Category Archives: How & Why

Calling All Foodies!

Many of you enjoy posting photos of yummy dishes from your favorite local restaurants. This is a smart way to engage potential clients and anyone else who lands on your community pages. There are so many foodies out there and, besides, who doesn’t like to see mouth-watering pictures of crunchy tacos or gorgeous desserts?

Here are a few tips to enhance your food pictures. Use plenty of natural light whenever possible. Ask for a table near a window. Many restaurants are dimly lit, and using a flash close to a plate of food may overexpose the photo. The picture below is nicely composed with good lighting. The blue plate is an eye-catcher in an assortment of other Agent Insight photos.

Chicken Salad Chick features delicious salads made fresh daily

If you look at professional food photography shots, you will frequently see the most effective are taken from straight above or at a low shot from the edge of the table. These are good angles for you to use, too. The taco picture below also shows a nice contrast of colors, while the thick sprinkle of powdered sugar on the beignets makes you want one right now!

Tacos from Big Truck – Beef Al Carbon and Fried Shrimp
The beignets did not disappoint at Mo’Bay near USM

By posting your favorite dishes from your local restaurants, you are providing valuable community insight to potential home buyers! Take an extra minute to make an impression, not just with a mouth-watering photo, but also with a descriptive caption. We recommend you include the name of the dish, the name of the restaurant, and a short description of the dish or why it’s your favorite. These two captions are ideal, while still being short and succinct.

Blueberry muffin from Stella Novas – get it warmed up
The 40 oz. Ribeye at Acre – prepared to perfection

Here is a pro tip for you. Food posts are great promotions for the restaurants in your community. You might choose to mention to the managers that you are promoting their places on Agent Insight. Who knows? Maybe they will take your business card and send you a lead someday!

One last note of caution:  don’t submit your most delicious looking photos when you’re hungry. You might have to drop everything and zip out to your favorite restaurant!

Photo credits: Wyn Motter, RE/MAX Real Estate Partners, Hattiesburg, MS; Devin Ross, RE/MAX at Home, Edmond, OK; Brett Tortorich, RE/MAX Real Estate Partners, Hattiesburg, MS; Amber Jason, RE/MAX at Home, Edmond, OK; and Jamie Watkins, RE/MAX Heritage, Kansas City, MO.

Not Using Agent Insight? That’s Crazy!

“I wouldn’t keep posting on Agent Insight if it didn’t pay off,” said Felicia Harris, an agent with over 17 years of experience at RE/MAX Heritage in Blue Springs, MO. “I tell other agents that they are crazy not to use it, too.”

Felicia has been uploading photos and written insights to Agent Insight since 2016 and has completed 573 submissions to date. Many potential clients have found her through her Agent Insight submissions. In a recent Google search of each of her 30-plus subdivision pages, 10 of them came up as the first result on the search and another three were second. Every one of the subdivisions appeared on the front page of the search results!  Felicia doesn’t pay for leads from Zillow or other real estate databases, so she relies on Agent Insight, along with other social media platforms, to bring in potential clients.

Felicia’s goal is to post twice a week, submitting both a photo and a written submission on each of the subdivision pages where she has listings. Additionally, she is creative about how she covers other amenities and events in her community. “While I’m out and about, I look for things that interest me,” she said. “I watch for subjects while I’m  showing listings or running errands or enjoying an activity with my family. I especially want to cover the excellent schools in Grain Valley where I live.  I’m a huge football fan of the schools’ teams and, of course, of the Kansas City Chiefs.”

The day after the Chiefs won the AFC Championship on Jan. 29, 2023, Felicia posted five new submissions about the team and the game. One of those, along with a sampling of her other work, is shown here. Note that she always packs good information into her captions.

Part of our highly rated public schools, this is one of the best schools around. Love the Big Eagle!
Shriners Circus was the place to be! All the kids were in awe! Shriners have 22 non-profit hospitals.
KC Chiefs pride throughout Union Station! Super Bowl, here we come!
Peach trees are in bloom – I love this time of year in Missouri.

“I have been selling real estate with RE/MAX for over 17 years. We are the best of the best,” Felicia said. She plans to continue using Agent Insight as an important part of her marketing plan. “Agent Insight gets the leads for me,” she said. “When someone does a Google search, I want my name to pop up.”

