Devon Higgins the VP of Sales for PhotoUp & FolioWebsites shares his own journey of how he started the business as a digital marketer and how he ended up working with real estate agents. Devon discusses why agents should use professional marketing and invest more money on technology. Next he explains how important making videos for listing is, in order to stay in touch with people and to communicate closer with them. Last, Devon talks about the app (Agent Up) that he and his company have created and how it is becoming more agent central in advertising.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
Devon Higgins can be reached here.
This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.
D.J. Paris 0:00
Today we’re going to show you how to upgrade your photo marketing game. What’s a photo marketing game? Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. Their agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris. I am your guide and host through this show and in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with digital marketing expert Devonta Higgins, before we get to divan, just one quick reminder, actually two reminders. First, please tell a friend. If you can think of somebody right now that is looking for a podcast like this. Maybe somebody who’s newer to the real estate industry struggling to build their business wants to know what the top producers are doing, please send them a link, somebody in your office definitely fits into that category. And if you’re a solo practitioner next time or under showing tell the other agent, I would really appreciate it. But anyway, seriously, thank you for telling somebody about our show. We are so grateful. It’s been about five or six years. And that’s how we have marketed our business. So thanks to you for helping do that. And the last other thing I wanted to mention is we started clipping our episodes we people have been asking us to do this for years. Finally we got around to it. What that means is every weekday, although once in a while I forget but most weekdays, I publish a 62nd clip on all the different social media platforms like a best of from one of our episodes. And usually we find three to five best clips per episodes. We have a lot of these published at any way. They’re short, they’re bite sized, but they’re also really, really actionable. So we cross post them everywhere. You can find us on social, even tick tock Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, probably a few others I can think of but anyway, LinkedIn has already said that anyway, it’s everywhere. So please find us you can literally just pull up any social platform search for the keeping it real podcast, you’ll find us there. And you could also go to our link tree which is link tree forward slash keeping it real pod. Anyway, we’ll have a link to that in the show notes. But guys, thanks so much for keeping our show rolling, telling other people about it and please follow us on on all the various social channels. We love getting to you more often than just through these episodes. So thank you. Anyway, that’s enough about me. Let’s get to the main event. MY CONVERSATION WITH divan Higgins.
Today on the show we have to Vaughn Higgins, let me tell you more about fun the Divan Higgins is a Michigan native and owner of two businesses. First is photo op, which is a real estate marketing services company and also folio websites which is for website design and development for realtors. He’s a seasoned entrepreneur, sports enthusiast husband, father of two beautiful girls and of course a realtor himself. Divan was born in Lansing, Michigan, but lived most of his life in Grand Rapids and we were actually just talking Off mic about how I was just in his neck of the woods watching a comedy show a few weeks ago. I love Grand Rapids. It’s a lovely lovely city. But he he has a marketing degree with a minor in entrepreneurship. After college. He did a short stint here in Chicago for a logistics company before moving back up to Michigan and Grand Rapids to begin his career in real estate marketing and eventually opening up his own marketing agency. Today we’re going to talk all about real estate real term marketing. Please follow divan on his website photo op. Is it done? I’m so sorry. Photo op.com
Devon Higgins 4:58
Yep, photo op.com or Photo op.net Either one will send you our way.
D.J. Paris 5:03
Awesome photo op.com or photo op.net to get all of your marketing realtor needs met divan tell us welcome to the show, by the way.
Devon Higgins 5:15
Yeah, thank you for having me. I’m excited to to be here and talk a little bit more about real estate marketing.
D.J. Paris 5:21
Yeah, me too. I, I’m a marketing guy myself. And this is always these are always the most fun conversations I get to have, because that’s my background. My training is in marketing. And I see, you know, it’s funny, we oftentimes think location is everything. And of course it is. And there’s other things, too, to get into that bucket of everything, which include marketing. So I am excited to help our audience learn from you today about how to better market their properties, and also maybe even find more clientele. So tell us how how’d you get into real estate?
