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Share Your Best STUFF!

Real estate can be a tough, lonely business. Even top agents need a continuous flow of guidance, support and new ideas to keep going strong. When you share your best stuff with our community, everyone wins!

AND…remember, each month we hold a drawing to award one amazing FLIP video camcorder to an agent who submits an idea we use. So submit your best prospecting, marketing, horror story, or other real estate idea that makes you more successful, and you'll automatically become eligible to WIN a BRAND NEW FLIP video camcorder. Be sure to include an example if you have one! Click Here

How to Get Found First on the Internet

I Hear You Asking Yourself Already…

"What does this guy know about
marketing for a local business much
less the Real Estate business?"

It's a legitimate question and one with perhaps a surprising answer…

Yes, today, I'm an internet marketing guy with quite a few successful internet campaigns and projects under my belt.

The mega-million dollar revenue generating campaign for "The Secret" movie is the project for which I'm most well known, but I've actually consulted for well over 100 companies ranging from network marketing, to small entrepreneurial businesses, to celebrity names like Jack Canfield and Montel Williams.

But during my "pre-internet days" I was mostly involved in music and real estate:

1) MUSIC - My formal training is in music with over 7 years experience teaching at The University of Illinois and other educational institutions. My instrument? Classical guitar.

Today I'm a music lover of jazz, classical, contemporary and world music plus I'm a composer and soundtrack guy. My works are featured at Amazon, iTunes and elsewhere and I consider music a passionate hobby; it's certainly not a wealth generating program!

Enjoy some of my music is at: www.DanManDo.com

2) REAL ESTATE - After 7 years of trying to make a living as a music teacher I transitioned into real estate. Again, we're talking pre-internet days… yes, it's hard to believe, but waaaaay back then people would come out of their caves and trade rocks and dinosaur bones for a better spot up on the hill... I transitioned (after much research and study) into real estate.

Initially as an investor, picking up 2-flats, 4-flats, duplexes, condos and single family homes using creative financing techniques. It was during this time I learned a lot about finding, buying and selling real estate.

I also became a licensed Realtor, later moving on to train real estate agents both as president of a local real estate school and conducting seminars. Even though I learned a lot about being in a sales and service business and loved it, once the internet arrived, I was wooed away by my great love: Internet Marketing!

OPENING THE MARKETING LOCKBOX

So, enough about me, let's open the lockbox up on this internet stuff as it relates to YOUR business…

My goal is not to teach you what you already know. My focus instead, is on tapping some of the powers and assets of the internet to help you propel your business activities and results in ways you never thought possible.

In fact, I'm planning to focus in like a laser on LOCAL internet strategies because these are the strategies that will have the greatest impact on your local business.

I encourage you to hang with me over this entire multi-part series until I reveal all 10 Secret Strategies. Rest assured, I plan to share some VERY CUTTING EDGE STUFF (that your competition does not know - yet) but the good news is, you do NOT need to be a rocket scientist or a computer nerd to benefit… rather, you just need the know-how, a plan, and some action.

Also, here's another FACT… thousands of real estate professionals will read these 10 strategies; but most will do absolutely nothing -OR- they'll assume they need nothing more.

Beware: real estate is a very competitive environment online and you'll be required to pull out all the stops to get to the top. I'll be giving you the map, but it's YOU that must run the race.

A final note before we begin: some of these strategies could fill complete books or day-long training courses all by themselves and you may find that not every strategy applies or is of interest to you right away, but if even ONE strategy helps move you toward your goals or puts money in your pocket, then we'll both have something to smile about… agree?

STRATEGY #1

Be Mindful; Become Findable

Half the battle in finding customers, prospects or clients in your local area is making yourself "findable" online in the EXACT areas where your best prospects are looking.

Every day, thousands of people seek local services for their homes and businesses, or they seek help in finding or selling a property or home. Many are actually desperate (or at least eager) for your service.

These days, more people than you might imagine use the internet to seek their solution. According to 2007 data from The Kelsey Group recently released by AT&T, 4 out of 10 people looking for a local business or service use the internet. Did you think it might be higher?

Just wait, that was last year… in coming years it will continue to soar and even move strongly into local Mobile (phone) search. (We'll be covering this too!)

It's a fact that minute by minute, people are searching for someone to help them buy or sell a home straight away, or maybe they're searching for a rental, or for someone to clean their carpets, do landscaping, handyman work, a painter or some other preparation which precedes a real estate need; it really doesn't matter because the internet can deliver ANYTHING one might be looking for almost as fast as you can say GOOGLE (or YAHOO!)

The interesting thing about online searchers (heads-up, I'M REVEALING A SECRET), is that they often want to use the internet like a virtual backyard fence, where they can lean over it a bit and ask a friendly neighbor for recommendations or tips (something you cannot do in The Yellow Pages or from a newspaper ad).

Maybe these searchers want to do a little research first, find out what ordinary folks think about this service or that in their local area. Maybe they want to know what homes are selling for or how to "save on those darn Real Estate commissions."
What many fear most, however, is overspending, losing money, and/or getting lousy service… they don't want to MAKE A MISTAKE.