Add Your Google Reviews To Agent Insight

We are excited to announce a recent addition to your Agent Insight profile – integration of Google reviews. With this new enhancement, you now have two different options to add your 3rd party reviews to your profile page: Google or Zillow!

When deciding to do business with a new company, many of us are influenced, one way or the other, by independent reviews of their product or service. That’s the power of social proof.  You can now tap into the power of Google by showing off your Google reviews to prospective clients who find you on Agent Insight.

Donna Fitts ProfileYour reviews will be displayed at the bottom of your profile page, following your Agent Insight submissions.  Also, a row of green stars indicating your Google OR Zillow rating will appear under your name, along with the number of reviews that have been posted.

Adding your reviews is easy! You’ll find step-by-step instructions in this three minute Fast Forward Short. You’ve worked hard to get those 5 star reviews, and you want to display them on as many sites as possible. By taking advantage of this new feature, your reviews will have even more visibility, increasing your internet footprint in a big way. If you have any questions or issues, contact Tech Assist using any of the methods available on the Assistance page in MAX Tech – we are happy to help!

Culture & Community Could Be Your Key To Close

As you expand your Agent Insight submissions beyond discussing the local housing market, think of the features in your community that will appeal to new residents. Here are a few suggestions if you need a little inspiration.

Public Transporation
If you have trains, buses, trolleycars, taxis, or even Ubers that move people conveniently around the town, give them some coverage. Potential buyers might need that information. Public transportation easily lends itself to both written and photo insights. Take a look at these great examples.

One of the sleek new street cars traveling through the City Market in Kansas City
Here comes the streetcar, a great way to travel in New Orleans
The beautiful Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor for film and events

Whether you choose live theater or movie houses, your community is bound to have multiple venues for you to feature. Music halls, little theaters, local college campus theaters, movie multiplexes:  all of these and more would make great submissions.  Gigi Perry, RE/MAX Realty Suburban in Shawnee Mission, KS, wrote the following submission about one of her favorite local theaters.

Enjoy the Kansas City Music Hall
 Kansas City Music Hall….is a gorgeous Art Deco style theater that was built in 1936. Just some spectacular architecture! My husband and I gave each other season tickets a few years ago to celebrate our anniversary. The shows are Broadway quality. We have been going for years and I can say, I probably only saw one that I didn’t love….How lucky we are here in Kansas City to have such a gem!

The historic Lafayette County Courthouse, built in 1872, is dressed up for the holidays

Local History
Historical content can likely be found all over your community. Research historic homes or public buildings, the background of local business and industry, or details about the city’s founding. You will provide appealing information for history buffs and trivia enthusiasts alike! As with the other subjects mentioned here, these can be especially fun to write or photograph – and you might even learn something new!

Agent Insight is your marketing opportunity to show off all aspects of the towns and cities where you sell homes. Highlight the cultural opportunities in your city, and who knows? Culture and community could be your key to close!

Photo credits:  Sara Snook, RE/MAX Revolution, Gladstone, MO; Gary Lazarus, RE/MAX N.O. Properties, New Orleans, LA; Marygrace Liparoto, RE/MAX Home Sale Services,  Northville, MI; Martha Thompson, RE/MAX Legacy, Oxford, MS.

Catchy Headlines Catch More Clients

Every submission you post on Agent Insight should be designed to catch the eye of potential clients. To that end, pay special attention to your headlines. Statistics show that well more than 50% of readers,  including those perusing the web or publications, only read the headlines. It only takes a few compelling words to draw people into the rest of the story.

A headline should be a concise summary of the article. It might be descriptive, enticing, maybe even humorous. It’s best to include a verb and a subject. Here are some examples and tips on skillful headline writing using a fictional shopping and entertainment district, “Regency Park,” that is a centerpiece of its community.

Keep It Simple:
Regency Park Is a Destination Area for the Entire Community
This headline is clear and uses strong words that could interest  readers.  It’s straightforward and might attract a potential client interested in this aspect of the community.