Devon Higgins 6:00
Yeah, so for me the journey was kind of serendipitous I almost I would say fell into kind of real estate in the real estate marketing space. And bit on my end, like you said, and your intro, and thank you for leading me up with that. I studied marketing in school at Michigan State and wanted to use that degree, kinda like you said, went to Chicago for a year did the logistics gig didn’t love it, and just wanted to do some more marketing. So came back to Grand Rapids where I was born and raised and where I was raised and got into doing some digital marketing on my own, and helping other clients with their digital marketing. Some of the folks that I’ve been worked for were realtors, help them build websites, do newsletters help with social media. And then eventually came across a couple of guys working out of a co working space that were doing real estate marketing, specifically photo editing. And they had a team that they were working with photo editors, and designers and developers that were actually over in the Philippines. Both these guys were super cool dudes went out for beers with them ended up playing soccer with them. And then they said, Hey, Devin, you know what, I’d love you to come on over and work with us kind of as a part time basis and help us with some sales and marketing. So I said, Yeah, you know what I mean, I’ve I’ve obviously done sales and marketing. I’ve worked with a couple of realtors and agents before, let’s go ahead and give it a shot. So part time work and then went on for a while. And I just fell in love with the company who they are, what they stood for the team over in the Philippines, helping them grow and develop as leaders. So I kind of went all in, I said, Hey, guys, like, I want to continue doing this, I want to continue working with you. And they they agreed they were liking what I was doing. And they said definitely we’d love to bring you on full time. And I said I’d love to as well. But I’d have to shut down this other business that I have right that I’ve grown from scratch and kind of built up this clientele. So I was able to work out a deal with them where they brought me on. Over time as a partner, I was able to shut down everything else. And that led me to become a kind of full time real estate marketing with photo op. And then from there. I’ve worked with that now since 2014, and not a business and just in the past two years, I got my real estate license. Finally, from being in the real estate marketing space for so long. I’ve worked with a ton of photographers, media professionals, videographers in the real estate marketing space. And they obviously work with a ton of agents, we then are trying to expand our business and grow a bit and work with more agents directly. And in doing so I thought, hey, you know what, it’s a middle of COVID I’m stuck at home already not doing much. I’m gonna go ahead and sign up for this 40 hour course online, get my real estate license and see how that goes. And I did that pass the test and joined a small little brokerage here in my local neighborhood. And I’ve loved it. It’s been able to help me help friends and family with real estate. But also just get to know the industry even better at a more intimate level. Especially for me kind of personally, it’s helping me out with business and connecting with agents more and figuring out what their needs are.
D.J. Paris 9:23
Yeah, boy, you said a lot. That is so helpful. No, no, no really, really great stuff. That was super, super helpful for us getting a better a better sense of sort of where you came from and how you how you got to where you are today. So come your eye. I like to think of you as like an outsider. You know, you’re somebody who came outside of the industry marketing is such an important piece of, you know, the transaction process, but it doesn’t get talked about as much I think as it may be deserves. So I’m curious to get a better sense of sort of opportunities you see, or maybe even, maybe we should start with mistakes. Look, should we start with some challenges that you see that you know, mistakes or challenges that Realtors make when they’re trying to market? You know properties? For example,
Devon Higgins 10:15
I think the biggest mistake and I wouldn’t necessarily call it a mistake, it’s more knowledge of what real estate marketing can get agents and that is more listings or have the your current listings sell faster or for higher prices. And from what we know from looking at stats gathered by us internally and other organizations like na are and then only about 35% of all listings are actually shot with professional photography. And the listing starts there. Right? It starts with your photos, getting the photos out there on the listing, and then into all the listing aggregator websites, your Zillow or Trulia, Redfin, so on, so forth. And obviously, that all comes from your MLS. But only 35% of listings are shot with professional photography. And I say that because what we know as well, and doing this for years, and me kind of working more with agents now is in and actually did a study that said that 50 are actually agents who use professional marketing professional photos, right? videography, drone, aerial, whatever it might be. But professional marketing are earning twice as much commission than those agents who aren’t. Yeah. So have that right. Only 35% of folks are earning twice as much commission, what can you