Category Archives: Agent Life

facebook live

Facebook Live For Real Estate

Understanding Live Streaming

With Facebook live being made available to every user in April, the world’s largest social network joined Twitter’s Periscope and gave users the ability to live stream from their phones.
Compared to the separate app and clunky (second app) functionality of Twitter, streaming your activities live on Facebook is a relatively seamless process. If you combine the ease of adoption with the much larger user base, and your connections – Facebook live becomes a compelling tool to communicate with your friends and followers.

Facebook Prioritising Video And Live Streaming

On top of the larger user base, Facebook’s algorithm (prioritisation) for displaying content to other users, favours live video over and above all other content. They even have a separate priority push notification that you will receive if a friend or brand you follow goes live.

Try out personal live streaming

From your home screen there is a simple live button that allows you to:

  1. Set up an enticing title, select your audience (Public, friends or a custom group you’ve created. If you launch the live stream from within a closed group it will also protect those privacy setting as well).
  2. Before clicking go live, select a spot where wind and background noise are at a minimum.
  3. Clicking the blue go live button commences a three second countdown that you can use to frame yourself or your subjects correctly and to start smiling.

facebook live example

Stream from your Facebook Business Page

By downloading the Facebook Pages Manager app it is also possible to stream as a page. you can access the functionality by selecting:

  1. The page you wish to manage.
  2. Select post.
  3. Select live.
  4. Set geo targeting and age targeting.
  5. Click go live, which again initiates a three second countdown.

As with all videos once uploaded they feature in your timeline and can be found by others. Remember to remove any videos that are only of relevance for a short time or that have promotions or details that expire.

What And Why Would I Live Stream?

Live stream by nature suits to reaching your audience immediately. Here are a few ways to leverage the medium.

Local event – As a real estate professional, customers expect you to be on the pulse of the neighbourhood. Streaming the bustling activity of a local fare or fundraising activity could be a great way to get more folks down and participating. Turn the camera to the scenery around you and let them soak in the action. Of course remember to value their time. Switch off when the action’s over.

Thought leadership – As a business owner or leading real estate professional you could leverage the channel to highlight your expertise. When legislation changes, interest rates move or something significant happens in the market, live streaming could be a great way to bring your followers up to speed.
For Mortgage Brokers this could be a quick fire way to alert customers when a rate change might affect their options of fixed or floating rates.

Being of service to your customers or followers should always be your first thought when sharing – even on livestream. Think would I find this interesting or useful? Another way to portray thought leadership and be of service to your client could simply be to bring a friend/colleague/expert into the conversation. For example, if there was a current forest fire risk in your neighbourhood, then bring on a fireman to advise clients on protecting their property.

Team Updates – As a business owner, an unconventional way to keep your team up to date might be live streaming. For example if a team member has just hit a sales milestone, popping them on live as you congratulate them would be a great way to recognise their commitment and efforts amongst their peers.

Ask me anything or behind the scenes – Two final uses for live streaming could be answering questions from followers or providing a peek into your craft . As a real estate professional I would sue these sparingly and only when something unique or extraordinary is happening in your career. For example if it is unusual for you to have an open home at a celebrity home or the property is very unique. For more tips check out Facebook’s own ideas.

Content Marketing - Living in the shires magazine

Local Harcourts Magazine – Living in The Shires – Unites Community

Proud recipient of the Moreton electorate’s Australia Day Award 2016 –  Principal and Director David Gowdie of Harcourts Graceville was recognised for his services to the community as the creator of a local magazine called Living in The Shires.

This magazine is hand-delivered by his sales agents to 12,000 homes and businesses in an area covering six suburbs of Brisbane, Australia – Tennyson, Chelmer, Graceville, Sherwood, Corinda and Oxley.

