As Seen On Instagram

A picture is worth a thousand words. Cliche, but words to live by for the real estate world. Home buyers and renters alike typically visit many places before deciding where to live. Much of the decision process is based on aesthetics: from cleanliness and style to color and the exterior architecture.

And the rate at which we take in these staged first impressions is becoming a much more rapid vortex, with the often fabricated descriptions an attempt to draw a larger audience. With the ever present millennials who all want a home but can’t afford them, it’s no wonder Instagram has gained popularity as a marketing platform, especially in the residential real estate sector.

An Instagram “like” translates into an important key to your information: valuable intelligence on your consumer base, real-time data on what content is popular, customer engagement, and, eventually, sales. On Instagram, followers are synonymous with brand loyalty, whereas “likes” represent content approval, and comments a snapshot of customer engagement.

Instagram’s features make it easy for businesses to be involved on what is considered a more casual and fun social networking app through accessible customer awareness and interaction. Hashtags, mentions, tags, locations and comments allow for efficient quantitative data on how to attract new individuals and gain a following.

Users can search hashtags, which pull up photos with captions including said hashtag. They then show up in lists according to “most recent” and “most liked”, allowing the user to quickly see what is timely and relevant for them. Just as easily, the company can search hashtags to find competitors. Mentions, tags, and location allow customers to gain a shoutout on your account, or vice versa. Clicking on a location immediately brings you to a page filled with other posts from the same location.

Gaining features on other accounts, direct messaging, and contests serve as other sources of communication. Niche or popular accounts create a valuable opportunity to showcase your brand or building, and through this usually free promotion, see other types of accounts and their success through past posts. Direct messaging boasts an easy method for current and potential customers to immediately get in contact, and contests can encourage followers to promote your company on their own account. With a low opportunity cost, winners can receive some small form of compensation, while the company has now received free PR and content to then use later.

Real estate is an extremely visual field that, by replicating the intimate feeling of a potential home through a screen, provides an economically beneficial marketing opportunity. Print ads have a shorter reach, even if it is an effective tactic, but it has a steep price. By turning online media into an essential form of promotion, a larger market can be accumulated, transforming “likes” into deals, and those carefully selected deals into lasting residencies.

 

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Can’t Catch ‘Em All

Copyright law can be tricky to follow, especially with large fan bases of popular entertainment companies. Nintendo recently had to address copyright infringement with it’s Pokemon franchise. A few fans of the game created their own spinoff game featuring new Pokemon they invented. But they also included already existing Pokemon. Due to its widespread popularity and free distribution, it quickly became an issue not just legally, but socially as well. Nintendo, in these situations, is very unlikely to receive monetary compensation from filing a lawsuit, but it serves to help control the fan made and widely spread games, and Pokemon’s branding. Typically, though, large companies perceive fanart to be a positive, and free, way to promote their product. In this case, it was on too large of a scale, with just too much similarity to be ignored.

To read a bit more about the case, click here. To learn about the evolution of the copyright law, and how Mickey Mouse affected it, click here.

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Making it Though the Co-op Process: Keep Those Contacts!

As we near the end of Courtney’s mini-blog series, she has one last tip for us to keep in mind during the co-op process:

6. Keep Those Contacts!

After you’re all done interviewing and you have a fabulous co-op to be excited about, don’t forget about the contacts that you made throughout the entire interview process.

Chances are, you interviewed for multiple positions and either turned offers down, weren’t offered every co-op you interviewed for, or didn’t hear back from a company soon enough. However, these different company representatives that you met with throughout the co-op search could become useful contacts for you at some point in the future, and you’ve all heard it before…networking is everything! 

A great idea is to take the pile of business cards that you collected throughout the process and type up the contact name, phone number, and email from each company onto a Word document so if you ever want to contact them in the future, you have a point of reference all in one place. Plus, then you don’t need to hang onto all of those business cards! You never know- you may want to try again for a co-op you didn’t get this time around. 

A note from Courtney:

I hope these tips have helped make the process of finding a co-op a whole lot less daunting and that you end up with an amazing co-op! My final piece of advice: stay involved with NUPRSSA- we’re all here to support each other and share our experiences.

– Courtney Byer, member


The NUPRSSA executive board would like to thank Courtney for sharing all of these extremely helpful tips with us this semester.  We know we all took a few notes from her; we hope that you did too!


Making it Through the Co-op Process: Positivity Goes a Long Way

Courtney’s back to share another tip on making it through the co-op process!