be doing, I think, as an agent to kind of up your level and up your game. It’s used professional marketing and professional marketing doesn’t have to be a massive burden. I think a lot of people think like, oh, my gosh, I got to spend an arm and a leg on all this marketing material. And we’re trying to come to the table at least, and make it more affordable. One because we have just a big, incredible team over in the Philippines that helps drive down cost. And do just because everything’s getting a little bit cheaper and easier to access, right, your average agent uses their phone for everything. We’re trying to empower agents to be able to do all the marketing from their phone, taken your photos from your phone, get them digitally edited right away, we have an AI technology that does that right now, which is pretty cool. Do your Virtual Staging, do your video do your floor plans, the more that you can do from your phone, just the better? Or even again, working directly with a professional who does this already? That’s that’s kind of step one. Hire out the professional have them do it. There are great people in every market. We know that from working with photographers all over the world, and they’re going to help you at the end of the day just make more money.
D.J. Paris 12:42
Yeah, it’s it’s really interesting. I see it like a lot of different ways, especially with I definitely want to talk about AI here in a moment. But I’m curious on you know, sort of your your thoughts are like technology is moving so quickly that Realtors you know, yes, do they technically need to hire a photographer a professional photog for their listings, they should because you want you want the very best possible photos. And you want people that have devoted their career to understanding how to get the best possible imagery out of each shot. So as a realtor, that’s not unless somebody has a professional photography background, that’s really not a realtors skill set. So you should partner with a company like photo op, but you can also create additional complimentary content for each of your listings with your phone. You know, thankfully, the technology has has, you know, gone so quickly, so that we now can do this ourselves and do supplemental material to the to the photography.
Devon Higgins 13:52
Yeah, exactly. And I mean, technology has grown a ton. I mean, since we started, we started in 2012. So we’re 10 years ago now. I mean, technology has changed a lot just in terms of even the marketing tools that people use, right you now it’s super common to see drone or aerial photo and video on listings, especially high end listings. That wasn’t even really a thing, or it was just starting in its infancy about 10 years ago. There are things like virtual tours, right? Whether it be Matterport, or using a 360 camera to allow you them to click through and walk through a home. Those are becoming more and more common and some of that technology. And these marketing tools just aren’t going away, right, the more marketing and the more material you can put online to allow a potential home buyer to get a better understanding of the home, the better. The other thing that we saw a huge spike in over COVID was Virtual Staging, right? People couldn’t get into homes to stage them or weren’t even allowed to go walk through in some cases. So how could they envision themselves in the home? Well, we’ve Virtually staged it right, we have a whole library of virtual furniture, you can pick out what assortment you want for each room or stage it with multiple different styles in one room to kind of give you an idea of different opportunities or different styles and sets that you might want to have in a living room or dining room or bedroom. So I think all of that has just pushed us forward. And again, I don’t see any way that we’re kind of pivoting back to the way listings used to be as a paper clipping in a magazine and you had one single photo that was given you all the information, there’s just so many other tools at our disposal now.
D.J. Paris 15:35
Yeah, I think that a lot of realtors, if you really want to be on the cutting edge, and really try to get expand your reach for as wide as possible, I would think that you want to create lots of short form video content for each one of your listings. Maybe you find a particular, you know, accent that the House has, or something kind of unique character, some sort of characteristic about the house. And you could do a 32nd video on that, to complement all of the professionally shot, you know, photos and aerial shots drone. So these are what the reason I’m mentioning all this, of course, is this is what people like to watch people like to see the in interior of a property and you can post these short form clips on social media all over. It’s it I think, I believe, in the coming years that this will be a much more significant way that people actually really go through the home buying experience is through the short form video clips, obviously we’re seeing tic TOCs exploded over the last several years. You know, short form video is here to stay, it’s not going away. And so what realtors can do immediately is start creating short form video content to compliment or or they can hire a firm to do that as well. But let’s talk about let’s talk about video for a while. So what are the opportunities right now that you see that Realtors could be taking advantage of for video marketing?
