Category Archives: Getting Started

Getting Started With Agent Insight

We are pleased to introduce you to Agent Insight, a marketing tool to increase your business opportunities and grow the RE/MAX brand in your area.  Your words and photos are featured, giving potential clients a very personal look at the markets you represent.  Your submissions make you an expert about your community and the flow of fresh material to Agent Insight boosts your SEO rankings which means continuous generation of leads.

So, how do you get started? Its easy. You can scroll through the five short tutorials below in this Getting Started series to learn all the basics for producing short, conversational written insights and effective photographs. Then, follow the easy directions below to send in your submissions.

We are excited that you are eager to participate in Agent Insight. Thank you for your time, enthusiasm and creativity!

Submitting From Your Computer

For a written insight, point your browser to www.agentinsight.net, then login using your RE/MAX MainStreet email and password. Find the most precise location of interest, click the “Submit an Area Insight” button and follow the instructions. Follow the same directions to send a photo, but click the “Submit a Photo” button. 

Submitting From Your Mobile Device

Visit www.AgentInsight.net from your iPhone, Android mobile device. Tap the blue Login button and enter your MainStreet user name and password. Tap the red Submit An Insight button, choose a place (search or pick from the list) then scroll down to see the pair of red submit buttons. Choose one and complete the form. For photos, tap the green Choose Photo button to either take a photo right on the sport, or pick one you have already taken. Once the upload is complete, you can add a caption and tap the Submit button to post your insight.

Learn More

There’s No Place Like Home

As with many things in life, it’s often easiest to start at home.  As you’re driving around your own subdivision, think about what might appeal to prospective buyers. Is there a summer pool party at your clubhouse? How about a wine-tasting event? Maybe an adult-only swim or a fall block party? As you’re leaving your neighborhood, what are some of the immediate local attractions? Golf courses, walking trails, local sporting events? Where do YOU spend your free time on your days off? Once you start looking around, you might be surprised at what’s happening right in your own back yard.

Neighborhood pool at Brook Highland subdivision
Neighborhood pool at Brook Highland subdivision

Featured above is a good neighborhood photo. It’s composed nicely and offers a pleasant look into life here. Below is a well written insight that gives a great first person opinion of this agent’s home town.

Lots to Love in Eastern Independence                                                                          I live and work in eastern Independence and love it!  Being a country girl myself, I have found the people here are down to earth, love their families and their communities and have an overwhelming interest in participating in their local schools. We are out in the country, but never too far from entertainment, shopping, great restaurants or anything else that we want to do. You can have as much country (acreage) or as little as you want. If you are looking for a great area to raise your family, this is it! 

Springboard off of these two examples as you start thinking about your first submissions to Agent Insight. We can’t wait to see what you will send!

Photo by Beth Conwell, RE/MAX Southern Homes 280, Birmingham, AL; insight from Pamela Campbell, RE/MAX Premier Properties, Independence, MO.

Finding the Time

A written insight should be short and conversational. In this fast paced world, you know everyone wants their information quickly, so make these crisp and snappy. They won’t take long to write. You just need to have a few minutes of quiet time with your laptop or tablet.  When an idea comes to you, make note of it and take advantage of those little slices of time during the day when you have a few minutes alone. Maybe with that first cup of coffee in the morning or between appointments or during the down time at the next open house. Insights are easy and, most importantly, consumers (and Google) love to read! Remember to make your writing personal whenever you can. Using first person gives you lots of credibility and makes your paragraphs more interesting. Here’s a good example:

Convenient and Friendly De Vel Subdivision                                                           My wife and I were newly married and moving back to Lawrence. We purchased our first Lawrence home in a subdivision with the unusual name “Del Vel” —  I couldn’t tell you where the name comes from. We lived at 2400 Brett Drive in a home that we had built and decorated in the center of the subdivision on a corner. My wife was able to be on I-70 every morning in just a couple minutes with an easy 50 minute commute to KU Med Center in Kansas City. Topeka is only 20 minutes west. We had lots of friends in the neighborhood and really enjoyed our neighbors, many of whom are still there.  I’d be happy to introduce you to them!
washington commons
An autumn view of Washington Commons

As for photos, just remember to pull out your smartphone and snap a picture when you stop to show a property or when you are out in the community with your family or when you pull up to your favorite restaurant for lunch. Any time works because taking a picture only requires a few seconds. Set a goal to submit a couple of pictures and insights to Agent Insight every week and not only will it become habit, you will likely discover it’s fun to do.

Insight from Larry Northrup, RE/MAX Excel, Lawrence, KS; photo  by Christine Rothwell, RE/MAX at the Shore, Cape May, NJ.

What’s Right to Write?

The Agent Insight team is frequently asked, “What should be in an insight?” The answer is simple really. First of all, an insight is nothing more than an opinion, YOUR opinion. Because you’re presenting yourself as the local expert, writing an insight in first-person style will convey familiarity, knowledge, and confidence to potential consumers. That said, we can’t forget that the primary goal of this site is to capture leads by improving our SEO rankings with the major search engines. It is imperative that agents write insights that are relevant and fresh; specifically, in your own words. An effective insight should be a minimum of three sentences and a maximum of three paragraphs.

Here are three examples of well written, first person insights that meet these standards. Read them over and let your creative juices flow!

The first submitted by Don Keeton, RE/MAX The Producers in Omaha, NE, is about his own neighborhood.  Don tells what he likes best about his subdivision while he explains some of the amenities.

