The Twin Power Team, headed by twin brothers Gerald and Gordie Sorensen, puts plenty of emphasis on their Agent Insight submissions. Part of the RE/MAX Home Group in Cedar Falls, IA, the team has submitted nearly 1,130 posts in the past five years. They report that they have received many leads from their Agent Insight work, as well as comments from clients about what they see on their pages.
All the team are life-long or long-term residents of Cedar Falls, so their knowledge of the community runs deep.
“We love the area and know everything about it,” said Gordie Sorensen. “We are active in many organizations, serve on various boards, and attend church. Our participation helps us stay current on what’s happening in the community.”
At the team’s weekly marketing meetings, Agent Insight is always on the agenda. They discuss upcoming events that would make good insights and determine which subdivisions need coverage. They also share their plans for the week’s showings and activities they will be attending where they plan to take photos.
The team’s Agent Insight coverage includes a wide variety of places and amenities in the Cedar Falls area, including parks, lakes, hiking/biking trails, restaurants, stores, holiday decorations, architecture and landscaping, the local University of Northern Iowa, and many subdivisions and housing developments. Here are a few examples of their work:
“We take our marketing plan very serious, and Agent Insight truly does boost our business,” said Gerald Sorensen. “The posts are so simple to do, and it has been effective for us.” The Twin Power Team plans to continue submitting photos and written insights several times every month, investing their time into this proven marketing tool.
Every photo or written insight you have ever submitted or thought about submitting to Agent Insight looks different in the spring and summer seasons. If you have shown or discussed a feature earlier in the year, revisit it now. Tom Compise, RE/MAX at Home in Edmond, OK, posted an earlier photo of the city’s elegant Crystal Bridge structure. Now, he’s adding one from a different angle featuring the lush tulips blooming outside. It’s a great way to enrich his original post and show off some spring beauty.
The next four months should inspire dozens of ideas for your posts. This is a spectacular time of year to show off the beauty of your area and the myriad of diverse activities available.
Make a list of all the possibilities for great spring and summer coverage of your market area. Here’s a kick-start:
Blooming trees, shrubs, and flowers in your neighborhoods, parks and storefronts
Baby animals, bird houses and feeders, ducks on a pond
Vacation destinations in your area
Summer sports. including baseball, soccer, hiking, biking, golf, tennis, boating, waterskiing, swimming, and fishing.
Holidays: Memorial Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Flag Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, Labor Day
Food venues like picnics, restaurants with outdoor dining, grilling at a neighborhood block party, farmers markets
Outdoor theaters and concerts, movies in the park, drive in theaters
Parks, dog parks, walking paths
We’ve received many great seasonal photos over the years. Here are just a few with the credits listed at the end of the article.
Be sure to write about fun sights and activities to do in the spring and summer, too. Look at these excellent examples (the writers are listed below):
Good Morning, Long Beach! The beaches are waking up with the rise of the sun broadcasting colors you’ve never seen a painting capture. Pelicans are playfully diving for a seafood breakfast while statuesque herons wade patiently for their catch….
Golf? Check. Beaches? Check. Pools? Check. Check. And this is only the start of the many amenities available at Kiva Dunes. A scenic drive down Fort Morgan Road in Gulf Shores, Kiva Dunes is your one-stop destination along the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast….
The Hummingbirds Are Back I get so excited when I see the first hummingbird of the season every year. This year, there were two in my first sighting…The full numbers and crew that stay for the summer aren’t here yet, but the numbers are building….
Posting your insights on Agent Insight is easy, but there are some guidelines that must be followed in order to maintain the site’s high standards of quality. Your submissions usually will appear live on Agent Insight within one business day, but there are a number of things that can cause delays.
No Duplicate Content We want to keep the SEO ranking of Agent Insight as high as possible so prospective clients will be able to find your work there quickly. Therefore, all your pictures and written insights must be your original work. Photos or written words cannot be copied and pasted from any another internet source. Duplicate content will hurt the Google ranking of the site, which means that your submissions will not be found as easily when a consumer does an internet search.
No Personal Advertising Please refrain from any self-promotion or from marketing specific listings in your submissions. The purpose of Agent Insight is to present a complete picture of the entire community. Instead of focusing on a listing, give plenty of coverage to the neighborhood’s amenities and why people choose to live there. The more you submit insights in the various communities you serve, the more often you will be presented to the consumer as a local real estate expert.
It Still Applies – Location, Location, Location! Submit your insights to the most specific community page possible. This could be a neighborhood, development, school district, city, or county, depending on the subject matter of the post. It is interesting to note that Agent Insight has much higher SEO ranking on our subdivision pages, often ranking in the top 10 of search results! So submit as often as possible on these subdivision or condominium pages in order to maximize your internet exposure.
No Identifiable People It’s fine to submit photos of people in a crowd or from the back as long as they cannot be easily identified. This includes your own family members or anyone who gives you permission to use their faces in your post. We would also ask that you refrain from posting images of people who are wearing a mask.