Make It Personal:
My Family Loves the Variety of Restaurants in Regency Park
It is always a good practice to write your insights and headlines using first person. Agent Insight is the perfect platform to tell people about your knowledge of the area and why you like it.

Make It Reader Centered:
You Get That Festive Feeling at Regency Park’s Christmas Parade
Draw readers into the headline by telling them how they will benefit from your featured subject. In this case,  you could focus on your favorite stores (Eclectic Shopping Waits for You at Regency Park’s Southside Boutique), easy access to parking (You’ll Enjoy Free Parking at Regency Park), or beautiful landscaping (You Won’t Believe the Regency Park Flower Displays).

Find the Hook
Regency Park’s Book Nook Beacons to Bibliophiles or Regency Park’s Midtown Brewery Receives Highest Rating
Grab a reader’s attention with something they can visualize and value. The examples here call to book lovers and coffee drinkers. You don’t have to look hard to find the hook for any subject you cover.

Move beyond giving your insights a label, in this case simply “Regency Park,” and work to catch a reader’s eye. We are faced with an avalanche of information every day, but with a little time and ingenuity, your headlines can get prospective customers to stop and look twice.





Become the Featured Local Expert!

Have you noticed there is a Featured Local Expert that appears on every community page in Agent Insight? It immediately catches the eye of visitors on that page. Put yourself in that spot just by making posts on the page! Here’s how it works:

When you post a written submission onto a page, your agent photo is added to the rotation and will randomly appear in the Featured Local Expert spot. For example, Phyllis Olive, RE/MAX Premiere Group in Tuscaloosa, AL, has submitted two photos and two written posts on the Lauderhill Subdivision in her town. She is the only agent who has put anything on this page, so she always appears as the Featured Local Expert. Or as we like to say, she is the “Mayor” of Lauderhill!

Phyllis has also submitted written and photo posts for the Waterford Subdivision along with another member of RE/MAX Premiere Group, Tracy Ramsey. In this example, either Tracy or Phyllis will rotate into the Featured Local Expert slot every time the page is opened by a visitor.

As more agents add written insights to the page, the three who have posted most recently will randomly rotate into the Featured Local Expert position. Fresh material keeps your name higher on the rotation, so periodically add something new! Note, however, that written submissions are given preference over photos. If there are only photo submissions on a particular page, the submitting agents can be featured as the local expert. Otherwise, the featured agent will only be selected from agents who have submitted written insights.

Also, three Featured Local Experts appear at the top of each market area Explore page. They are randomly selected from the 20 agents who have posted most recently. Again, fresh submissions keep you in the rotation.

Agent Insight is such an easy addition for you to make to your marketing plan. In fact, both of the Tuscaloosa subdivisions referenced above are in the top five results of a current Google search! There are many subdivisions and neighborhoods which don’t have any submissions yet. Go grab them and become the Featured Local Expert waiting for potential clients to find you!


Attention Grabbing Posts and Photo Captions

Agent Insight is designed to help  RE/MAX agents grab the attention of potential clients through words and photos.  Kendall Arnold with RE/MAX Results in Real Estate, Inc., in Gulfport, Mississippi goes the extra mile to make his posts and captions do exactly that.

Kendall’s written insights are not only informative, but they are also fun and entertaining. He puts himself into his posts by using first person, the best way for his readers to know a bit about him as well as about the Mississippi Gulf Coast market that he covers.

“I don’t want my posts to be ‘just the facts’, ” Kendall said. His natural, conversational style of writing draws in his readers. The variety of topics he chooses does, too. “I try to find a subject of genuine interest to me, then tell other people about it,” he said.

For example, his catchy headline above a submission on an Ocean Springs subdivision reads, “I Can Find Queen Elizabeth, King Henry and Lancelot in Fort Bayou Estates.” Now that he has the reader’s attention, Kendall explains that these are some of the street names in the subdivision. He also gives details about the neighborhood, but does it with a little humor.

“I may be one of the few people  who have never watched an episode of Game of Thrones (I do have it on my intend-to-watch list), but I am familiar with the tales of Robin Hood, King Arthur and others,” is the  opening sentence. “When I visit {this} well established community…, I enjoy seeing the streets named for these famous folk almost as much as the variety of properties that are on them. And variety is a good word to use for Fort Bayou Estates. ”

The rest of the paragraph tells about the price range and size of homes available, so all the pertinent information is there. But a potential client reading it might want to contact Kendall because he is knowledgeable and amusing, too. A great combination!

