Archive for October, 2008

Additional Revenue Sources for REALTOR Associations

October 28, 2008
Show me the money!

Show me the money!

Losing money?

Losing time?

Losing members?

I have spoken with several Executive Officers, Membership Directors, and Education Directors and almost every one of them have been facing considerable budgetary dilemmas.  Where to spend, where to cut, and where to drop items are not so easy decisions to make.  I did a little homework and here are some new, fresh, out of the box ideas that may work for your group.

Here are the ways:

Reseller accounts. Large service providers both vendors and education programs will offer your association money back when a member subscribes or enrolls in a new program.  Service providers include web hosting, test messaging, email marketing,

Amazon. Anyone can create an account at and start selling other companies products.  All you need is an internet connection, username, and password.  The association can set up an online profile and start offering real estate books, computers, hardware, furniture, and clothes through the website that Amazon creates for you.  You can begin marketing these products for sale by linking to the Amazon site, framing the Amazon site into your website, or embed HTML source code into your website to link specific products.  This now becomes a way to earn 5% income from any purchases made through the association Amazon profile.

Distant learning. Instead of relying on live training and seminars for the main source of generating non dues dollars offer a variety of courses that don’t require the classroom or staff time to get started.  There are three ways to accomplish this.  For asynchronous learning begin researching affiliate or 3rd party education providers that will send a referral fee for any classes taken online.  This is the best because you will receive a check in the mail periodically from sign ups and no maintenance is needed.  Webinars can be a good tool but the cost has hindered most associations from licensing the learning management.  Other 3rd party schools may send a referral fee based on the number of sign ups so you will have to ask them.  Sell CD/DVD tutorials in the live locations and give the author a percentage of profits based on the number sold within a given time frame.  Ask speakers, instructors, and schools for product to review and then make the decision to enter into a business relationship with them.

Donate icon on website.  Set up a free account at and create a donate button for your website that members can donate a set amount by credit card, automatic recurring electronic funds transfer, or the amount that they desire.  If you don’t ask then you don’t receive.

Advertising on everything.  Sell ads like the grocery store does.  On the bench outside you will see a sign for a company.  On the shopping cart you will see another ad for a different company.  And on the checkout most likely you will see a REALTOR advertising themselves.  At the REALTOR association sell ads for the coffee pot, restroom stalls, flyer bin, an the recycle bin.  Vendors and affiliates will do whatever it takes to get the extra brand exposure.  Come up with an average number on how many people will see this ad in a day, week, month, and charge on a biannual or annual basis.

Sponsorships.  The experienced staff or members may be good at getting sponsorships how always ask yourself how can make this experience better for the sponsors.  If you are using multiple media outlets such as website, blog, podcast, social media, videos, email marketing then why not ask the sponsors to take action.  The reason why the new web 2.0 methods work better than traditional advertising is because you can track all of the online behavior whereas traditional is less accurate.


Effective Email Marketing for Real Estate Professionals

October 27, 2008

Listen to Doug explain:
1. The difference between email marketing and effective email marketing
2. How to send personal emails using Microsoft Outlook and Word together
3. Email marketing software to track online behavior
4. How to upload lists
5. How to create hyperlinks

This session was recorded on live streaming web broadcast at http://www.DougDevitre.TV

Are You Transactional or Transformational?

October 26, 2008

Completed transactions are a sign that the task has been completed but did it make an impact in the peoples’ lives we are trying so hard to serve? Earning a paycheck means a client has found the services we provide worthy enough to deserve compensation and completing the due diligence to serve their interests whereas future paychecks result from servicing existing clients, going beyond what is necessary, marketing new information, and keeping in touch on a regular basis.  Every home owner moves approximately 5-7 years.  This means if a 30 year old couple lived to be 80 then they could move around 7-10 times.  If we took the median at 8 times multiplied by an estimated $3,000 per transaction it could mean up to $24,000 income if they didn’t move up in sales price.  Each person served and the potential referrals from these clients make every single one extremely important now and in years to come.

There seems to be a higher purpose than waiting for people to say

Are you transactional or transformational?

If you are transactional then…

  • No relationship is necessary
  • Get the job done as quick as possible
  • Don’t get to know the people
  • Lose potential referrals

If you are transformational then…

  • People remember your name, your face, and your company
  • People recommend you to their friends, family, and co-workers
  • You feel good about yourself and your job

The status between transactional and transformation exists in yourself.  You have to be willing to put the client’s needs above yourself.  You have to be willing to accept people who are indifferent to you, your company, and profession.  As the past president Calvin Coolidge says, “No person was ever  honored for what he received.  Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”  Give all that you can in as many ways as possible.  Share your expertise in a blog, email newsletter, social media, and in person.  You will can make your life and the life of others transformational only if you give and continue to give as much as you possibly can.