Horizontal Photos All photos published in Agent Insight must be taken in landscape orientation, meaning that you hold your camera in a horizontal position. If you want to include a vertical subject, such as a church steeple or a soaring office building, step back until you have a good horizontal composition of your tall subject. The clock tower photo below by Marshall Dines, RE/MAX Lighthouse in Petoskey, MI, is a good example.
Everyone Benefits! As the saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” The guidelines that exist are intended to make Agent Insight a top-notch resource for all of a consumer’s real estate needs. Higher SEO rankings means more traffic to the site, which means that all participating agents will receive maximum benefit.
As you plan your Agent Insights submissions, be sure to include posts that describe the history of your community. Every town has much to draw from, such as stories about the city founders or how the streets got their names or when the area was originally settled. What made the city grow? Was it located near a river or seaport, natural resources, maybe a major railroad line? Use historic details to present a richer, fuller picture of the area and give potential home owners the opportunity to feel a deeper connection to the area.
Jennifer Olson, RE/MAX T-Town in Tulsa, OK, has submitted many posts about the history of her marketing area in Eastern Oklahoma. She says she wants her Agent Insight information to “cover everything that demonstrates my knowledge of the area to potential clients.”
She frequently posts a pair of insights about a town, with one telling about things to do there and the other explaining some of its history. Here are some excerpts that might inspire similar posts you can do for your own community.
History of Claremore Claremore, meaning “mountain with a clear view,” got its name from an Osage Chief known as “Gra-moi” who was among the first settlers in the area.
A Little Fun Fact about Bartlesville The town of Bartlesville was established in 1875 by Jacob Bartles. He started the first trading post in 1875. Once it caught on, a post office was opened in May of 1879.
A Little of Coweta’s History In 1843, a man by the name of Robert Loughridge arrived in the Wagoner County area. He created a mission that was originally named “Koweta.” As a town grew around the mission the name became Coweta.
Jennifer has posted both photos and written insights about special historical features. The sculpture shown here is of the famous cowboy, actor, and newspaper columnist, Will Rogers. You’ll find it in Claremore, OK, where the Will Rogers Memorial Museum is located.
Jennifer posted an excellent insight about Tulsa’s Gilcease Museum. “Are you familiar with the Smithsonian located in Washington D.C.?”, she writes. “Well, Tulsa offers a major history museum of the American West that is just as good!’ she says. ” Founded by oilman Thomas Gilcrease, the Gilcrease Museum houses the most comprehensive collection of American West art in the nation.”
Jennifer has posted over 430 Agent Insight submissions. She says she works hard to choose subjects that will enlighten her clients on features of Eastern Oklahoma. Some of her historical posts are just for fun. For example, the original Historic Route 66 ran through Tulsa at one time, and Jennifer has included several photos about the sites and restaurants located along the famous highway.
“If I think something is cool, my clients will, too, she said. “Why wouldn’t any agent contribute to Agent Insight when it’s so fun and easy, too? It’s such a great way to enhance your marketing plan.”
Everybody loves dog stories, right? Using man’s best friend in photos and articles adds value to your insights in multiple ways. It gives depth and perspective and puts part of your personality into the post.
The photo above from Gina Feltner Bouws, RE/MAX 1st Realty in Marquette, MI, is a perfect example. There are hundreds of beautiful lake photos, but by including the dog, Gina makes this one personal. (Sidebar: notice how well she framed this photo with the dog off-center and the sun hidden behind a tree trunk so it doesn’t put a huge white spot in the scene. Nice job, Gina!)
Dog pictures can be really fun to use while showing off your area. Dog parks, stores with dog bowls outside on the sidewalk, pups greeting customers at shop doors, working dogs in the field with livestock, another waiting for the bell to ring outside the school yard fence….the ideas are endless. You’ll have interesting, clever photos featuring your furry friends that let you say something about local stores, schools, rural areas, parks, etc. The collection below shows dogs at the fishing hole, in the office of a doggy bakery, riding in a truck, and enjoying a boat ride.
There are so many dog-related topics to use in your written insights, too. In addition to those already mentioned, you can talk about local veterinarians, pet shops, off-leash dog parks, or pet supply stores.
And don’t forget about cats! Kristin Ruther, RE/MAX of Grand Rapids, MI, submitted a wonderful insight about Debruyn’s Seed Store in Zeeland, MI. Along with details about the store itself, she included, “Last time we visited we were able to meet Butternut, ‘the manager,’ a sweet, loving, orange cat that they brought out for the kids to pet.” That fun little extra shows that Kristin has actually been to the store and is sharing a real recommendation.
Whether you are a dog person or a cat lover, use your pets to help give credence and color to your insights.
“Every agent is looking for leads and prospects. My name still comes up at the top of a Google search due to posts I made on Agent Insight years ago,” says Glee Barnhill of RE/MAX Orange Beach in Orange Beach, AL. “Because my collection of insights isn’t ever erased, they constantly help my name pop up on the internet, especially for the developments I show.”