This magazine is David’s brainchild. The primary motivation of was to have a magazine that specifically catered for his community. It is not a newspaper in the traditional journalistic style, but more of a storytelling vehicle – ‘creative non-fiction’, if you like. It tells stories about local businesses, community events, some of the area’s incredible residents, and its history.

A deliberately small back section of the magazine is devoted to Harcourts Graceville, a break from the content marketing and storytelling . Even though David includes some advertising for his Harcourts business in the magazine, this is kept to a minimum.David_Gowdie.jpg

Living in The Shires is a big investment for David. In terms of marketing opportunity costs, it is a ‘slow burn’, but increasingly the magazine is being associated with the Harcourts Graceville brand in a positive, feel-good, way. The beauty of this publication is that it has become the ‘glue’ for a community, engendering much pride in the area. And it gives the sales agents a fabulous entrée when engaging with local people – there is always something to talk about. The feedback to Harcourts Graceville is that the magazine gets read cover to cover, and its delivery is eagerly anticipated. It truly is a marketer’s dream.

The magazine has been so enthusiastically welcomed that print copies of back issues are now fast becoming collector’s items. The State Library of Queensland, at its request, now holds two print copies of each back issue. Electronic editions can be found on the dedicated Living in The Shires website, as well.

Susan Prior, a professional writer and editor, project manages the publication, which is printed on a quality recycled paper stock using environmentally friendly soy inks. David also uses professional graphic designers. Living in The Shires is rapidly becoming known for its very different and eye-catching cover art – a deliberate ploy to ensure it doesn’t get thrown in the bin.

David’s initiative with Living in The Shires reflects his oft-cited observation that ‘givers gain’. His staff and everyone associated with the publication are incredibly proud of it and David’s success.

For more on Living in The Shires visit the website or Facebook page

The Canadian Team

Harcourts Canada

Harcourts Canada is underway with the first office opening in North Vancouver on Vancouver’s famous North Shore. Hayden Duncan the Managing Director and CEO of Harcourts Canada give us a little insight into their journey so far.

Surrounded by stunning mountains and world-class mountain biking, and yet only a 10-minute ferry ride from Vancouver city’s CBD, it really is a great place to live!

Moving fast and recruiting faster

In reflection when looking back, we were optimistic in our original timing and budgets to set up both the franchise systems and a functioning real estate office in a new country, however the response from realtors and consumers here has been really encouraging, and it’s all coming together quickly now.

For example, the first careers and information evening attracted over 20 people, a mixture of current realtors as well as those looking to enter the real estate industry.  Two of the twenty have since joined the team and we have a second evening planned for the July 5th.

The thing you come to appreciate is what an enormous amount of resource there is in Harcourts when you have to adapt it all.  It is truly mind-blowing and something many of us take for granted, as it’s there and it works!

We are excited to have brought together a fantastic team with us, and already we are offering sales and property management services from day one.  With a team totalling nine and more due to make a move to us in the coming months, the future is looking great.

The local market – receptive of our technology and culture

The market is strong in the local area with the average home experienced over 30% capital gain in the last 12 months alone.  The days on market, on average, can be counted on one hand.

Many realtors currently working in the industry have not moved with or adopted new technology, so the technology platform of HarcourtsOne and our mobile applications set us apart here.

Our values, and our demonstration of those values, is the other major factor that has attracted people to Harcourts in Canada to date.

In the setting up of the brand in a new market, there are many decisions to make in relation to how we are going to do things, and the values have been without a doubt the compass by which we travel.

Auctions on the way

Auctions seem logical when you consider the heated market, and when looked at with a Harcourts set of eyes.

However, auctions are not a recognised process in Canada, so it is something that we are looking to introduce in the next three months with the assistance of Ben Brady and the Harcourts Auctions team. They have some great systems to streamline the auction process and to help introduce and educate sellers.

When Kyly and I decided to set up Harcourts in Canada we were looking for a challenge, I am delighted to report that we have got what we were hoping for!