Kendall uses this same flair and creativity with many of his post titles. For example, he introduces Gulf access homes with a great article titled, “Went to a Boat Show to Talk about Houses.” In another submission, Kendall writes about a green, sustainable subdivision with his post titled Green Is the Color of Money, Envy, and Nature. These captions pique the interest of the reader, encouraging them to stay on the site longer.

He also has posted many good photos. He makes the most of the picture captions, too, like the one for this golf course from Gautier, MS. There is space for about 16 words in a photo caption, so you have plenty of room to say something about your subject.

It’s January, but not too cold to play a few holes – I hear it calling out to me

These are just a few of the well executed submissions on Kendall’s Agent Insight pages. Click here to take a look at his Agent Insight profile for some inspiration, along with plenty of good marketing strategies to attract potential clients. Take a lesson from Kendall Arnold’s approach, and make your posts informative and really fun. It might just be the hook that lands you some new business.

Marketing Tips at “Word from the Street”

Very likely, you have gotten some of your best ideas for building your own real estate business from other RE/MAX agents.  Hundreds of them have included Agent Insight in their marketing plan with great success.  But don’t take our word for it – learn directly from the agents why they believe this is such a valuable tool! You’ll find them in the “Word from the Street” section  on the left side of the home page of our Insight Insider blog. Here are a few to get you started.

“I have found that my Agent Insight leads are quality leads. The people making inquiries truly want my resources and are very glad for my quick response. They actively look at the information I send them.  My marketing plan is working, and I’m seeing results without spending a dime on it,” said Valerie Bomberger, RE/MAX Harbor Country in New Buffalo, MI.

Valerie made it her goal to have at least one post in every subdivision in her market area. To that end, she has submitted 760 photos and written submissions to her Agent Insight pages. Her posts have staying power, too. For example, a post Valerie submitted in 2018 on Jarvis Lake in Berrien County, MI, is still the second source that pops up on a recent Google search.

When your clients live out of town, you want to give them as much information about your area as possible. Glee Barnhill, RE/MAX of Orange Beach, AL, finds Agent Insight to be an invaluable tool to help her “show and tell” her clients about the picturesque Gulf Coast area.

“Ours is a resort area with lots of retirees moving from northern states, ” said Glee, who has posted over 140 submissions. “Agent Insight is such a benefit because I can show out-of-town clients so much of our beautiful Gulf communities online. With so many buyers choosing their new homes sight-unseen, this is a great service.”

You also want to show potential clients that you are the expert in your market area whether it is urban, rural, beachfront, new construction, or ranch properties. Jeff With, RE/MAX T-Town in Tulsa, OK, has done that very well with the 160 posts he has submitted with his wife and partner, Joyce.

“I wanted a better web presence and liked the Agent Insight concept,” Jeff said. “Our postings help give us that presence and create a ripple effect for attracting clients years down the road. We plan our posts to connect with people moving to rural Oklahoma.”

All the “Word from the Street” quotes are taken from full articles that you can reference in our Newsletter Article Archive. Quotes are added to the blog’s front page periodically, so be sure to check back to find ideas for your own marketing plan.



Include Agent Insight in Your 2022 Marketing Plan

Are you making New Year’s resolutions for your real estate marketing plan in 2022? Make sure you include Agent Insight, a quick and easy way to increase your business opportunities, increase your internet presence, and grow the RE/MAX brand in your area.

Agent Insight is provided to you by your region and allows you to present personal, conversational, and informative posts to potential and current clients. Agent Insight makes your photo, contact information, listings, and website readily available to consumers, but you also have the opportunity to post on any aspect of your community that you think will interest potential home buyers and sellers. Schools, restaurants, recreation and sports venues, local businesses, annual festivals and celebrations:  anything is a good choice for you to introduce consumers to your area.

If you are among the hundreds of agents already making submissions to Agent Insight, thank you for your participation. As discussed in our article, A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats, all agents reap the benefits through the collective work of every RE/MAX sales associate.