Glee has participated with Agent Insight for four years, submitting 140 posts that cover eight towns and 55 developments. She says she loves the “portability” of making posts. Just snap a quick photo with your mobile device, write a quick caption, and hit send.
“I shoot pictures and get ideas for written insights all through the day, wherever and whatever I’m doing. I can be in the car showing properties or on a boat or on the beach,” she says. “If something catches my eye, it will likely catch someone else’s.” Glee has made many submissions about condos and houses, but she shows plenty of variety such as art festivals, restaurants, businesses, schools, and, of course, the natural beauty of the Alabama coastline.
“This is a resort area with lots of retirees moving from northern states. Agent Insight is such a benefit because I can show out-of-town clients so much of our beautiful Gulf communities online,” she said. “Other real estate sites show listings, but I can present so much more on Agent Insight. With so many buyers choosing their new homes sight-unseen, this is a great service.”
Glee makes full use of the technology at her fingertips by posting her Agent Insight photos on Facebook and Instagram. “I consider this my alternative to blogging,” she said. “I can show off the area while entertaining and educating my current and potential clients.”
The positive experience Glee has had with Agent Insight should inspire you to use this excellent marketing tool in 2021. Consider making a New Year’s Resolution to start using Agent Insight if you are new to RE/MAX or to get back into the routine of submitting insights if you haven’t posted anything for a while. We have some great training tools available to help you get started! Here are a few photos from Glee’s collection.
Winter scenes make great photos. You can even reshoot the same subjects you’ve already covered because they’ll appear completely different surrounded by snow. We look forward to your ingenuity with pictures and written insights related to the season.
Every agent who participates in LeadStreet has their own Agent Insight profile page which includes space for an agent photo, social media icons, featured properties, contact information, and a biography. Initially, there will be a short bio that has some generic information about RE/MAX agents, which is a good placeholder until you find time to personalize it.
Since this is another place where you will be branded on the internet, why not juice things up a bit? Be creative telling about your knowledge of the areas you cover, and include your particular specialities. A few words about your hobbies and a little bit about your family or pets can help potential clients identify with you.
Hundreds of Agent Insight participants have already customized their bios to be “on-brand” with their other marketing tools. Excerpts from three examples are shown below. (Click on the agents’ photos to read their complete bios.) You’ll see that some chose to write in first person, others in third person. Both are effective. Take a look, and make a few notes about the information you want to include in your bio.
Tell your clients about your professional background and how it helped build the skill set you bring to real estate. Tonya Taibi, RE/MAX Revolution in Kansas City, MO, has a well written bio that describes her design and marketing expertise, as well as the real estate areas that are her specialities.
I started my career in marketing as a graphic designer, photo stylist, and art director. With my eye for architectural design, I can visualize the potential in any property….I use my passion and experience in marketing and graphic design to help my clients with more than just negotiations and contracts. I am able to assist with the creative marketing needed to sell your home, and the attention to detail to help you buy your dream home. I specialize in new construction, first-time home buyers, downsizing, FHA, conventional, USDA, VA, and investments.
Show your enthusiasm about your profession and community! People can trust agents who truly love their job and the places where they help clients buy and sell property. The example here from Jeff Easter, RE/MAX Advantage North in Gardendale, AL, is a good example.
Sweet Home Alabama! I was born and raised here, and I’m passionate about it. Some of the most gorgeous real estate on earth is right here in Alabama! Some of the best people on the planet are right here in Alabama!…I entered the Birmingham business community, working some 20 years in marketing, sales, and customer service. This experience proved invaluable in paving the way to my career in real estate.
Include job-related awards you have won. Potential clients are looking for an agent with a proven track record and will be encouraged to contact you when they see your professional awards. Jacob Ainsworth from Diamondhead, MS, joined RE/MAX Coast Delta Realty in 2016. His bio includes several of his awards, as well as his appreciation for the Gulf Coast and the skills he brings to clients.
Jacob is a native Texan turned Mississippian with a love for the Gulf Coast and everything the brackish waters of Southern Mississippi have to offer….He earned the “RE/MAX Rookie of the Year” award in 2017 for being the “youngest” multi-million dollar sales agent for his first year….Jacob has been recognized by RE/MAX as a three-time 100% Club Award Winner and is trending for a fourth designation this year.
Think about what potential clients might want to know about you when they are searching for a real estate agent. Write an informative Agent Insight bio for your agent profile page, and make sure that your LeadStreet profile has a good photo. Then, direct your clients to your page so they can read about you and view all the submissions you have included.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and all the other holidays between now and January 1st are great opportunities for taking photos and writing insights. Show and tell your clients about all the festive events, decorations, and beauty of the season. We look forward to receiving your submissions. Happy Holidays!
NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY AGENTS: Due to the recent technology changes in your regions, you will only be able to update this information if you are an engageRE customer. For all other agents, please send your new profile photo to [email protected].