Harcourts Foundation supporting local communities around the globe

Having recently cracked the milestone of $4 million in raised funds, the Harcourts Foundation continues to help local communities globally.

Here are just a few of the local organisations who have benefited from the foundation.

New Zealand

Halberg Disability Sports Foundation Junior Disability Games 2016

Nearly 120 athletes, aged eight to 21 competed over three days of sports competition and comradery at Halberg Disability Sport Foundation Junior Disability Games held at the Avantidrome at St Peter’s in Cambridge in April.

The Halberg Junior Disability Games, supported by the Harcourts Foundation, is unique to New Zealand and gives athletes the opportunity to compete at a national level, try new sports, meet other people from around the country and provides a pathway to pursue further sporting goals.

New playground for Snells Beach

Snells Beach Ratepayers and Residents Association are midway through the development of an exciting, challenging and fun playground for local children, as well as visitors to the area.

A donation from Harcourts Tandem Realty, through the Harcourts Foundation, will allow for stage two of construction to go ahead. Equipment will include a seesaw, climbing net, supernova, basketball court and protective surfaces.

Snells Beach playground Upgrades with Harcourts Foundation

Hearing dogs for the deaf

Hearing Dogs NZ is an organisation which trains dogs to provide valuable services to deaf and hearing-impaired people, much as guide dogs provide for blind people.

A donation by Harcourts Taranaki Property Services through the Harcourts Foundation will allow the charity to purchase new dog grooming equipment and plastic igloo kennels to keep the trainee dogs warm in winter.

Learning to swim in Lucknow

Thanks to a donation from Regent Realty through the Harcourts Foundation, Lucknow School in Havelock North can repair their existing pool fence to the required standard, and allow the construction of a shaded area for children.

Helping at-risk youth

The Combined Youth Service Trust aims to identify young people in the community who are at risk of offending and reach out to them before they do.

A donation by Harcourts Blue Fern Realty Limited through the Harcourts Foundation has enabled the continuation of the Koru programme, which teaches life skills and confidence to troubled under-13s. The grant has enabled an AA Defensive Driving Course to assist youth who have come to the attention of police.

Support for women in Rodney

The Women’s Centre in Rodney helps take care of women and their families with no support, on low incomes, or who are experiencing stress and trauma.

Thanks to a donation from Tandem Realty Limited through the Harcourts Foundation, the Women’s Centre will be able to complete a playground and garden area.

Warkworth Women's Centre

Supporting Alzheimers carers in Taranaki

A donation by Harcourts Taranaki Property Specialists through the Harcourts Foundation will allow Alzheimers Taranaki to purchase a further 10 Wandatrak beacons, which provide a means of finding dementia patients who get lost.

Replacement chairs for kindergarten

A donation by Harcourts Taranaki Property Specialists through the Harcourts Foundation will allow the Frankleigh Park Kindergarten to replace old, splintered wooden chairs with new, matching varieties so children can sit and eat together at a shared dining table.


Help for relocating families with sick children

Families from South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania whose children are diagnosed with heart conditions that require life-saving surgery have no choice but to relocate to Melbourne.

Relocation can be anywhere from a two-week period up to many months, placing incredible emotional and financial stress on these families.

HeartKids is a registered health charity dedicated to providing support to such families of children with heart disease, be it congenital (born with) or acquired, so that they can concentrate on the well-being of their children, knowing they are not alone.

Harcourts Foundation supported HeartKids in both South Australia and Victoria, paying for accommodation and meals for several relocated families, as well as sponsoring a program to better support families with sick children in Tasmania.

“No matter what the cause, The Harcourts Foundation provides support to hundreds of organisations, enriching the lives of thousands of people in our communities.”

TAD Tasmania

South Africa

Planting for the future of at risk youth

Starting in 2012, Boikanyo The Dion Herson Foundation (BDHF) upholds a vision to support and nurture as many indigent, and at risk youth and their caregivers as possible.