Ten Technology Tips for Real Estate Travel

October 24, 2008

Whether you are traveling to another city for real estate investing, speculation, booking speakers, attending conferences/workshops, or just to get away there are several technology tips that will save you money and time.

Save yourself time

Save yourself time

  1. This site offers the quickest compare for hotels, flights, and rental cars. It has several ways to search by your preferences. There are also links to search hotwire, priceline, expedia, travelocity, and in a new browser. The list view, matrix view, and chart view give alternative ways to see pricing and airline selection. The chart view shows the cheapest day to fly out if your schedule is flexible.
  2. If you have ever had a good idea and could never write it down, or you saw something that you wanted to take a picture of and be able to save it online EverNote is your solution. This website allows you to take pictures from your cell phone and email to yourself which will store the picture and store online for future retrieval. Examples of pictures would include a snapshot of a business card, picture of a house, picture of a marketing idea or a picture of happy customers. EverNote gives you your own email address that automatically uploads. Save this email address in your contact record in Outlook or own contact management software.
  3. Sometimes arranging all of your travel itineraries can be troublesome because you have multiple reservations for airlines, hotels, and rental cars. Many steps are needed to print each document, share itineraries with others, or locating the emails from each service provider. TripIt is the all in one solution that lets you email your flight, hotel, and rental car reservation all to TripIt which produces one itinerary for you. You can then access the schedule of events online and invite others to share your reservation confirmations. The mobile version is which allows you to access everything from your PDA telephone.
  4. Ship your luggage. Airlines are now charging up to $25 for every checked piece of luggage each way which will add $50 to your round trip ticket. Send your luggage by UPS or USPS instead using their ground delivery service to your hotel or point of destination. This could save you the trouble of carrying your bags and the difference between what the airlines charge and the mail carrier. Make sure that add the tracking and insurance if you have valuable items.
  5. Text notifications. Almost every airline now can send you a text message prior to the flight to give you the current status. The message will look like, “Flight #5050 to St. Louis International (STL) departing on time 1:45pm (CST). This could save you the trouble from taking an unnecessary trip to the airport if your flight was in fact delayed.
  6. Print your boarding pass. I love the airlines that let me print my boarding pass from my computer so I don’t have to wait in line. I am very impatient when it comes to waiting in unnecessary and try to avoid them at all costs. Do this and save yourself at least 15-30 minutes at the check in.
  7. Register for reward programs. If you spend money on any sort of travel register for their rewards programs. This includes air, hotel, and rental car. The payback from these services can be huge if you travel frequently and maximize the opportunity. If you take four trips a year for a few days at a time, the point can add up quickly. More importantly just by signing up allows you to receive free upgrades, newspapers, bigger cars, and exceptions to the rule.
  8. This website tracks more than 5,000 airplanes and 45,000 flights daily. This site caters to pilots, air traffic control, and business professional who want immediate information on what flights are on time, being cancelled, and airline safety.
  9. Google Maps. If you use your PDA telephone and have installed the Google Map program then you can never get lost. I can’t tell you how many times that I have typed in the address in my phone and showed the cab driver how to get to my final destination. It’s easy, Type in the address and type search.
  10. Text message to Google. Almost every phone has text messaging (SMS) today. Send a text message to 46645 and type in weather + zip code (weather 63141) and you will receive a text message back in minutes with the weather. Google SMS will let you search weather, sport scores, track stocks, flight statuses, and find local businesses i.e. restaurants, starbucks, and hotels.

Here is the perfect example. I want to take a trip to Orlando, Florida for the National Association of REALTORS convention from November 4-10th. I book my flight using to find the best rate. I then receive an email from from the airline and I forward to, I make the reservation (a non NAR registered) hotel and forward the itinerary to I rent a car to and forward that reservation too. Each reservation gives me an upgrade because I am a valued rewards member. Before I leave I go to the post office to ship some clothes that I don’t want to check in for my luggage. A few minutes before the flight departs I receive a text message from the airline that the flight is on time. Just to be sure I text message 46645 (Google without the E) and enter aa5050 and it tells me the flight status too. I don’t wait in line when I arrive at the airport because I printed out my boarding pass from the email confirmation I received. I don’t have to check any bags because I shipped them already. When I get to the airport I go straight to the taxi and give him the hotel address and ask him to take me there. If he/she does not know where that it is I open my Google Maps application on my phone and enter in the address. I show them the phone and they get me there. While I’m in the taxi I see a yard sign that has been ripped in half and I take a picture of the sign with my camera phone and then email to EverNote for future reference. I then get to my computer and make a marketing flyer that says, “We will survive this market. List with us.”

I hope to see you in Orlando, Florida for the National Association of REALTORS Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida. I will be speaking three times during closed sessions but willing to share those presentations with you. All you have to do is ask.