Our Personal Home for 21 Years                                                                          Valerie and I built our home in 1992 and we love the Barrington Park neighborhood. It’s one of the few upscale neighborhoods that is in the don2_edited-1Millard North School District. The lots are typically 1/2 acre or more, and the streets in the neighborhood enhance a quiet safe atmosphere. Because of the lot sizes, a large number of the homes have in-ground pools. We thought of moving, but just can give up the convenience of the area. Located near 156th Dodge Street makes this a great place to be. We have a wonderful biking/walking trail, two tennis courts and park area for the kids to play their football and soccer games.

Meleesa Pruett, RE/MAX State Line in Leawood, KS, wrote an excellent first person account of her daughter’s elementary school. This kind of insight will surely appeal to any client interested in a home near good schools.

Sunrise Point Elementary and a New Kindergartener                                        I can’t say enough good things about Sunrise Point Elementary School in the Hampton Place Subdivision.  My five year old started Kindergarten last meleesaThursday and she has now decided she’d like to attend school “every single day for the rest of my life”.  Principal David Sanders runs a tight ship and he already knows most students by their first names after one short week. The school runs like clockwork.  The staff is helpful, friendly and happy.  My daughter feels secure, reassured, and self-confident, which certainly correlates into excitement for learning.  I was apprehensive sending my baby (first and only) to school.  Now when I drop her off in the morning, she gives kisses and hugs and marches right in the front door.  We meet her in the evening to walk home together and she’s excited to share what she’s learned.  Thank you Blue Valley School District for providing a great place to raise kids, one of the best in the nation!

The third  about a local restaurant is written by Soha Fontaine, RE/MAX Gold Coast Realty in Hoboken, NJ. Restaurants, shops and businesses are all excellent topics for giving clients a well-rounded picture of the community.

A Century of Great Food!                                                                                           Don’t miss the specials at this 100 year old Italian Deli in Hoboken. They get their fresh bread from Dome Bakery every day. You pick your choice of sohabread and then proceed to order your mix of homemade mozzarella and any meat you like with their signature hot peppers topping. I have traveled to many cities in the US and, hands down, the best mozzarella cheese is found in our little town. My brother is a big food lover and each time he visits us, he must make a visit to Fiore’s for their corned beef mozzarella sandwich.

Jump Out of Your Car!

How do you take photos for Agent Insight? Which of the following options is more like you?

1)  As your car rolls to a stop, shoot through the windshield and zip on to the next location.

2)  Stop your car, step out and take a quick minute to line up the shot before you take the picture.

Which of these best describes your photography style? Come on, we already know! Seriously, shooting through the car window usually catches some glare which partially obscures your subject or casts a white film over the entire picture.  The chance of your picture featuring overhead wires instead of your subject is greatly increased.

When you take just a little bit of time to consider your subject, frame it nicely and shoot outside your car, the quality increases so much, with much brighter color and composition.  We appreciate every picture you send in and especially value the ones that make your community look its best to potential customers. Look at these beautiful examples.

michigan tulips
I love the small town ambiance of downtown Chelsea with tulips courtesy of the Garden Club

This photo by Laura Argir, RE/MAX Platinum, Ann Arbor, MI, is greatly enhanced because Laura bent over to include the tulips instead of just shooting the buildings across the street.

Custom waterfront home on the 'quiet' side of the lake
Custom waterfront home on the ‘quiet’ side of the lake

Jeff KrantzRE/MAX Lake of The Ozarks, Osage Beach, MO, framed this photo beautifully. Shot at dusk, the lights in the home glow while the lights on the wall create a soft reflection in the water.

Heading back home from the Surf City Beach
Heading back home from the Surf City Beach

The viewer’s eye is led straight down the beach path, through the fence opening and into the neighborhood. This photo by Kenneth Nilson, RE/MAX at Barnegat Bay Manahawkin, NJ, gives you the feeling of leaving the beach as the sky darkens to evening…another excellent picture provided by the agents participating in Agent Insight.

Make Your Insight and Photos Count

As the number of agents contributing to Agent Insight continues to grow, our collection of words and photos is becoming richer every day. Your descriptions of the communities, their special features and the reasons to live there are so appealing.

This snowman is over 20 feet tall! Just an example of how much snow Petoskey has received!
This snowman is over 20 feet tall! Just an example of how much snow Petoskey has received!
chapel
The soaring architecture of the Mildred Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista, AR, is extraordinary

Prospective buyers can’t help but want to take a look at specific neighborhoods after hearing what you have to say about schools, libraries, stores, parks, sports, churches and all the other things that make a place home.

The two photos featured here  show a lot of character, one of beauty and one of whimsy. Both will have appeal to people looking for home in these areas. These  photos are fabulous as are so many that you have all sent in; each picture is worth a thousand words, right? Keep putting yourselves in the buyers’ shoes, asking yourself, “What would make someone want to live here?”

Make your stories as personal as possible – that’s what speaks to people. Introduce them to your community through your eyes. Here’s a fine example of an insight that is chatty, personal and full of information important to your clients.

A Perfect Place to Raise a Family                                                                When I imagine a small town community, Allentown is the first place I think about.  If you are looking for a town where everyone knows your name and people look out for you and your children, then this is the place to move. It’s hard to find towns that still close down Main Street to celebrate holidays and local events, such as Memorial Day, Fall Harvest Festival, Homecoming and Halloween. There are plenty of places to shop in downtown or grab a bite to eat. My favorite part about the town is being able to sit at the local ice cream shop and see people you know pass by. Not only is it a great place to bring your family, but it’s a perfect place to bring your horses. The town is surrounded by tons of horse farms and the Horse Park of New Jersey is right around the corner. Allentown and Cream Ridge are great places to live.
Photos by Elizabeth Flynn, RE/MAX Resort Properties, Boyne City, MI, and Brenda Parker, RE/MAX Real Estate Results, Bentonville, AR; insight by Stacy Ferrier, RE/MAX Homeland Realtors, Freehold, NJ.