Working in impoverished communities in Mapetla, Protea and Chiawelo Soweto, BDHF has developed what was previously a rubbish dump on the premises of Sediba Thuto Primary School Mapetla – one of Gauteng’s four worst performing schools at that time – and transformed it into a vegetable garden.

The garden is run by the community, serving as both a source of nutritious food and a training venue teaching locals the finer points of market gardening.

Harcourts Delta in Mondeor, donated R26 990 to BDHF, which went toward buying wood chips, a tool shed and compost, which will greatly improve productivity.



Harcourts Foundation hits 4 million

Harcourts Foundation breaks the $4 million mark

The Harcourts Foundation continues to be a powerful influence for good, recently breaking the significant milestone of $4 million in raised funds since its launch in 2008.

On many occasions, whenever an auction hammer falls, a home buyer signs a contract, or an employee sacrifices to give, somewhere in the Harcourts organisation, another few dollars are raised. Bit-by-bit, millions have been raised and many lives continue to be positively affected.

Since the first donation eight years ago, over 700 grants have been made worldwide.

Managing Director of Harcourts, Mike Green, said that as a real estate group with a 127-year history, Harcourts is an established and recognised name within many communities across 10 nations. He said that the Foundation continues to be a key to Harcourts’ future.

“The Foundation is one of the key ways we express our values and connect with our communities, and it really is at the heart of our core values,” said Mike.

“A common thread in every city and town where we have Harcourts offices – whether in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or the USA – is that there are people and organisations with legitimate needs.

“We are grateful that we can contribute to our communities, and meet some of those needs, and give real, tangible, expression to our values.

“I get to hear many stories of how our grants make a difference. It’s inspiring when you learn of children being given opportunities otherwise unavailable, the underprivileged receiving a hand-up, or volunteer organisations buying new, vital equipment.”

Within the four countries in which the Harcourts Foundation operates, over 50% of the offices make a donation with each property sold, and Harcourts employees everywhere are rising to the challenge of raising more funds for their local communities through innovative and creative ways.

With the Foundation’s Board of Directors, coordinators, Accountants and Regional Ambassadors all donating their time and expertise, 100% of all funds raised continue to go directly to the charities where they are needed most.

Two of the major recipients of Harcourt Foundation grants are White Ribbon Australia and beyondblue.

The Foundation has granted nearly $187,000 to White Ribbon Australia. Most of the funds have been raised through the “Walk a Mile in their Shoes” fund-raiser, held across Australia.

Libby Davies, CEO of White Ribbon Australia, paid tribute to the Foundation’s fundraising enthusiasm.

“The ongoing support from Harcourts Foundation has helped to raise vital funds for White Ribbon’s Breaking the Silence Schools Program.

“This White Ribbon initiative educates young children about respectful relationships. By engaging with children at an early age we can create a positive change and combat the prevalence of violence against women”. Libby Davies CEO White Ribbon says.

“We are delighted by support from the Harcourts Foundation and hope together we can continue to raise awareness and create social change” said Davies.

CEO of beyondblue, Georgie Harman, said she is very grateful for the Harcourts Foundation donations, between 2012 and 2016, of just over $165,000 which is being used to support people with depression, anxiety and their families.

“We really appreciate the efforts made by individuals, and corporate and community groups to donate much-needed funds to help us provide services, information and support for people in need.

“Our Support Service, staffed by trained mental health professionals is available 24/7 to provide short-term, solutions-focused counselling for people in need by phoning 1300 22 4636 or online chat”

While large, national organisations such as White Ribbon Australia and beyondblue have received significant donations from the Foundation, most of the grants continue to be directed toward a wide range of local, community organisations that are quietly going about, doing their work.

You can read about these gratefully received donations on the Foundation website

As you read this article, Harcourts people and offices somewhere are raising more money or planning fundraising events, with $5 million firmly in their sites. Stay tuned for more good news from Harcourts Foundation.