I hope you all have been doing good and hanging in there. The real estate market has been on a crazy ride for the past few years. You may be wondering where in the world I’ve been. Did I go dark? Did I give up on blogging and podcasting? The answer is no.
However, over the past year, my business has been changing rapidly as I shift away from lending work to non-lender work as my primary business. Frankly, much of my work has been time-consuming for many reasons, including trying to measure different markets in this interesting time.
Anyhow, I’ve missed blogging and I’m sorry for being gone so long. I’m working on getting my creative writing juices flowing again.
In the meantime, I had a chance to interview Anastasia Corjan, who is the Senior Marketing Manager at CubiCasa. I’m sure you’ve read my articles on how much I love using CubiCasa. You’ve no doubt heard it on my more recent podcasts as well. Anastasia Corjan reached out to me a little over a year and a half ago to invite me to be an Appraisal Ambassador for them. I had already been using and loving this software, so for me, this was a no-brainer!
Anyhow, I’ve been working with Anastasia since that time. She is a very cool person and knows her stuff when it comes to marketing. In the following interview, she shares with us a little about CubiCasa, her journey there, and some tips on how appraisers can attract more non-lender work. I hope you enjoy this interview!
- Congrats on your Senior Marketing Manager promotion! How did you start your work at CubiCasa and what was your career highlight?
Thank you, Jamie, I joined CubiCasa in 2018 as an intern when the app was not yet launched. I was diving into the PropTech industry and learning about the verticals and then in January 2019, the app was launched. Without much training, I have started marketing our newly launched floor plan app specifically on social media. Everything was exciting and there were no limits, that’s what I loved about my work the most – I was able to connect with US real estate photographers, and agents even though I was thousands of miles away in Finland and, to entice them to try our app.
The highlight of my career was seeing the early adopters giving a chance to our app, and how effective the community groups were in spreading the word about CubiCasa. Now our app is used in 172 countries, we have more than 1 million floor plans produced and our use cases range from real estate photographers, appraisers, agents, property managers, HVAC contractors, insurance and home inspectors, space planners, software developers & other professionals all around the world.
- Why did CubiCasa launch Digital GLA?
CubiCasa Digital GLA was launched by CubiCasa in 2021. CubiCasa launched Digital GLA (Gross Living Area) to provide a more efficient and accurate solution for measuring property square footage. By introducing Digital GLA, CubiCasa aimed to leverage advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence and computer vision, to streamline the measurement process.
Digital GLA offers real estate professionals, agents, and appraisers a reliable and standardized way to obtain precise property measurements. The technology enables quick and accurate floor plan calculations, which are crucial for various aspects of the real estate industry, including property valuations, marketing materials, and legal documentation.
By automating the GLA measurement process, CubiCasa empowers real estate professionals to save time and resources, ultimately enhancing their productivity and efficiency.
- How does the Digital GLA report differ from the free 2D floor plan?
Digital GLA report differs from the free 2D CubiCasa floor plan in terms of the specific service it provides for real estate professionals.
Digital GLA focuses specifically on measuring the Gross Living Area (GLA) of a property. This add-on is the most popular among appraisers.
All CubiCasa Digital GLA orders will receive the new GLA package download option. The package includes a highly detailed PNG floor plan file with a special GLA layout that highlights included and excluded areas and total area calculations by floor.
On the other hand, the free 2D CubiCasa floor plan offers a comprehensive and accurate representation of a property’s layout in a two-dimensional format. It includes detailed measurements of rooms, walls, and other structural elements, providing a clear visual understanding of the property’s layout. Additionally, you can customize the 2D floor plans with your brand logo, brand colors, label styles, and many more – at no extra charge. Real estate agents and photographers are utilizing our 2D floor plans the most, however, appraisers can benefit from offering this service for non-lender clients, since all the 2D floor plans include room dimensions and gross internal area for free. Some touch of marketing can make the property measurement a profitable service.
- Based on your property measurement service suggestion, how can appraisers attract more non-lender work?
Since I’m a marketing professional, my best advice will be related to the online space – as they proved effective for CubiCasa.
My best recommendation is community building on various online groups. The best channels are Facebook and LinkedIn. Many say that Facebook is dead, but they would be surprised to find out how many professionals use it as a way to connect to other industry peers, ask questions, or share feedback about services they purchased. You can join these groups and observe what are the most common topics, when there is a question popping up and you think you could share your expert opinion – don’t hesitate! You will be building your authority and credibility in this group on the matters that the community might be interested in using your services since you managed to build trust. Of course, considering that appraisals are location-based – make sure to join the groups that contain your city/state in the group title or description. However, larger groups with real estate agents/appraisers nationwide can also give you lots of visibility and perspectives. Who knows, they might be the ones referring you to potential customers, inviting you to a conference, or as a speaker on a podcast. Knowledge is power, spread it and see the results.
