A Realtor in Vancouver, in response to an article about that business community's digital engagement queried my to look at his web footprint. Given that only about 10 percent of real estate brokers seem willing to accept any kind of criticism at all so far, I found John Grasty of Real Estate Evolved a refreshing respite from the ordinary. In answer to his question, here's an up close look at Real Estate Evolved.
Have you ever heard the term "the hook" before? It usually refers to a catchy jingle, clever phrase, or other fish hook that grabs a customer - makes the sale. In Internet terms, there can be many hooks actually, but the old saying "first impressions are lasting" - this is so true for online endeavors - your landing page (website or Facebook, or..) is the shiniest fish hook there is - in the digital world.
I've learned so much about what works on the web these last 14 years. Google's minimalist resign, so called "F Pattern" design, Content is King, my old friend Brian Solis' SM dogma (like the conversation prism), all this and tens of thousands of hours more aspects all bear fruit where the so called "conversation" is concerned.
Well, most of these rules have somehow been applied to John Grasty's landing here (even the F - see image below). And note - Real Estate Evolved starts its brand invasion with the killer domain name realestateevolved dot com. Never underestimate the power of the URL. I will explain why for $65 an hour, but basically the "hook" here is, I think, exactly what Grasty wanted it to be. Perfect for the discerning.
Below the fold, Real Estate Evolved makes only one mistake, the page is either too long, it needs another "call" between the header and footer. "Drilling down" into your site is what you want readers (buyers and sellers) to do. Then REE gets good again. Big Facebook, LinkedIn, RSS, Twitter, even YouTube - at least apparently engaged - let's see.
The short and sweet on REE's social media engagement "so far" is:
Real Estate Evolved has leap frogged ahead of many of its competitors. The comment on RealtyBizNews from John clearly points out too, his goal is not to be mainstream. But, despite a good effort on Facebook and elsewhere, and outside his generally great textual content - he (you) has to be careful about what he shows (demonstrates) to the public. Photos, for one thing, are maybe the biggest disaster area most Facebook communicators screw up - "images speak volumes."
Rounding out this analysis, Real Estate Evolved is fairly well "evolved" digitally. But, getting ahead of snails does not exactly make one Carl Lewis (or Bob Hayes for us boomers). The agency needs to refine the contact page, get graphics and content for the buyers/sellers page, substitute real header images for stock ones, provide links and resources on relocation page, and the about page needs to be more crisp - professional - put-the-message-out-there. As anyone knows though, no business or website is perfect - but they could be.
Lastly, I like very much John Grasty approach to business and the web as a conduit. His endeavor has a ways to go, like many, but at the effort is there. While he may not be in direct competition with some bigger firms, it won't be long until people seek his services out - at least as a "buyer's agent." Even John's lead signup is what we call "opt in" and the "call" is inside the "F" - but very subtle. Nice.
For the buyer or seller reading this, we don't know John from Adam's house cat, as the saying goes - but his online presence shows; savvy, innovation, a willingness to work hard, intelligence, and professionalism - isn't that what everyone wants to convey digitally or otherwise?
You said you wanted an honest evaluation John, good or bad. There you have it, keep going, you're doing great.
Here's a listing on John's YouTube Channel.