Company enhances real estate marketing with high-definition videos and social media
In the dark days of house-hunting, only about 20 years ago, people would rely on real estate agents to photocopy or fax property listings, which usually offered short descriptions and a single photograph.
Residence: James Island
Education: Majored in music at UNC-Chapel Hill. Has a master’s in business administration from Emory University.
Business: Owner of Keen Eye Marketing. Also a singer/songwriter, whose latest album is “Exhale Through Your Feet.”
Background: Got into commercial real estate in 2003. Was a co-owner of the Music Farm in Charleston. Also co-owned the bar Bait & Tackle in West Ashley.
Learn more online: Dew’s business, at keeneye marketing.com; and Dew’s music, at yatesdew.com.
Today, the resources available for homebuyers are vast and growing.
Online in-depth listings, property tax and sale records, aerial and street-view photographs, and websites that estimate property values are all available to those looking to buy a home.
Yates Dew has built a company around consumers’ growing demand for online real estate information. His Keen Eye Marketing offers agents high-definition videos, social media campaigns and “for sale” signs that allow people with smartphones to scan a code that directs them to online information.
“I’ve been a commercial agent since 2003, and this company grew out of something that I saw a need for,” said Dew, 41, of James Island. “I just realized there was a better way to present the properties I was looking at.
“I have, over time, turned this into a full-time job,” he said, noting that the company has four employees.
Consumers have come to expect multiple photographs online when they look at properties, and video is the next step, as powerful computers and high-speed Internet connections have made it possible to stream high-definition video.
“A video is like watching a movie trailer,” Dew said. “We try to keep it to two or three minutes, and create an emotional connection.”
After producing a video to showcase a home, Keen Eye Marketing uses social media to drive viewers to the production, and ultimately to real estate agents’ websites,
“We want agents to understand the importance of social media and viral marketing,” he said. “This is the new way to sell real estate.”
“Every time we get a new video, we tweet about it, and put it on our Facebook page, LinkedIn and Google Plus,” Dew said.
The videos also are distributed to agents, but the next big thing for Keen Eye Marketing is using QR codes to direct home shoppers from yard signs to online information.
A QR code, it’s short for quick response, is a small black-and-white symbol, about one inch square, that can be read by smartphones and links to online resources such as websites and videos. Instead of typing in a website address, someone with a smartphone or tablet computer, with correct applications, can just point it at the code.
Dew said QR codes present a great opportunity in real estate marketing.
“Take, for example, a house on Sullivan’s Island,” he said. “You have a family visiting from Charlotte, and they’re thinking of relocating, and they drive by and see this sign with a QR code, and that gives them access to the house (information) and hopefully leads to them calling an agent.”
The potential home buyer doesn’t have to write down a phone number or look for sale fliers. Just point at the sign and the information is on his phone or tablet.
“It’s not a super-new technology, but we’re sort of waiting for clients to embrace it,” Dew said. “If they buy a branded video from us, we will put a sign in the yard with a QR code.”
The properties that Keen Eye Marketing produces videos for are often high-end homes, which tend to take longer to sell. Dew said the company also has filmed homes selling for under $200,000.
Prices for his company’s services start at $300.
Dew hasn’t always been in real estate, and he took an eclectic career path to get there after majoring in music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
First, he worked in computer software sales in Atlanta. Then, at age 27, he joined a group of friends who were looking for an investment, and in 1998 bought the Music Farm, a music club in downtown Charleston.
“I had actually played at the Music Farm,” said Dew, a singer-songwriter who records under his own name.
“It was a great time, a great business and we learned a lot about managing people and running a business,” he said.
Dew and his partners sold the Music Farm in 2001. He briefly left Charleston for business school, and he got his real estate license in 2003. While selling commercial real estate, he and a friend bought a West Ashley bar and music venue in 2005, called Bait & Tackle. It closed in 2007 and Dew still owns the building, which is home to The Tin Roof.
Dew made Keen Eye Marketing his full-time job about two years ago.
“I’ve been having a lot of fun with it,” he said. “We enjoy what we do.”
Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or Twitter @DSladeNews.