If you are new, welcome! You’ll find all the directions you need for making submissions on our blog, Insight Insider. Start with our Getting Started series of articles. Here are a few tips to make your learning curve a quick one:

  • Post regularly to make the most impact and keep your submissions fresh.
  • Present a balanced view of your community with a wide range of local venues and activities as your subjects.
  • Write in first person as if you are talking to clients as you drive them through town viewing properties.
  • Take a few seconds to frame your photos (and never shoot through the windshield!). Always use a landscape format.
  • Make your headlines and captions interesting because that may be all some viewers ever read. Make them count!

In 2021, we had several thousand submissions sent by agents from many states. All were appreciated and posted in Agent Insight’s neighborhood, city, county, and school pages. Many were outstanding written posts and others were beautifully composed photos with informative captions. Each month, many of the “best of the best” were added to Insight Insider’s Featured Insights section, which is a great place to look for inspiration and ideas for your own posts. We would like to recognize the agents whose work was included in Featured Insights in 2021:

Sharon Allen, Kansas City, MO
Jacob Ainsworth, Diamondhead, MS
Kendall Arnold, Gulfport, MS
Daniel Ashley, Blue Springs, MO
Linda Bernat, Wichita, KS
Kathy Batesel, Bonner Springs, KS
Rick Bauer, Waterloo, IA
Paula Bellamy, Osage Beach, MO
Austin Bittner, Pleasant Hill, IA
Gina Feltner Bouws, Marquette, MI
Lori Casteel, Greenbrier, AR
Emily Clemens, Long Beach, MS
Tom Compise, Oklahoma, OK
Jennifer Cox, Kansas City, MO
Adrianne Dean, Yukon, OK
Ryan Eashoo, Davison, MI
Jennifer Fields, Edmond, OK
Calvin Gabbard, Harrison, AR
Cindy Gaffney, Cedar Falls, IA
Kelsey Gilbert, Oklahoma City, OK
Mandi Gipson, Ottawa, KS
Felicia Harris, Blue Springs, MO
Kiley Hartzler, Orange Beach, AL
Shelly Hazle, McAlester, OK
Kellie Hillier-Genschaw, Marquette, MI
Shelly High, Shell Knob, MO
Sindy Jensen, Marquette, MI
Cameron John, Oklahoma City, OK
Becky Johnson, Canton, MI
Militza Juban, Hammond, LA
Chelsea Klimkewicz, Osage Beach, MO
Gary Lazarus, New Orleans, LA
Marygrace Liparoto, Northville, MI
Mark Lizyness, Flat Rock, MI
Sandra Lowrey, Huntsville, AL
David Mackle, Birmingham, AL
Leah Mancuso, Omaha, NE
Debbie McDowell, New Orleans, LA
Beth Merrill, Fenton, MI
Debbie McDowell, New Orleans, LA
Addison Miller, Little Rock, AR
Kelly Mitchell, Prairieville, LA
Kristina Moosavi, Oklahoma City, OK
Cara Mossington, Rochester, MI
Susan Tice Niethammer, Ann Arbor, MI
Jennifer Olson, Tulsa, OK
Darohnn Pender, Bentonville, AR
Jon Ritten, Diamondhead, MS
Shawn Rowden, Davison, MI
Kristin Ruther, Grand Rapids, MI
Lynette Sorensen, Cedar Falls, IA
Vicky Sowden, Saginaw, MI
Shawnna Summers, Tulsa, OK
Dana Tapia, Orange Beach, AL
Andrea Thomas, Davison, MI
Julie Thompson, Mountain Grove, MO
Jay Trapani, Diamondhead, MS
Damien Tullier, Prairieville, LA
Kris Turner, Heber Springs, AR
Malia Turner, Lee’s Summit, MO
Lorenzo Washington, Brighton, MI
Gina Watts, Tulsa, OK
Jeff  With, Tulsa, OK
Joyce With, Tulsa, OK

Submissions to Agent Insight are easy and fun to do. Use your creativity and show off your market area! We look forward to all your posts in the coming year and wish you much success with your real estate sales in 2022.