- I like your community-building suggestion, what if an appraiser doesn’t have any experience with social media, how should one start?
If you are new and never used Facebook, go ahead and create a Facebook profile and a Facebook page for your business. First, to familiarize yourself with the platform, you can use the profile at the beginning. I would recommend posting consistently, around 2-3 times per week about anything industry-related, your expertise, and success stories if you have them. If you don’t have any friends on Facebook since it’s a new profile – it would help if you added some connections who would engage with your content at the beginning (can be your friends, or industry peers), you can engage with their content as well by liking their posts and commenting.
Now most important are Facebook groups! Type in “real estate agents in (city/state)” and click join. Wait until you get approved and then start interacting on others’ posts, once you feel ready and would like to share your story – you can publish your first post on the group. From my observation, professionals are more active in groups than on the pages due to the sense of belonging and community.
For instance, if I was located in Atlanta and I would be interested in connecting with more real estate agents I would use the keywords on the Groups category search bar “real estate agents Atlanta”. Join as many and see the results!
The best part? It’s free and it’s a very targeted audience of interest.
- Any other marketing tips for appraisers?
How about influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing remains a valuable investment when approached strategically. Our experience shows that collaborating with influencers who view the partnership as a long-term relationship rather than a one-off opportunity yields the best results. For instance, during the launch of our free product, we carefully selected trusted content creators, specifically Youtubers with a strong audience alignment – in our case, real estate photographers. This targeted collaboration not only led to cost-effective signups but also established enduring brand connections. Remarkably, these influencers continued to mention our product in subsequent videos, even when not sponsored.
To ensure success, businesses should seek out thought leaders who aren’t solely present on influencer platforms. This approach fosters authenticity and increases the likelihood of continued organic mentions. Ultimately, the most effective “influencers” are individuals recognized as authoritative figures within their respective niches. These authentic voices are often found on platforms like YouTube and within specialized Facebook groups. In essence, authenticity-driven partnerships with true industry leaders deliver sustainable impact in the world of influencer marketing.
Anastasia, thank you for sharing your expertise with us here! It was also nice to get to know you a little better. You’ve been a great asset at CubiCasa, and I’ve been privileged to collaborate with you on helping others learn about how awesome CubiCasa is!
Well, folks, I hope you enjoyed this interview! I fully realize that CubiCasa is not for everyone. CubiCasa knows that. But I would encourage you to give it a try. Even if you just try their free floor plans. The basic floor plans are really free and still look fantastic!
Thank you so much for being here at the Cleveland Appraisal Blog! And thank you for your patience in waiting for more content. I need to put into practice some of the things Anastasia mentioned in the interview.
Since we’re talking CubiCasa this week, I leave you with a little video created with CubiCasa’s new 3D virtual tour. This home was scanned using CubiCasa and then the pink colors were added with their software to make the home look like a Barbie Dreamhouse. Pretty cool!
In the meantime, have a great rest of the week! And…
Have a great weekend!
If you enjoy listening to podcasts, check out mine. I hope you enjoy it! You can find me on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Google Play Music, Sound Cloud, Radio.com, RadioPublic, Deezer, Breaker, Stitcher, and other feeds.
You can also listen right here at Cleveland Appraisal Blog!
I am a member of the National Association of Appraisers. If you’re an appraiser, and you’re looking to join an appraisal organization, please check them out. The NAA is made up of fantastic appraisers from across the country who are working hard to keep their fellow appraisers up to date on what’s happening.
Here are some links to other articles I think you might also enjoy…
15 Reasons Your Home May Not Appraiser for the Expected Value: Tips for Homeowners – Birmingham Appraisal Blog
NAR Appraiser Survey July 2023 – APPRAISAL TODAY
A Correct Appraisal? – George Dell’s Analogue Blog
Pent-up demand & glowing new construction – Sacramento Appraisal Blog
USPAP and Adjustments – Tim Andersen, The Appraiser’s Advocate Podcast
For my readers in the CLE area… here are some articles related to news in our local area that you may enjoy…
Buying a Lake Erie Lighthouse in Cleveland – Lake Erie Living Magazine
Why Does Lake Erie Have So Many Shipwrecks? – Cleveland Magazine