5. A Little Positivity Goes a Long Way

Since you only get 3 co-ops and you want to make each one count, it’s easy to become a stress-case in the search for the perfect co-op. Although being nervous about it shows that you care, it is crucial that you don’t let the co-op search get the best of you.

First of all, stay calm and know that the co-op process is more about timing than anything else. Unfortunately, not all companies call for interviews at the same time, and you may have to decide if you’re willing to turn down an offer in the hopes that you’ll get called for your top choice co-op. Yes, these choices are extremely stressful (trust me, I know!) but in the end, everything will work out and you just have to weigh your options. I think it’s best to have a few top co-op choices instead of just one, so if timing doesn’t work out or you have a rough interview, you can still be happy with the co-op that you end up choosing.

Keep in mind that not only is the company helping you by giving you a job but YOU are helping them by working for them. Be confident in what you have to offer them, even if you’re nervous, so that the interview goes well and you feel better overall. In our field, sometimes it’s your personality that gets you the job, not your qualifications! 

If the conversation during the interview is all personal, it’s up to you to show the employer that you’re serious about the job and get the conversation onto a professional level. A good interviewer can find any reason to talk about how their skills relate to the qualifications necessary for the job position. In the end, know that you will get a co-op, and timing will effect which one you end up with. You get to decide which co-ops you accept and don’t accept, so make sure that the decisions you make are what is best for you!

– Courtney Byer, member

Check back soon! Courtney has one more useful tip to share with us!


The Best Brands on Social Media

It’s very uncommon in today’s world to find a brand that isn’t on some sort of social media platform, whether that be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other website that helps a brand interact with its customers. It is, however, somewhat rare to find brands that do social media right.

Customers who engage with companies over social media spend 20% to 40% more money with them, so it’s essential for brands to have a killer social media strategy. A brand’s strategy should be customer-centered, conversational, unique, and influential. Here are a few brands that we think have awesome social media presences!

RedBull

Remember last fall when a man named Felix Baumgartner free fell from 23 miles above the surface of the Earth? If you do, then you’ve seen a great example of RedBull’s social media strategy. Since RedBull’s tagline is “gives you wings,” they stay true to that message by sponsoring many athletes in extreme sports. These videos of extreme athletes, like Felix’s, are constantly being liked and shared and talked about on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, making them some of RedBull’s most popular posts. RedBull’s branded content creates something that people want to watch and share but at the same time something that fits with the core values of the company’s brand, and this is their key to success.

Zappos

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Zappos.com’s social media strategy is all about putting their fans and customers first. They use engagement strategies such as the “Fan of the Week” contest, where fans send in photos with their Zappos boxes and everyone gets to vote on the best photo of the week. Their catchy saying is “Let’s be in a like-like relationship,” which shows that they value their customers and view their potential fans as equals.

Chipotle

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Chipotle’s goal is to change the way people think about their food. They make it a point to source ingredients from local farms that exhibit positive behaviors toward animals and the environment and their social media presence remains loyal to this philosophy. Additionally, they respond to 83% of Facebook posts and 90% of their tweets are responding to customers. Most importantly, though, is that they don’t only answer positive comments, but they try to help when something is wrong, too. Chipotle truly values conversation and getting to know and create loyal customers.

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– Christina Sirabella, member

Making it Through the Co-op Process: Interview? No Sweat!

Ready for another helpful tip from Courtney?  Here’s what she has to say on how to give an A+ interview:

4. Interview? No Sweat!

First of all, congratulate yourself on getting an interview! You now have the chance to prove why you are the best for this co-op position, even if it is only for fifteen or thirty minutes. When you get the call for your interview, make sure that you don’t schedule anything without looking at your calendar first. It’s amazing how many commitments come up that you would never remember without consulting your personal schedule! It’s also okay to let the call go to voicemail if you’re in an area that is not great for talking. In Boston, it’s hard to find a place that is quiet unless you are back in your room. Just make sure that your voicemail is professional and states your name and phone number so the employer knows they’ve contacted the right person…you! 

Another helpful tip is to create a company “cheat sheet” for the T-ride over to refresh your memory on the position right before the interview happens. Include important company info such as culture, CEO, etc. and key-qualifications for the co-op position such as necessary skills, why you fit the role, etc. You may have no trouble remembering this info on a normal day but when you’re nervous for an interview, having everything written out can be extremely helpful!

– Courtney Byer, member

Stay tuned for another tip from Courtney!