social media: Milestone: Zillow Hits 10,000 Reviews Online - 01/25/11 12:04 AM
Zillow Agent Reviews and Endorsements.  The ultimate goal in adding this social media aspect to Zillow, was to aide consumers in the agent selection process based on past client endorsements and reviews. 
The system was launched in late December, and agents could ask their clients to review them through an invitation system built into the platform. 
Once we had a couple of thousand reviews, the review system launched publicly all over the site.  Now reviews can be found in places like ajacent to property search results or you can sort by them in the Directory.  This immediately tilted more contacts in the … (29 comments)

social media: Agent Ratings and Reviews Go Public on Zillow - 01/20/11 10:33 AM
This first step in launching this product was to build the functionality and allow agents to invite their past clients to reveiw them. 
Now that we have thousands of reviews in the system, it gets more interesting and the cream will really rise to the top.  Now we can surface agents who have high marks from their clients more prominently on the site.  This is a huge service to consumers who are trying to pick the best agents to work with in the real estate process.

Your Reviews Are Now Front 'n Center on Zillow
It was announced last week to the … (2 comments)

social media: Zillow Launches A Free Online Agent Endorsement System - 12/02/10 02:30 AM
Zillow Launches A Free Online Agent Endorsement System
Today, Zillow launched Zillow Ratings and Reviews - or basically an endorsement system on the site for real estate professionals.  It is a way for consumers to review real estate agents they've worked with in the past to assist other consumers in the agent selection process.  But want to know the other big winner here?  Great agents!  They are the ones that will flourish and rise to the top. 

How can I easily collect reviews from past clients?
Email individual clients and ask them to fill out a review form on Zillow.  … (133 comments)

social media: Check Out How Local Agents Are Showing Up On The First Page of Google Search Results! - 10/29/10 02:22 AM
I'll start by saying I'm no SEO expert, but I found this very interesting.  I've seen a lot of debates as to whether or not social media is worth the time and effort.  Well, this Google search result makes a strong case for why it is. 
We all know that the first page of the Google search results is the holy grail when it comes to driving traffic to your site.  Check out this search I did for "wicker park homes for sale".  In Chicago this is a very competitive search term.  Large brokers/websites dominant the first page - people who … (4 comments)

social media: When To Facebook and Tweet For Maximum Reach - 10/05/10 02:27 AM
I have often referred to one my favorite social media bloggers Dan Zarrella , and once again he published a fansinating study.  Dan approaches social media from a very analytical viewpoint, constantly measuring consumption. 
In his latest study he measured what time an article shared on Facebook is most likely to get viewed.  The answer: 9 am EST.  I would guess because that is when most people are getting into to work and they are sitting down and checking their Facebook account. 
More interesting studies on Facebook usage.
It's interesting to compare this to a similar study where he monitored when … (14 comments)

social media: Andrea Geller - Interview About Successful Online Marketing - 08/19/10 03:38 AM
Andrea Geller is an agent with Sudler Sotheby's in Chicago, IL who is constantly telling me how much business she is getting from her online marketing.  I think her success is twofold: 1) doing the right things onine and 2) appropiately working the leads she does receive. Social media is a big part of her success. 
I wanted to learn more about what she is doing, so I tracked her down and whipped out my flip cam and conducted this quick interview.  Here you go, enjoy!  And thanks Andrea!


social media: My New Favorite FREE Social Media Tool - Nutshell Mail - 07/30/10 04:19 AM
I am LOVING Nutshell Mail.  It makes keeping up with your Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter accounts a snap.  Simply go to www.nutshellmail.comand enter your information.  It takes about five minutes to customize.  Then, depending on the frequency you set, you'll receive an email with a round up of these services. 
And of course social media wouldn't be social if you weren't interacting.  On each of the updates, there is the opportunity to like, comment, share, retweet, reply, direct message and more. 
Here is an example of the email I get from Nutshell.  It was too long to include in its entiretity, so … (9 comments)

social media: The Importance Of "Liking" and "Sharing" on Facebook - 05/20/10 07:33 AM
This week Active Rain announced they added the "Like" button to blog posts.  While this is just plain cool, it is really significant as it allows others to easily talk about your posts on their Facebook walls.  That is a huge part of social media, to get OTHER people talking about your business. 
Along this theme, people often ask, "should I tweet and post" my listings?  That answer is debatable, but one thing's for sure, it is even more effective if OTHER people are tweeting and posting your listings.  Let me show you how you can now help this happen on Zillow.  … (45 comments)

social media: Want Friends and Followers? Quit Talking About Yourself! - 01/29/10 12:11 AM
I love reading Dan Zarrella's blog where he uses data from 60,000+ Twitter accounts to report on trends. 
Today's revelation: "Accounts that have more followers do not tend to talk about themselves much."
While interesting because it has data to support this claim, I couldn't help but think - doesn't that apply in the real world too?  How many people are attracted to those who opine on and on about themselves? 
Once again, another example about how 'in person' actions that give you desired outcomes are examples of how you should act in the social media world as well. 


social media: Interesting Information On How Google and Twitter Could Interact - 01/18/10 03:26 AM
Google Ranks Real-Time Tweets Based On Followers?
Over the last couple of months there have been many announcements that social media (ie Tweets) will start working their way into search results.  There haven't been a lot of details on how exactly this is going to happen, but if you were still looking for that one more reason to get on Twitter, this could be it. 
Last week Technology Review magazine interviewed Amit Singhal, who leads development of Google's real-time search, on the topic.  The article is titled, How Google Ranks Tweets.
Here are some interesting excerpts:
" the social context, the … (4 comments)

social media: This Is An Awesome Video About Social Media - 08/13/09 01:30 AM
Still trying to decision if you want to join a social network, get a smart phone, or start tweeting?  Check out this amazing video. 
Hat tip to @doverby where I found this link on his Facebook status.