Am I Crazy for Being FREE, Cheap, and Easy?

October 21, 2008

When I was introduced to speak at the Hawaii Association of REALTORS State Convention in 2008, current State President Richie Richardson introduced me as the guy that is FREE, cheap, and easy.

“FREE” means there are some technologies that are out there that could severely eliminate budget items that do not cost a dime.  In fact, they will produce a higher net result that most traditional methods of communication, marketing, and advertising.

“Cheap” means that there are some technologies that require little investment.

“Easy” means that the technologies are easy to implement but it just takes a little bit of time to learn.

Let me be clear that I am not FREE nor am I cheap to hire.  I am definitely not easy as in being casual with my relationships.  I just want the ability to make a difference in peoples’ lives during these tough times.

I have had so many comments lately about me giving away all of my trade secrets to everyone purely on basis that one day people will see the value in bringing me in as a consultant, convention speaker, or workshop leader.  Please take a second to give me feedback.

RSS Simplified

October 20, 2008

Here is what was covered:
1. What is RSS
2. Being a reader vs. publisher of information
3. Send information by email
4. Send information to a RSS reader
5. RSS in blogs, podcasts, social media, google calendar.
6. Marketing your RSS feed

Every Monday morning at 8 a.m CST sharp.
FREE advice from real estate technology guru Doug Devitre

Conference Dial-in Number: (218) 339-4600
Participant Access Code: 205756#

Florida Association of REALTORS Education Directors Workshop

October 17, 2008

Video of YouTube Demonstration

Download Handout Here

Frequently Asked Questions Here

Survey Answers

Attendee Testimonials

6 Signs People Can Tell You Are a SPAMMER

October 16, 2008

In my classes and conventions I speak at I always ask how much email you receive is SPAM and the answers range from 60-80%. That is a significant number and many still turn to email as an effective form of email marketing. I am amused by those that take the SPAM approach. I feel like I should either do a reply all to let others know how bad the sender’s email was, tell the sender how to make the message more effective, or just unsubscribe from receiving future emails.

Open House Serving Lunch

Open House Serving Lunch

Here are the 6 signs you can tell you are a SPAMMER:

Buy lists. Do you buy lists, scrape lists from online resources, or hire someone to do the database scraping for you? Buying lists of emails and sending out the bulk is much cheaper than postage but can hurt your reputation on the email servers and as a marketer.

Send email with sender’s name in the To: Emails sent with the sender’s name in the To: immediately bring attention to recipients that all the names were inserting in the blind carbon copy section of the email. Although no one can see who else received the email it does bring suspicion to the person who reads the email.

Send email with all names in the To: This is probably the worst thing one can do. Why? Now everyone has access to all the names and email addresses who could pirate those email addresses and now SPAM everyone.

Email sent has no name in the To: This tactic implies that all the emails were inserted in the blind carbon copy.

Not personalized. Do the emails you send out have the recipients’ first names included in the body of the message. There is so sweeter sight than the sight of one’s own name. Personalize your email messages and increase your conversion rate.

No unsubscribed link. Failing to give people an opt out or unsubscribe from future emails is a violation of the 2003 Can SPAM Act by the FTC. Read more here Receiving an unwanted message over and over again could cause someone to really get ticked off and damage your reputation.

How to Send Out Videos by Email Marketing

October 15, 2008

What is the easiest and cheapest way to send out email videos in bulk/large quantities?

Send video by email over the web

Send video by email over the web


Videos can be sent two different ways. Email the link to the website that contains the video or email the video as an attachment. Because videos typically have a large file size it is recommended that you create a hyperlink to the website that contains the video. In order for a website to be able to play a video, it requires video hosting from the web site provider or from another 3rd party that allows you to embed the video into the website.

Website providers will typically host videos or outsource to another 3rd party to be able to post the video for future playback. This requires you to contact the website provider, email or upload the video to their secure server. If you choose to upload your files to a 3rd party they can give you the HTML source embed code that you can copy and paste into your website design editor. 3rd party video hosting companies may charge on a monthly basis plus the cost of bandwidth (the number of times the video is viewed). An example of a 3rd party video host is

More real estate professionals, broker, associations and instructors with a limited budget are using YouTube because it is FREE. With YouTube you can create your own association TV channel, upload videos to YouTube and create personalized video players for a category of videos to be displayed within your website for FREE.

Download this link  Create a YouTube Player for Website

Please share some other sites that you have found useful for sharing videos over the web or by email by leaving a comment below.

Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile to Make More Money

October 14, 2008

Do you heard about LinkedIn, have a profile but don’t know how to make money using this form of online social networking?

In this teleseminar we will discuss:

1. Create the perfect LinkedIn profile
2. Add people to your network
3. Receive recommendations
4. Use RSS to track your connections