Devon Higgins 17:17
I mean, yeah, DJ, you said it perfectly. I think there’s there’s a bunch of different ways that realtors can take advantage of anything video related, and it really is figuring out what first works best for you. And for the listing specifically, I’ll start out by saying everything that you just said there DJ is backed up by the data, what we’ve seen is that listings with video, get about a 400% increase in engagement than those without, right, like you’re saying there, it’s just more engaging people like to interact with video, they’re gonna sit there, they’re gonna watch it, you don’t want to make a feature length film, right of the entire house, you want to get people just the taste, because you still want them to get through. But what we found is that anywhere from 30 seconds to get to two minutes max is a great length for a video. And really, that can range from the quick 32nd Tiktok video of a quick snap of each room walking through the house, it can be as long as an actual video walkthrough tour, where you’re going through every single room and just kind of giving a pan. As long as you’re putting some sort of video content out there, it’s going to help increase engagement and traffic to your listing. And all that does is then eventually increases hopefully the the sale price and the speed at which you’re able to get that listing sold. So yeah, anything from a short tick tock to a longer video that maybe you want to get professionally done. But you can again, do so much on your phone right now that don’t let that be an inhibitor. And if you want to go the more professional route, a bigger higher end listing, go ahead and move that direction. But always be thinking too. And this is maybe one thing that I’ve talked to a couple of different people about marketing in general, it’s not necessarily just the listing that you have right now. It’s marketing for the listing that you’re going to get next. Right. So the work that you do now the marketing that you do now is not only going to help you sell the home that you currently have for sale, but it’s going to also be a promotional tool to find that next listing right to help you get that next job that next client. So think of it as an investment in your future career not just selling that listing that day.
D.J. Paris 19:20
Yeah, that’s a really important point. I want to sort of step on that point and accentuate it because you are absolutely right. What you do today can be used as a future reel, a future sort of best of you know, or marketing for to get a new listing. So you know if it was if it was if I was if I had a listing what I would do, obviously I would hire someone to to do drone photography, I would have someone to do, obviously the internal interior shots, and then I would create short form content, maybe three to five I don’t know how many, depending on how how unique the property is little short form videos like this is so cool, you can’t wait, you know, check out this particular feature of this property. And that what you’re basically doing is you’re bragging about the house, you’re you’re you’re showcasing the house, the best features. And you’re then showing that to your next few clients, this is what I actually do. And what I think is really important about it is it shows the passion you have for the business, it particularly if you put yourself in the video as the realtor, you know, saying, Hey, I have this listing, here’s what I’m doing. It shows that you’re into it, your your, your your professional, but also that, you know, creating those little short form videos, just again, drips on people, is the repetition that hopefully, you know, the more of those you do, the more people will see it,
Devon Higgins 20:48
you’re I mean, you’re exactly right, and you’re your own brand, as an agent, right, you are going to be the one and if you’re willing and able to get in front of the camera, talk to people, right engage with them, they’re going to want to hear your voice, they’re going to want to see your face, they’re going to want to engage with you so that when you do see them, they feel like they already know you right, that step has already moved past. Now again, I don’t say that’s for everybody. I know some agents who just don’t want to be in front of the camera don’t want to do all of that themselves. One of the tools that we’ve done over the past few years, is actually spin up a virtual assistant company, as well within the photo op brand. So you can actually just film your own content, send it over to a VA have them kind of build everything for you and then upload it to your social media channels or to the listing. The what that does is just eliminates all the oh, I need to get in front of the camera or I need to learn all these social media platforms, I don’t want to learn Tik Tok, I don’t want to learn Instagram, you don’t have to write, you can hire somebody to do that. And what we’ve done is tried to say you don’t even have to hire somebody at 15 $20 an hour here, you could hire somebody at half the price, who knows all the skills, who speaks great English, who works kind of when you’re sleeping, so that you can leverage the amount of time and resources that you have to continue to do professional marketing. Because again, as we know, using professional marketing is gonna help you double your commission over time.
