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‘Social media is changing Nigeria’s real estate sector’

Unlike before, whereby the print and electronic media were the only channels toward reaching buyers in the real estate industry, the social media is Asides the fact that major firms now have presence on websites, the sites are further linked to various social media platforms which have transformed to aggregator for large market audience, especially the youth and the tech-savvy individuals.

Statistics show that over 60 per cent of those looking for homes now use the internet to search for properties against the age-long culture of first looking for an estate agent to perform that role.Experts say, YouTube has become the second-largest search engine in the world used to explore houses and communities when considering property destinations.In fact, many estate agents have remained active on social media to monitor clients’ interest in newly listed properties following clusters on channels across the web.Furthermore, real estate firms now partner specialised videography companies in interior, exterior and drone footage of staged homes, helping sellers engage potential buyers via video uploaded before they commit to a walk-through.Marketing professionals claim that video content has the best return on investment since 2015 even as 93per cent of marketers use video for online marketing, sales or communication.The power of the tools also resonates in showing detailed property listing information to a large group of people and at the same time engaging them simultaneously whereas, this could be impossible to execute in person.

For Instagram, its ability to receive instant feedback on property listing makes it a phenomenal tool and it’s considered as the fastest-growing social media platform, with over 500 million monthly users, according to experts.But how has Nigeria’s realtors been adapting the platform for the profession, an estate surveyor and Valuer, Mr.Rawlings Ehumadu explained the effect of social media has really taken root in the real estate industry. He said through the platforms, clients and prospect are reached very easily without spending so much like before, on advertising on major traditional media.According to him, social network comes very easily and has thus, become very easier to reach out to clients.He said the big social media platforms like, FaceBook, Instagram, LinkedIn WhatsApp and others have commercial packages through which we promote real estate products for as little as between $2, $5 and $10 that you can afford to push your product for you as far as you want.
“It will pull your products to America and wherever you want it to get to while you are sitting within the comfort of your office. I have used it a number of times and it actually paid up and so it’s quite exciting”.In my practice, I noticed that I don’t move around as much as I used to. Anytime am on the road, it’s for something very serious.Time wasting on travelling has become much reduced and so it helps us a lot generally”, he noted.On the trust people have on transactions via the social media, he observed that it depends on the background of the practitioners.It is left for the people to do their individual search on the personality advertising the product.He said, “I have sold property for people that I have not met before and I transferred money to them.For client to give you some level of trust, they must have done their due diligence on you and perhaps realise that even though they meet you on social media, you are still a professional practitioner”.If a client could further do a search on the person advertising, trust can’t be a problem especially if you have a website and belong to a credible professional organisation.

For business to thrive, he noted there must be trust because service is about trust”.Mr.Rawlings, who is also the principal partner of Rawlings Ehummandu and Company observed that the convenience of social media is remarkable having become a worldwide thing. Even though there are lots of junks on social media, he maintained that credible people still come on board.On his part, Richard Olodu, the principal partner, Richard Olodu and Company, said the platforms has been adapted by professional real estate practitioners to specifically showcase properties for people within the profession as well as contacts on the platforms who are friends and families who might have a client for advertised property.“Though the platform is close ended, the traditional media still remain open ended.People have trust in their friends and families. Any advert through such platform everybody knows where each person lives and much about themselves.

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A new membership program looks to alleviate pain points of emerging fashion designers

