here Is What A Top Agent Does To Market Homes!

April 2nd, 2013

Thanks to Fred Light for pointing out the website of Connie Barns who is #54 among the top agents in the US. Connie’s team is the #1 real estate team in Northern California.

I love to see the marketing of top agents like Connie. It’s such a pleasure to see agents that go way beyond the minimum necessary. As you can see from Connie’s site everything she does is meant to knock your socks off! And it does! There is no mistake that photography and video play a major part in Connie’s marketing strategy.

The video to the right is from Connie’s professional photography page on her site. Notice that she uses the Redfin study and the WSJ article that reports on the Redfin study that talks about the importance of photography. She must read this blog!

Fred believes that most of her photography and video is done “in-house” by family members but as you can see it is top notch!

Update 4/3: I just talked to Jim Barnes, Connie’s husband who is the team photographer/videographer. He says:

As a real estate business, we have been advocating high quality photography in our community for several years and have noticed that more and more agents are stepping up and hiring professionals to shoot their listings. I guess some of them are getting tired of seeing us get the listing that they interviewed for!

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16 Responses to “Here Is What A Top Agent Does To Market Homes!”

  • Great video.

    Nice soundtrack of Frank Sinatra, but wondering if that’s kosher. I noticed the link back to iTunes, but I don’t think that gives you the right to use in your own productions.

  • I had the same reaction as Jakob when listening to Natalie Cole sing on another video. It would be highly unusual for a Realtor to go through proper channels to license that music.

  • Yep, I’m blown away at the content of her site. I could spend hours on there just watching videos. And she goes out of her way to educate consumers on the differences and importance of quality photographs. In her “Sell your home” pages, she provides more information about how and why and what to use than most professional photographers do on their sites. And she’s a real estate agent.

    But that’s half the battle. And what is SO IMPORTANT HERE IS THIS:

    Professional photographers are always trying to justify to realtors / sellers that professional pictures matter. Connie is proof that it matters. $48 million in sales in 2012 and the main message of her site and marketing plan is all about quality images.

  • Makes it hard for her “competitors” to compete with her.

    I like the use of Google Earth Tours, never seen them before. Something else for me to learn.

  • Jakob and Joe are so correct. You can license music for $0.99-$99.00 for your own use from various sources but very rarely can you use people like Frank Sinatra or Natalie Cole in that price range. And if realtors are having trouble paying professional photographers as a rule, I can’t imagine them paying for music at any price! Some realtors do, so I don’t want to lump them in.

  • I got about 10 great ideas to incorporate into my website. Connie has done a great job of showing “us” how to promote ourselves. She gets a high five from me.

  • While working in television, I’ve spent a bit of time licensing music. Companies like FirstCom have hundreds of thousands of tracks for licensing. We paid them on a “per show” basis. It included unlimited track usage, web, national tv, and re-runs. This ran $350 an episode for a 13 episode series. Now, if you wanted a single track for a commercial with similar licensing, you’re looking at $800 or so.

    Back in the day I worked with a local television station. They used Jesus Jones “Right Here Right Now” for their theme. They tried to license it, but after finally getting through to the right people, they were told the door wasn’t even open for conversation for less than $75k. The same station used a U2 track for one of their promos. That thing actually won a Telly. Of course they didn’t pay U2 for the track. Looking back on it, I don’t know why it was even allowed to be entered for an award!

    Steeling music is nothing to screw around with. The chances of something happening are slim, but if they do, that hammer will come down hard, and you won’t have a leg to stand on.

    If I’m a lawyer for Natalie Cole, and I see “$48,000,000” in sales, I’m thinking the rock can bleed a little. That could get bad quick, fast, and in a hurry.

  • There’s very sophisticated software out there. You have to be very careful. I was interviewed on a podcast way back in 2008 about real estate video. I have the audio track of that podcast on my website, which I got from iTunes (it’s still there). It wasn’t my podcast. I didn’t produce it. I had nothing to do with it.

    I received a call just 3 days ago (a PHONE call, not an email. A personal phone call.) from someone who claims I’m using “their music” on this podcast and do not have a license to use it. I assume the people who did the podcast/ interview had a license – I have it on my site only because I was a guest on the show.) They’re “trying” to get a hold of him to see if he has the license, but if they can’t, they will give me a “one time license” to use this music for $3000.

    Say WHAT?

  • Connie has really set the bar. Very impressive. Thanks for sharing!

  • Was it just me that didn’t think the stills were anything special at all? Over-cooked looking HDR, poor shadow and flash reflection control. Some nice video though.

  • I love the embedded video in the TVs in the still shots. Would love to learn that technique!

  • Yep. There is software that scours the web and television networks for copyrighted material. And sometimes the owners of that material will sit on their hands for a while. Then when they think its time, they’ll review how many times it was used (and ask you for that info as well) then come up with a price based on prior usage.

    I’m not a legal expert, but I had a friend in music business that said legally they could sue for up to (estimate here…bad memory) four times the advertised value. If there is no advertised value, its pretty much what they want it to be.

  • I’m with you Steve. She does some other things nicely though like the aerial intros (Google based?) but the actual photography is as average as it gets. Actually makes me wonder if I spend too much time on it and am missing something basic.

  • Jim Barnes is nothing less than exceptional at what he does. As another post said, I could stay on Connie’s site for hours and just look at the video’s. Could you all imagine how many listings that site and Jim’s work helps Connie get? I am glad all/most Realtors don’t “get it”.

  • I have always thought that photos make an mls page. I am always surprised about the quality of some mls photos. Sometimes even shocked! I come from an advertising background and have always used a professional photographer.

    Could you tell me what does Jim Barnes do? Does he work in advertising/graphic design/video?

  • I just happen upon this info about Jim Barnes, answering my own question.
    Jim Barnes is the photographer, webmaster and co-owner of Connie Barnes Real Estate Inc.
    Jim is a former Fortune 500 advertising executive and has leveraged his extensive business development and marketing experience to help build a new kind of real estate organization.
    Jim is currently shooting HD Video with the new Canon 5d MKIII and have a 5d MKII as a backup. “Now that Vimeo has a Commercial Pro product, we can begin to deliver our stunning real estate listing images via 1080p HD Video.” After 10 years of buying and upgrading Adobe software, Jim is now subscribed to the Adobe Create Cloud which gives him access to the all of the programs he has become proficient in like Adobe Photoshop CS6, Premier Pro CS6, Dreamweaver CS6 InDesign CS6 and much more.
    I found this on: http://vimeo.com/conniebarnes

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