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Breakthrough Ideas for Greater Real Estate Success!
In this issue...
  • Beginner's Guide To Getting Clients With Twitter
  • Unusual Business Cards That Get Noticed
  • QuickTip: Tailgating For New Business
  • Pull Buyers Off The Couch With DEEP Discounts
  • Horror Story: A Rotten Ending To This Transaction

Beginner's Guide To Getting Clients With Twitter

In issue #1155, I shared with you how to get clients from the internet even without your own website.  And I gave you a list of places to post your information (eight to be exact!) that are certain to get visitors.

Today, I want to reveal the ultimate place online to connect with local prospects without needing your own site.  This ONE online destination is now the “center” of my online marketing universe.  And I'll show you how to quickly tap into this “non-stop party of prospects”...ready to spread the word about your services...

It's getting a lot of buzz, but few know how to truly make money from this site...

How To Leverage The Money-Making Potential of
TWITTER To Bring You Business

You may already have a Twitter account.  But there's a good chance you've missed one or more of the critical steps I'm about to explain on how to set up a Twitter profile to bring you clients.

If you don't have a Twitter account, well it's your lucky day, because this is your chance to jump in and start profiting within the next few minutes!  Let's get started...

STEP 1:  How To Sign-Up For Twitter In Under 5 Minutes

  • Go To http://twitter.com/  (click “Sign Up Now”)
  • COMPLETE BASIC INFORMATION (name, username password, email)

    SPECIAL INSIGHT: make your username “human/personal” NOT corporate or weird.  And even though you are allowed up to 15 characters for your username, make it as short as you possibly can (10 characters or less is optimal).  More on this in step 2...

  • DOCUMENT and SAVE your username / password.
  • SKIP the FRIENDS part for now...(select “Skip this step” at the bottom.
    You can return to SETTINGS later if you wish to do this).
  • SKIP the NEXT STEP (“Look who else is here...”  Don't do this unless you are a celebrity freak...it's not going to bring you business in your local market).
  • CONGRATULATIONS (your account is tweet ready - but needs tweaking).
  • Don't Tweet yet, it's time to set a few things up so that you don't look like a Twidiot!
  • Click SETTINGS at top of your profile.  (https://twitter.com/account/settings)...

STEP 2:  How To Set Up Your Account Like a “Twitter Twenius”

That's Twitter-speak for “Genius”!

You need to optimize FIVE areas of your profile on Twitter...

A. Real Name and User Name
Invest some forethought into your Twitter username.  I needs to be 15 characters or less; so make it short, memorable, relevant, personable, and easy to spell.  You will also be able to associate a 20 character (max) REAL NAME with your username.  If you are a local business or if you use an 800 hotline service, it may be possible to incorporate that phone number in the real name.  You could also categorize what you do as part of your real name.  This is a very visible part of the Twitter system...choose wisely.

EXAMPLE, I could use the following:

Real name = Dan H (800) 633-9638 -or- Dan (Web Strategy) -or- DanHollings.com

SPECIAL INSIGHT: Keep in mind that your REAL NAME is used in search results, thus it has SEO value (so think about your “keywords”).

User name = dhollings

SPECIAL INSIGHT:  Your USERNAME steals away character spaces when others want to “reTweet” you (re-post your Twitter message), thus a 10 character or less username is better, even though you are allowed a 15 characters max.

B. Location
Make sure you add your LOCATION, in other words, where on earth are you located? Unless you are intentionally hiding-out from the FBI or debt collectors, a Twitter location is highly recommended.  If you are using your account for a local business, adding a very specific location can be extremely beneficial.  People seek local connections...make it easy for them to find and follow you.

SPECIAL INSIGHT: You can also search and add people in your local area who are on Twitter by using the Advanced feature of Twitter Search.

C. “One Line Bio”
Definitely optimize your 160 character BIO which appears on the upper right of your Twitter profile page.  It does not have to be a typical bio, it can be an interesting message or statement if you prefer.  In most cases the goal of the bio line is to get the reader to think you are “follow worthy.”  Make it real, make it fun, make it interesting, make it YOU.  Literally make your bio in to Twitter “follow bait.”  If you are fishing for followers, the better the bait, the more followers you'll catch.