The internet has done many wonderful things for fashion, particularly smaller brands and independent designers. Small fashion brands that would …
Small fashion brands that would never have been able to get off the ground 10 years ago can now find modest but sustainable success through small online stores and a dedicated social media following.
But even with the lowered barrier to entry of the fashion market, challenges abound around things like paying for shipping and establishing an efficient back-end. Alleviating these problems for independent designers is the impetus behind a new program from Not Just A Label, an 11-year-old platform founder Stefan Siegel characterized as a bit like LinkedIn for fashion designers.
On Not Just A Label, customers can buy clothes directly from designers. Siegel said the company launched the careers of designers including Mary Katrantzou, Damir Doma and Rad Hourani.The majority of its designers are based in the U.S.and U.K. and customers come from all around the globe.NJAL+, the new initiative from the company, is a membership program meant to alleviate the challenges of being an independent fashion designer without the backing of a big brand or money from venture capital.E-commerce is tough, especially with new designers, said Siegel. The majority of the designers on our platform have their own online shop or they sell on Instagram.Last summer, we did a survey of our designers, and they told us what their challenges were: It was shipping was expensive, no access to trade shows. So I thought, Why dont we use the combined negotiating power and go to UPS and Apple, and show them that, altogether, our designers ship thousands of products?’Designers using the platform can pay a $49 monthly membership fee to join NJAL+ and, in exchange, NJAL negotiates on behalf of those designers collectively with UPS and other service providers to get them better deals on shipping, website hosting and more.
Not Just A Label has around 35,000 designers currently using its platform, around 70 percent of which are engaged in other e-commerce sites. The membership also grants access to amenities like discounted subscriptions to Womens Wear Daily, discounted classes at Parsons School of Design and discounted hotel rooms at Standard Hotels.Siegel compares the service to functioning somewhat like a union because those designers individually do not have a lot of negotiating power with UPS but together make up thousands of products being shipped every year. Shipping through UPS can cost more than $10 per one-pound shipment across the country. Not Just A Label has been promoting NJAL+ on its own social media channels and is also including educational tools for member designers to learn how to better market their own stores.“Independent designers are very creative, but they often don’t have the time, business savvy or technical skills to market and sell their products online,” said David Naumann, vp of marketing at BRP Consulting.
“Designers want to spend their time on what they do best: designing clothes. Designing and promoting a website that will get noticed by luxury shoppers is a daunting task.”The power this program puts in the hands of smaller brands and independent designers is consistent with a larger resistance that some small fashion brands have had to work with bigger partners. While retailers like Nordstrom have been working on snapping up small DTC brands, some of those brands have pulled back on retail partnerships in favor of direct sales.Siegel sees NJAL as part of a larger movement in fashion away from the dominance of a few giant companies to a large number of smaller ones.Ten years ago, most designers were using MySpace, Siegel said.They could not show at NYFW, they couldnt get noticed at all if they didnt know someone. But a lot of designers dont need to sell a million dollars worth of product.
They dream of selling one thing to one person and making a sustainable profit. I think the market has changed drastically and it’s much more democratic.
Its more open to this kind of model.As the barriers for entry into the fashion marketplace get lowered, independent designers and small brands have more opportunities to flourish.At the same time, those smaller entities still need resources and access in order to compete with larger brands that have bigger budgets.“E-commerce and online marketplaces have created a viable way for independent designers to create a business with very little investment, Naumann said.
Before e-commerce, independent designers needed to open a store or get another store to carry their designs. Both options had limited sales opportunities, and opening a store is very expensive.Entrepreneurs will continue to flourish, and online marketplaces and e-commerce platforms are making it easier for new independent designers to live their dream.”

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LinkedIn finally gets around to launching its own live video tool

Live video is coming to LinkedIn. The social networking service aimed primarily at professionals is launching LinkedIn Live this week for businesses and individuals to broadcast to one another, according to Tech Crunch.The social networking service aimed primarily at professionals is launching LinkedIn Live this week for businesses and individuals to broadcast to one another, according to Tech Crunch.Streams are expected to include events such as conferences and product announcements, as well as QAs from influences on the platform. Other real-time content could also include earnings calls, graduate events, and awards ceremonies.
The company said live-streams have been the most requested feature for the site. Viewers will be able to “like” videos during the stream, while interactive elements will include the ability to submit questions or offer ideas via a comments section, similar to other social media platforms that offer live-streams.The feature is launching in the U.S in beta as an invitation-only offering, giving LinkedIn a chance to iron out any creases before rolling it out to the entire community.If you dont receive an invitation but are keen to try out LinkedIn Live, the company will reportedly be posting a form on its site in the coming weeks so you can show your interest and hopefully move a few places up the line.
According to Tech Crunch, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is keen to include slickly produced live-streams as opposed to shoddily made productions that have no hope of keeping you engaged. With that goal in mind, its partnered with a number of live-stream services that’ll help creators produce something worth watching, or, at the very least, with decent production values.Compared to others, LinkedIn has been slow to embrace video on its platform, with its first serious efforts only landing in 2017. More recently, in October 2018, it teamed up with video-streaming site Vimeo in a partnership that marked Linked first end-to-end integration with any video platform.
. Besides offering an easy way for Vimeo users to push videos to LinkedIn, the feature also offers video analytics from LinkedIn so you can see how videos perform on the site in terms of views and engagement.“Video has become one of the key drivers for member engagement on LinkedIn, Peter Roybal, principal product manager at LinkedIn, said at the time, adding that the Vimeo integration was a bonus for anyone who wants to gain more exposure and understand their reach to LinkedIn’s highly-engaged professional audiences.

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