D.J. Paris 22:10
It really does work. And I’ll just kind of peel back the curtain on our own podcast here for a moment. So for the first five years of the show, I was not making videos, or rather not making short form videos for our audience to absorb these these smaller moments in the shows. in bite sized chunks, I was I just wasn’t doing it. And so eventually I hired people also from from Southeast Asia. And they they work when it while, like you said while I’m sleeping and they create these short form videos for us. And it is it’s just skyrocketed our reach. So, you know, we’re doing exactly what you’re talking about is exactly what we do on our podcast is we release a little short form video clip once a day, with like a little tip for realtors from one of our episodes. So you can literally call these these moments from this footage. And whether you do it or you hire somebody to do it. It’s this is this is how people like to absorb media.
Devon Higgins 23:18
Yeah, it’s just at the end of the day do it. Right. I mean, it’s that simple. And it sounds probably simpler than it is. But again, there’s, there’s resources available. There’s companies, there’s teams, there’s people out there that are willing to help you figure it out. So don’t look at it as this big burden. Look at it as truly an investment. And again, what it comes down to is we like to say it’s opportunity cost, right? Where’s your time best spent? Is it best spent creating your own real creating your own Tiktok right posting everything to social media, going out and taking the photos in some cases? Probably not maybe for some it might be but probably not your time is best spent getting new clients getting out there networking, right, building your brand, building your reputation, that’s where something that only you can do and you have expertise and there are people all over the place right all over the world who likely have a little bit more expertise and knowledge than you in some of these areas. Find those people hold on to them, hire them, get them trained up on your brand, your style, your technique, whatever it might be and then use them to leverage your time for bigger and better opportunities
D.J. Paris 24:26
100% agree and I you guys also have a new app coming out called agent up tell tell us of what agent up is and and why it’s important.
Devon Higgins 24:36
Yeah, so just like I kind of evolved from working with professional real estate marketers and media professionals and then grew into becoming an agent. Our photo brand has evolved as well so we’re becoming more of an agent centered brand we’re gonna still have the photo brand but also have an agent center brand called agent up where agents can come in and use our whole suite of services like property websites, virtual tours, photo editing, video editing, virtual assistants. And then we also are developing an app to be able to do all of those things directly from your phone. One of the coolest things, I think, that we’re going to come out with with the app is AI editing capabilities. So the ability to take photos from your phone, have them edited via AI and turned around and sent back to your phone within about five to 10 minutes. Whereas the typical real estate photo shoot right now is coming back to you. And probably 24 to 48 hours to have professional grade marketing material at your fingertips within five to 10 minutes is pretty unheard of. Now, is this going to take away what a photographer does? Absolutely, yeah, they’re still going to be, they’re still going to be a need for a professional photographer, and you should still 1,000,000% Use them on any of your listings that need that quality and that level of work. But if you want something quick, if you want something that looks really good, and can get back and can jump onto a listing within a matter of minutes, this is going to be a great tool for you. And again, maybe you have a lower end listing and the two to three to $400,000 range that maybe you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on professional marketing, this is a great option for that as well. So that’s one thing I’m pretty excited about.