SPECIAL INSIGHT: Many savvy followers find the people they want to follow by searching Twitter BIOs.  With this in mind, it makes sense to pepper your Twitter BIO with keywords and keyword phrases that will attract the type followers you seek.  After all, it's not followers you seek, it is “targeted followers” that want to hear what you are tweeting.

D. Picture
Make your personal picture (icon) a good one - in fact, make it great!  Twitter is driven by personalities, so use a picture that expresses the “personality message” you want to get across.  Logo's, text, and images without humans or animals are often too business-like and restrain the driving social force that propels Twitter.

E. Background
Upload a really interesting BACKGROUND (Twitter wallpaper image) under the “Design” tab of your Twitter set-up admin area.  Here are 2 great places to look for backgrounds:

  • A quick search on Google Images for “Twitter Backgrounds”, “Twitter Wallpaper”, or “Twitter Templates” will likely help.
  • You can also check out TweetBacks for several great Twitter background templates that are easily customized.

STEP 3:  How To Create a “Twitter Convincer Page” To Get Followers
Do not think that just because Twitter asks for your web address in the settings account area with the silly question, “Have a homepage or a blog?”, that this means you must put in your current web site or blog URL?  In fact, in many cases that is NOT a good idea.

To get started you can link to your web site or blog.  But what's even better is to enter a URL to a dedicated page made specifically to greet, excite, or manifest interest from the people that will be investigating that link.  It's literally like a landing page (what I call a “Twitter Convincer Page”) and in should be designed to get people to follow you.

SPECIAL INSIGHT:  Your “Twitter Convincer Page” can be a simple blog post (where you create a post specifically for this purpose and link to that single blog post page), it can be a dedicated page on your web site, or it can be a profile page like a Google profile page.

STEP 4:  How To “Tweet” Interesting Topics To Get Listeners and Leads
What do you tweet about (post to Twitter)?  Ah, that's the magical part.  Now granted, what you post depends largely on your goals and purpose with Twitter, but in general this is easy... post:  interesting stuff, preferably related in some way to what you do, who you are, and what you (and your followers) are interested in.

SPECIAL INSIGHT:  It pays to be interesting to your followers, but it pays more to be interested in your followers.  Twitter is NOT a micro-advertising billboard.  However, you can let your followers know if you have a new listing or an upcoming seminar for first-time homebuyers...as long as it's interesting to the followers you attract.

Spend some time exploring other Twitter tweets and personalities.  Listen to the conversations.  Observe and take notes.   What do you like, what don't you like?  Try to ferment in your mind (and yes, a beer or glass of wine might actually help here) a “style” of Twittering that you like.  Maybe you find someone's style you can mimic or perhaps you create a “mash-up” style that's all you.

Congratulations!  Your Twitter account is set-up like a true Twitter “Twenius!”  Here's an example of what your profile might look like... http://twitter.com/MSeiders

Set up your Twitter account today to get involved in the social media “cocktail party” going on right now in your local area to maximize your exposure and grow your income.

See you soon!

[Ed. note:  To get more money-making Twitter Tips... Follow Dan on Twitter @dhollings.  The above article is adapted from Dan's “100 Twitter Tips” e-book.  To get access to all 100 tips along with:  1) A 90-Minute “Twenius Starter Teleseminar”, 2) A Live 60-minute “Twitter Q & A Session” and 3) A 90-Minute Intensive “Twitter For Real Estate Professionals ”Specific Training Session... click here.]

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Look Who's Now the Proud Owner of a
Brand New FLIP Video Camera!!

Flip video camera winner

Why is agent Marcia Holcomb smiling these days? Because she just won a brand new FLIP video camcorder! You can see her idea, “Get Your Buyers To Bring You More Business” in issue 1158. Congratulations Marcia!

