Goals and Project Context
After a significant amount of research and consideration, I have finally decided what I am going to do for my final project. Having an interest in real estate, and the skills necessary to become a successful agent, I have decided to do my project on effective residential real estate marketing. After one becomes a real estate agent, there is pressure on the agent to get exposure, build clientele and maintain that clientele. Thus, many of the new and inexperienced agents go online to research marketing methods which could lead to their potential success. However, after conducting a significant amount of research on the topic online, I failed to come across a website that credited and referenced reliable academic sources. In addition, I discovered that a vast array of websites (including these three websites 1,2,3) overwhelmed their readers with advertisements and/or seemed as if they were attempting to pressure their readers into a paid marketing subscription services. Furthermore, these websites generally appeared to contain limited information and failed to provide the reader with a complete understanding of what effective residential real estate marketing entails.
Therefore, after consulting these websites and academic sources on my topic, my goal for the final project was clear. What I intend on doing is creating a website that explains the aspects of effective residential real estate marketing. Some of these aspects include the strategy, selling, negotiation, ethics and web tools involved. Unlike many other websites that I examined, my website will aim to reference reliable academic sources (including various books, articles and studies), have a clear layout of the website, cover multiple aspects of residential real estate marketing, and provide free tutorials (which I intend on creating) of relevant real estate marketing software. Therefore, the main goals of the project are oriented towards research, education and engagement.
Owing to the fact I have limited background knowledge on real estate marketing, other than the research I conducted this semester; this project requires me to complete a substantial amount of research. In addition, this project will aim to act as an educational tool for real estate agents attempting to discover more about successful marketing in the field. Finally, this project will attempt to engage lay and academic audiences on the topic.
Due to the fact that the majority of my project will require me to consult relevant academic sources on real estate marketing, and consequently develop the content in my website (using proper citation methods), I will ultimately be repurposing data. I am currently in the process of deciding how to effectively organize the content of my website. However, I have decided that at least one section will explain how real estate agents can utilize certain digital tools (which I will mention in the next section) to enhance their marketing skills. In this section, I aim to create video tutorials which explain how real estate agents and regular people can manipulate and utilize a few of the digital tools I mention. Thus, for this section of my project I will be creating new, educational data.
A significant amount of digital tools will be utilized to create my project. For instance, I plan on using either Wix or Weebly to create my website. This is due to the fact that they both have a reputation of being user-friendly and providing their users with organized web design templates. Being new to website creation, I strongly require these two traits be present in a website creation tool. Although I did consider using a blog at first, I felt as if the information would be more clearly laid out by using a website. From my personal experience, I find it significantly easier to navigate between sections on a website rather than between blog posts on a blog. In addition, although we acquired basic coding skills this semester, I anticipate that using HTML to create my website would most likely be a time consuming and frustrating experience.
Two digital tools which are extremely helpful in real estate marketing are Geowarehouse and Real Tour Vision. Geowarehouse is a website which utilizes Google Maps technology to highlight different levels of property division on Google Maps (including municipalities, neighbourhoods etc). In addition, Geowarehouse allows the user to focus on specific homes and retrieve a significant amount of information relating to a specific property and the area surrounding it. This information includes the property details (perimeter and area measurements of the property), neighbourhood sales information (the average sales price of a house in a specific area), and demographical information (including population, household, socio-economic and cultural information).
Furthermore, RealTourVision is a virtual tour creator which compiles a series of photos of a house, determines the location of the house on Google Earth, and assembles the photos in an elegant slideshow to market a house effectively. In addition, after becoming comfortable with both of these digital tools, I hope to teach my websites’ users how to adequately utilize the software by creating an instructional video. To create these instructional videos, I intend on manipulating Microsoft Encoder 4 (which essentially video tapes one’s desktop screen) and Windows Live Movie Maker.
New Skill Development
After completing this capstone project, I believe that I will have developed many new skills and improved some of my existing skills. For instance, being almost entirely new to the discipline of real estate marketing, I have had to enhance my research skills to locate a significant amount of reliable academic sources on the subject. A great difficulty I encountered was locating relevant studies relating to real estate marketing. However, by using the advanced search on Primo, I was able to obtain a variety of relevant studies conducted about real estate marketing.
Also, having limited experience in creating websites, I am confident that completing this project will provide me with new digital skills that will strengthen my capabilities online. In addition, this project has influenced me to explore numerous digital tools. For instance, before this semester I did not have any knowledge about Geowarehouse. Presently, I am able to navigate through different municipalities in Ontario and can retrieve interesting information about properties including the demographical statistics of a specific area. Also, this project has inspired me to learn about Real Tour Vision. Currently I cannot effectively manipulate its software, however, by my presentation date in late March; I plan on providing the viewers of my website with an instructional video on how to use this application. Thus, creating video tutorials is another skill I intend on further developing. As mentioned earlier, this heavily relies on my knowledge of Microsoft Encoder 4 and Windows Live Movie Maker. If I am able to successfully learn how to manipulate these applications, I will develop skills on live desktop screen recording and movie editing.
Although this project intends to act as a legitimate educational tool for real estate agents, if it is executed properly, it has the potential to influence both lay and academic audiences to become engaged in real estate marketing and perhaps use some of the digital tools presented. In addition, due to the fact that my project will greatly deal with business ethics, I hope that I will influence my website’s audience to develop a greater understanding of what clients look for in the people who represent them. Thus, regardless of one’s educational background, I hope that my project will inspire people to become aware of the skills needed to be successful in any occupation involving professionalism in business.