D.J. Paris 26:17
Yeah, that’s really, really cool. Because I was thinking, how would I use it if I was out there with a listing? That is so neat, because I would hire a professional photographer, I think everyone should for, you know, almost every listing. And then I would walk around the property in turn interior exterior, take lots of lots of shots. And then I would come to your system and upload those have those those photos retouched tweaked a little bit via AI, and that would be my supplemental content. So I would be posting that stuff like check out this window or check out this, whatever, it would just be supplemental drips, so wouldn’t be like I would hire most of the professional photo for the main or professional photog for the main shots, right? And then I would I would have all this other content, video. And now, still images that you guys are working on to be able to, like you said, a turnaround time of five to 10 minutes via AI. So basically you’re going to be uploading your photos into into the into your cloud. And then you guys kind of tweak it a little bit and send it right back to me with a. I mean, that is that is amazing. That is really a super impressive thing that and then again, you can then drip that content on to the audience.
Devon Higgins 27:37
Yep, yep, I mean, drip content, teaser content, whatever you want to call it, again, just the more level of professionalism that you can bring to your business to your brand. It’s only going to help you in the long run. And I know I am using terms about AI and I know you’re interested in it. A lot of people are a lot of people are scared of it too. Right? of what’s going on chat GBT and things that are coming out, is it gonna take over the world? Is it good or bad. And that’s for other people to discuss who are much more able to do that. But I think for us, we know that it’s tear, we know that it’s coming, it’s going. So finding ways that we can leverage that, right? Because there is good that can come with it. And we’re trying to include AI in whatever we can to kind of leverage your time, your expense, whatever it might be to give again, more levels of professional marketing at your fingertips in a much faster, immediate route.
D.J. Paris 28:29
Yeah, the way that I’ve been thinking about AI recently as and it will evolve, and this will not probably be the way I think about it moving forward. But for now, I think about it as just like a helper, like a helper or a prompter. So if it’s like one of those things, where if you if you’re staring at a blank piece of paper, and you need some ideas for maybe a listing, you know, listing description, or really anything, you know, date night with the wife ideas, it could be anything, any any sort of idea generator and an idea generator and an AI chat, GBT in particular is particularly helpful for that. So in this technology is just going to get more and more sophisticated and more integrated into our daily lives to where we are, I believe we’re going to just start you know, in the near future, just start asking questions out loud, and getting those responses back to us through some sort of mechanism. You know, almost like the oracle at Delphi, what they used to say when when you know from the old Greek stuff, but but basically being able to access information quickly and get answers. And what I love about what you guys do is is you are at the cutting edge of this so you guys are really trying to help agents be able to do things at a very fast clip, which is a real game changer for real estate because again, as you said the turnaround time for professional photos. It does take time bit For professional photography, because of course, they have to put their art into, into the shots. And then there’s also the supplemental stuff that you can do along the way that’s much faster and much quicker, and can also help kind of grease the wheels. You know, at the end of the day, we’ve all been conditioned by now, sort of unwillingly, to expect perfection. Let’s be perfectly honest here, like we expect perfection in our photography. And in the images we see, which is not fair. And it shouldn’t be this way. But it is it just the way it is because filth filtering photos has just become commonplace, everyone can look perfect, blemish free, everything can look and seem perfect. With you know, a tap of a finger on a screen, it can smooth out all the rough edges. So because the consumer expects to see beautiful beauty, we have to have technology that accentuates beauty in order to compete. So it’s just the reality of where we are today. And I love that your technology really does this.
Devon Higgins 31:10
And in many ways to you bring up a great point, right. And it’s it’s been said many times beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we’ve found that to be very true from working with photographers for so long, who have much styles in terms of shooting in terms of editing in terms of what they think is the perfect picture. And one of the programs that we’ve done now is and because that just vary so greatly, not even from photographer to photographer, but even from like state to state city to city, a perfect look for a photo shot in Hawaii is much different than a photo that shot in Bangor, Maine, right? The level of editing What’s in the Sky, what type of window mask or window pull they want, so that that changes from person to person. And I think with agents, it’s very much the same, right? Whether it’s geographical, whether it’s the person who’s requesting the images, you want to be able to push and pull on that a little bit. So human is still pretty important in that. And I think just in terms of photographers, we’ve we’ve basically connected them directly to editors, we’re doing the same thing with agents and allowing them to work directly with a virtual assistant. Because we know that at the end of the day, if you can, buddy what exactly you’re looking for. And they’re able to do that on a daily basis and replicate that and build up kind of their repertoire, their relationship right with you, they’re going to be just much more efficient and getting to know what exactly you need. Now, can I help leverage that? Of course, and I think over time, it will. But right now, I think still the personal relationship when it comes to certain business aspects is is still very much needed.