Want to get your very own FLIP camera? It's easy. Just submit your very best marketing or success strategy (or QuickTip or Horror Story) by Clicking Here. Then, about every month we select the ideas we used in the last few issues and throw'em into a hat where the winner is selected randomly. The better your idea (examples help!), the more likely we'll use it, and the greater your chances of winning – just like Marcia here.

Unusual Business Cards That Get Noticed

What's the most under-utilized advertising space?  The BACK of your business card.  Here's an example of how an agent uses his business card in an unusual way to get noticed, help his clients, and bring in more business.

Here's Doug's description and example below:

Tent Business card sample

“I recently ordered new business cards but this time I chose the 'tent' style.  It's a folded card with a few unique features.  What I like about this style is how it stands out from all the other cards on the table.  Normal 'flat' cards simply lay on a table but the tent card STANDS right on the table.

When sellers come home...guess whose card is standing there for them to see?!?  Plus, it doubles the surface area to convey any message you might want.  Here's what I put on my 'tent' style card:

  • FRONT:  still has my contact information.
  • BACK:  talks about our Auction side of the business (yours could include a special market you service or a unique service you provide).
  • INSIDE:  I have room for an amortization/payment table, and still another area with lines for me to leave a 'thank you note' and date I showed the home, or a space for quick notes.  It works great!

Ask your current business card company if they can make these for you, or find a place online by doing a quick web search for 'tent style business card'.”

Here's what Doug's card looks like (click the image to enlarge)...

Tent Business Card Sample
click image to enlarge

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Could you use this cool Video Camcorder in Your Business?
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

QuickTip: Tailgating For New Business

“Everyone loves a party so instead of an open house I do a 'tailgate party.'  Now, I do a good deal of vacant land, farms, and ranch properties which usually means picking up farmers and ranchers in the area to bring them to the party (and they all know what a tailgate party is).  And most people around the country enjoy the fun and games of a tailgating!

We offer a horseshoe throw for prizes and we have drinks and snacks.  If the property is large I may also bring out a 'four wheeler'.  It is a good time for all and you really make friends in this atmosphere.  Trust me, they will remember you.  This party grows my sphere and helps me sell properties.”

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Pull Buyers Off The Couch With DEEP Discounts

“When I speak with a seller in today's market I make sure they understand this is a 'value-driven' marketplace—price is king!  Here's how I approach Sellers to help them attract buyers for their home:

My conversation centers around the Seller's buying habits for consumer goods...

First, I ask them point blank—'When you get the Sunday paper and look at the ads what gets you off the couch to go visit that store?  Is it a 10% off sale?  Is it 20, 30, how about 40% off?'

Second, when I see my client's agreeing with me about the deep discounts I tell them this is the pricing most buyers expect in our current marketplace.  We need to give the active, motivated buyer a reason to get off the couch and come look at your house!

Third, I then go into my price analysis to give further logical explanation on where they should price their home to get it sold.  And remind them that a small price reduction of 10 to 20% is only going to delay them selling their home—and moving on with their life!

No matter where you practice real estate today, you need to be offering a strong price proposition to any active Buyer to move your listings!”

Horror Story: A Rotten Ending To This Transaction

“My clients and I went for a 'final' walk through the morning of the closing and it was still full of furniture, rugs, dishes, etc.  Hindsight tells me the furniture and rugs were in certain places for a reason.  You'll know what I mean in a second...

This was an 'estate' home that had been for sale for a long time.  I asked my clients to push the closing another day or two until the selling agent could get the house cleaned out.  But they said it would be 'okay' and talked me into continuing the closing and they signed off on the 'final walk through'.

Well, a day later, when the furniture was removed from the house and I returned with my buyers, we found the floors where rugs and furniture had been were literally rotted out.  And the cabinets in the kitchens where the pots and pans had been were also rotted.  Talk about a disgusting mess.

Months later, we are still in the process of trying to get things cleaned up.  This was a nightmare.  I learned a very valuable lesson here and hope no one else has to go through it.  Sure...I've heard the warnings before from fellow agents, but I'm telling you from first-hand experience...please, please, please don't close on a house until the occupants are totally moved out.”

Issue #1159