social media: A Detailed Lay Out Of My Social Media Marketing Plan - 07/08/09 05:22 AM
I often say that social media can be overwhelming if you don't have a plan.  However, sometimes without specifics, this might not make sense.  So instead of blogging about the theory of planning, I am just going to lay out my personal plan.  This is just what works for me, I am sure others have very different strategies and I would be interested in hearing them. 
My goals:   1) Reach and educate real estate professionals about Zillow and internet advertising in general.   2) Keep in touch with my sphere of influence 3) Keep abreast of current real estate topics and 4) … (30 comments)

social media: How To Use Zillow Advice - The Video! - 03/26/09 01:43 AM
In an attempt to offer Zillow tips and tutorials in ways other than writing about them here on my blog, we just launched a video about Zillow Advice, our question and answer forum. 
In the upcoming weeks we'll be releasing a series of how-to videos on various Zillow related topics as we build out a Zillow training library.  Our hope is that the videos will give you a better understanding on how to use the various features and tools available on Zillow when connecting with the 8.5 million+ people who visit our site each month.
I'll keep this short and let … (9 comments)

social media: Manage Your LISTING'S Reputation with Google and Yahoo - 03/20/09 08:35 AM
We've all heard why it is important to create Google and Yahoo alerts for your name and company.  As social media continues to grow, the idea of reputation management is absolutely crucial. 
However, I just reading an article about an Agent's vacant REO listing ended up on Craigslist as a rental as part of a scam.  Not only is managing YOUR reputation important, but managing YOUR LISTING'S reputation is important as well. 
Not only should you be setting up Alerts for yourself, but you should be setting up Alerts for your property's address and Subdivision names as well. 
Not picking … (11 comments)

social media: NAR Welcomes New Manager Of Social Media - 02/25/09 03:26 AM
Todd Carpenter!  This was an incredibly smart position for NAR to get on the payroll and an even smarter hiring choice.  Not only is Todd very skilled in the area of social media, but he comes to the table with an incredible reputation and following.  This will definitely help jump start NAR's reputation in the blog world.
On many of the negative posts I have read about NAR, simply having a someone come in as a voice representing the organization could have diverted a lot of the negativity.  And now that this voice is Todd's, someone who has demonstrated a tremendous amount of … (35 comments)

social media: Marketing to Generation G: Those who value Generosity and hate Greed - 02/09/09 05:20 AM
If you want to read a great blog about how to be a better blogger, you should check out  I learned so much from this site and get it sent to my email daily. 
I thought today's post was particularly interesting and especially relevant to real estate agents and marketing.  How to Succeed Marketing to Generation "G"
This group is defined as:
GENERATION G captures the growing importance of ‘generosity' as a leading societal and business mindset. As consumers are disgusted with greed and its current dire consequences for the economy-and while that same upheaval has them longing more than … (7 comments)

social media: Marketing By Answering LOCAL Questions Thru Social Media on Zillow Advice - 02/06/09 02:57 AM
Zillow Advice launched a few months ago (a interactive place to ask and answer real estate questions) and already thousands of questions and answers have been posted. 
But who has time to sort through them all and search for the ones that apply to you?  Good question- that's why you can sign up to receive email alerts when there is a question posted in your local area.
1.  Go to Zillow and sign in.  Click on the Advice Tab and search for your topic of interest.  It could be a subject like short sales or an area like Chicago, IL or … (13 comments)

social media: My Favorite Speaker At Inman Connect - Gary Vaynerchuk - Social Media - 01/22/09 12:04 AM
My favorite speaker this year at Inman Connect was Gary Vaynerchuk, who runs  He was a strong believer in the power of social media. 
Giving away information:
A few months ago at a difference conference, the keynote speaker noticed that people were recording him in the front row.  He asked them to stop.  Why?  He was getting paid for to deliver this valuable content! Gary noticed the same thing at Inman, he encouraged it.  Why?  The people who were recording were probably going to post it on YouTube, which will probably get viewed by people who Gary wouldn't have … (4 comments)

social media: New Free Feature On Zillow Launches Today - Zillow Advice - 12/16/08 03:02 AM
We at Zillow are continuing to roll out free ways to get your listings, your brand and now your expertise in front of the home buying, selling and owning community. 
Your listings- About 18 months ago, Zillow started letting people post listings on the site.  Each posting can include up to 50 photos, virtual tour links, personal website links, and all your contact information - for free. 
Your personal brand- In October 2008 we added the Professional directory.  Anyone who registers on the site and creates a profile can be found in this directory, for free.  Your profile can be as detailed as you … (8 comments)

social media: Social Media Debate: Ok To Pay For Testimonials? - 12/01/08 01:55 AM
Ran into a social media topic that makes for an interesting debate.  Do you consider it a referral when someone gives you a testimonial, and should you financially compensate for this?
Background: I found the dentist I use today on Yelp.  I initially went to him because he had the most positive reviews on the site and because he was in my insurance plan.  My dentist is just okay.  I continue to go to him only because his location is so convenient for me and his office is nicely appointed. 
This weekend I received an email from the office saying that … (12 comments)

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Sara Bonert

Real Estate Internet Marketing

Atlanta, GA

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