D.J. Paris 32:49
Photo op.net is the place to go to learn all about photo op. So walk us through photo op. So I get I get a listing, how do you guys help me?
Devon Higgins 33:01
Yeah, so you get a listing, you’re wanting professional marketing done, right? Whether it’s you want to actually get some photos edited, you want photos virtually staged, you want a property website, you want to build your own virtual tour, we have the tools to be able to allow you to do that, you’re basically going to come to the website, photo op.net or photo op.com, you’re going to create a free account, the 10 credits, those credits are able to be used on any of our services, photo editing, Virtual Staging, video editing. And then you can also get access into our products. So the single property website, a virtual tour, and you can build basically what you need. If you like what you see, and you’re enjoying the service, you can sign up for one of our monthly subscription plans, and get a little bit of a discount on those credits. Or you can just use those on demand as needed. So it really is up to you on what you need and what you’re looking for. Obviously, higher volume agents might want to sign up for a subscription, save a little bit of money. But if you’re only doing a listing every now and then then it might make sense just to drop by whenever you have a listing, upload some images for Virtual Staging, build out a property website and then add it to the listing on your end.
D.J. Paris 34:13
Yeah, that sounds sounds amazing and perfect. What are some? What are you seeing in this year? So we’re 2023? We’re almost halfway through the year. What are we seeing as far as trends for real estate marketing that or is exciting to you or things that you’ve seen that? You know, it was impressive?
Devon Higgins 34:36
I think the the biggest trend that we’ve seen continue even through the pandemic. A couple of things it’s been one the Virtual Staging, which I mentioned earlier, continues to increase overall I think people just like the speed and the cost of virtually staging a few images instead of physically staging an entire home. And then the other one is these virtual walkthroughs I get 360 tour that can be done where you actually can just from your home, physically walk through a house and go room by room, turn around 360 degrees, hover over certain spaces know what the measurements are in that room. There’s some powerful tools there, where then you can kind of eliminate some of these homes that maybe the pictures look good, right? Maybe the areas look good. And maybe a video gave me an idea. But once I physically walked through the house and kind of understood the layout a little bit more, you know, maybe I’m more interested to go to that listing and actually walk through it in person, or you know what I can maybe check that one off the list. I think at the end of the day, it just gives Realtors the opportunity to leverage their time instead of going on maybe five or 10 home showings individually with a client, you’re only doing two or three that are narrowed down very specifically to hopefully a house that you’re going to want to make an offer on and hopefully get that offer accepted. As we all know right now, that’s probably the hardest part of the game is getting that offer accepted.
D.J. Paris 36:03
Yeah, for sure. It’s it’s tough year this year, with rates being where they are listings. Volume is down, although it’s starting to climb back up, which we’re excited to see. So this guy’s This is time to realize that the previous three years was a real anomaly. And homes were selling sight unseen, right, they were just being sold as is there was multiple offers dozens of multiple offers, in most cases. And so people weren’t even a lot of times visiting the properties before placing offers. Everybody of course, already knows this, now that the tables have turned, and now you have to be a little bit more aggressive with your marketing. And so okay, you got your photography done, start working on those short form clips, those short form videos, those short, those short form, still photos, you want to push as much content out into the public sphere as you can, because this is just going to get more exposure. And it’s also just a lot of fun to do as well. But what we’re really trying to do is what what when you’re out there marketing, and pushing out like short form video, yes, you’re trying to sell the home, but you’re also branding yourself along the way. You’re also demonstrating to everyone else in your audience, like oh, hey, by the way, I this is what I do for everybody. This is what I do for my clients. And that is also so it’s not even necessarily just about selling that particular property. It’s about showcasing your talents as a realtor.