You've likely been in their shoes, think back… now think forward… BINGO, you have your SECRET STRATEGY #1. Believe it or not, this is perhaps THE most important secret I'll reveal. Master this elusive 2-part strategy and the other secrets I'll be sharing will flow like a charm…

A. To do well online, FIRST you need to THINK like a customer (your ideal customer).

Think what they would do, think where they might look, think what they most desire to know and who they most want to hear it from. Then PLANT YOURSELF (and your message) in those "FINDABLE" spots.

B. NEXT, don't think of the internet as an advertisement medium, rather think of it as a relationship building medium - plus a bit of a rumor mill if you like - SO… whenever possible, let OTHER people and other sites deliver your message and tell your story.

Remember, searchers are leaning over the fence hoping to hear from a neighbor (or one of your existing customers) as to whether you're any good or not (or to figure out what they should do).

While this FIRST SECRET might not seem like an internet strategy, it is. This MINDSET PART of your strategy is SO important, nothing else should be done, until you've thought this through thoroughly.

First understand the mindset of WHOM you want to find you, then think from THEIR perspective the type person, service, or answers THEY HOPE TO FIND.

Then think how you can leverage OTHERS (other sites/ other people/ other companies) to help deliver your message. Whether you're marketing a product, a service, a home or even playing the dating game, this step (or a close variation) is critical to your success.

EXAMPLE: If you're a real estate agent looking for buyers, morph yourself into THAT buyer type. If you are seeking home sellers, jump into the mind of the type of seller you hope will find you.

All you must do next is plant yourself (or your message) exactly where this ideal prospect is looking and answer these questions:

  1. What is the conversation going on in their mind that you may be welcomed to participate in?

  2. What is the event in their life that you may be a welcomed part of?

  3. What is the challenge or problem they have that you may help them solve?

Discover these answers, mix in a few more internet strategies which I'll reveal in my coming articles, and you'll soon be winning in the internet marketing game.

See you soon!

Publish Your Own Homes Magazine

If you've got several agents in your office to distribute the cost of creating your own Homes Magazine, it could be a huge winner for generating new clients, and a unique marketing advantage for getting listings.

Here's a perfect example of what Bob Frassetti does with his office:

"I got together with other agents in my office and we are now self publishing our own listings magazine. It is distributed at local stores. We get to place all our listings in it for one low price. We can now tell our sellers their property will be advertised in print continuously until it sells. All homes feature pictures and we emphasize going to our websites for more info.

See a sample of Bob's Magazine as a .pdf by clicking here.

Quick Tip…

“I market to everyone in my community with my same last name or people whose street is my last name. My mailers say, ‘We've got something in common.’ I have landed several appointments that have turned in to successful list/sale and buyer prospects just on this premise. One couple actually thought at first we were related. Once I met them and showed them why I was the best choice, it didn't even matter we weren't related.”

A Brilliant Example of Business Card Prospecting

"Self promotion can sometimes be difficult, particularly on a budget. I have been in business for a while, and have become known for excellent customer service, especially after the sale. Fortunate for me, a little tool I had originally designed for that purpose has actually become quite a good self-promotion tool as well.

The back of my business card is titled "Helpful Numbers". The list runs long ways on the card, and includes the utility companies in the area, cable, tax office, voters registration, parks & rec., IRS, and Chamber of Commerce. A total of twelve helpful numbers, all of which folks may need when moving locally.

The cards have been a big hit, and as I try to hand out at least a dozen NEW cards a day, I get a lot of calls I would not have gotten otherwise. They even work as great conversation starters or ice-breakers, as they actually give you a good reason to give someone your card.

I have even developed a spiel that allows me to give out extra cards and encourage the receiver to pass them along. When standing in line at a store, or finishing up a meal, or even at the end of an oil change, I simply hand my server a card and say 'thanks for your service, here's a pretty handy card that can be of service to you any time you move - or anytime really. If I can provide you or your friends and family with the great service you provided me with, please give me a call. By the way, most folks are carrying my card in their wallet upside down so they can use it better, so please take an extra for your fridge, and take one for a friend too, they will thank you!'

Works like a charm, and has brought many a client my way! Simple to do too - but don't forget to re-check your numbers each time you re-order your cards!"

Horror Story: Letters from Prison!

"This actually happened to me and an agent who worked for me at a previous company, and it is definitely a horror story.

I received a letter from a customer inquiring to land available down around the Chester area in Illinois. He wanted to know what land was available with worksheets and plat maps/aerial maps. He said that money was not a problem and could we please mail him these things.

I gave this to my agent and information was gathered up and was mailed back to this possible buyer at the P.O. box he listed. After a week, we received a letter back, except it wasn't from the customer, it was from the warden of the prison this buyer was in and he informed us that we were not to send anymore maps and such to this person as it gave lots of views of all the land surrounding the prison, which was one of the worst places in the nation at one time.

We were horrified at what had taken place. Of course it also caused a lot of laughter to think of it, but the worse part was still to come. The agent working for us was married to the county states attorney at that time and she had to go home and tell him what we had done. He didn't see the humor in any of it.

So be warned about inquiries from people who don't give you a true address and they use a P.O. box and also you might want to consider the area their inquiring about!

Who would have thought about a prisoner using this means as way to check out his surroundings.... I hate to think that he could have used these items to plan a getaway or something!!!"

Issue #1132