Devon Higgins 37:41
100% again, yeah, looking forward right now just worrying about the listing that you have now it’s the next listing that you’re gonna get, how are you going to find that? Well, it’s a matter of how you market yourself today, and what people are seeing out there and you want people. I mean, like you were saying, getting more content out there more regularly, when people think of real estate when people think, oh, I need to sell my home or I need to now buy a home, you should be at the top of their thoughtless. And how do you do that you get in front of them, right? And that’s almost subliminal messaging in a way, right? If you’re constantly getting content out there that shows Hey, I’m a realtor, this is a listing I have or this is what I’m doing today. To help my clients right, they’re going to start thinking of you as the go to person for real estate. And at this point in time, there’s likely a realtor in most everybody’s network, right? You probably know somebody or have a friend of a friend who’s a realtor. How do you differentiate yourself? How do you put yourself above the other guy or gal in your market or in that same person’s sphere of influence? It’s marketing. It’s getting your name out there getting your brand out there staying front of mind, that’s going to help you get that next listing or get that next buyer.
D.J. Paris 38:51
Yeah, I could not agree more. The website is photo op.net. So photo op.net Also, photo op.com I believe is the same. So photo op is the company these guys can do it all for you. I highly encourage you to check it out photo op.net We’ll have links to what their services in our show notes. Devin, I’m so sorry. So funny. One of my very best friends is divan, and so I’ve been calling you divan the entire the entire I didn’t
Devon Higgins 39:24
I didn’t want to I didn’t want to stop you or he’s gonna let you go. And it was it was all good. I’ve been called divine. I’ve been called every
D.J. Paris 39:31
so my apologies to Devin. My one of my very, very good friends is a divine so I apologize for that. But it’s your great guy. And this is really really cool, interesting stuff. So anyone out there who wants to create more content for their real estate branding, you know, as a realtor, whether you’re listings whether you’re trying to drum up new business, check out photo op.net they they’re awesome. They just add They’re on the cutting edge. And if you’re all ever wondering, how do I start to participate in some of the new AI modeling that is going on photo op is the company to check out so I divided what’s the best? Devin? I’m sorry, what’s the best way that somebody should reach out if they want to learn more about a photo op?
Devon Higgins 40:20
Yeah, so definitely check it out the website Photo op.net Photo of.com. We’re on social media as well. Instagram, we’re at photo op marketing. We also we don’t have a tic tac yet, although it is something we need to definitely look into. But yeah, YouTube videos, if you’re looking for tutorial videos on how to get started with your real estate marketing, we have a bunch of how to videos there to check out. And then yeah, drop us a line, shoot us a chat. You can find me on there. My face is somewhere on the website. You can dig around and find me or you can email me at Devin at photo op dot nets. And that’ll go to me and I’d be more than happy to help you out.
D.J. Paris 41:03
All right, David Higgins from photo op, thank you so much for coming on the show giving us some examples and ideas of how to better strategize for branding and marketing efforts for realtors this year. Thank you so much. On behalf of the audience, we appreciate you and your time. On behalf of Devin and myself. We also want to thank the audience for sticking around to the end. We appreciate you. And we we only ask that you do just one thing which is telephoned think of one other realtor that maybe could use some help with their marketing efforts. Shoot them a link over to this episode, we would appreciate it you can find all of our episodes, which can be streamed right from our browser at our website, keeping it real pod.com or pull up any podcast app search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button. Please leave us a review as well. We appreciate it. We read them and we want to always continually improve to better meet our audience’s needs. So thank you, Devin, super excited that you were on our show. And we will see everybody on the next episode. Thanks.
Devon Higgins 42:09
Awesome. Thanks, DJ.