Archive for the ‘Questions of Thought’ Category

Global Warming Videos on YouTube

November 23, 2008

I looked for some global warming videos on YouTube and found some really good ones.  I recommend you visit http://www.YouTube.com and start typing words and phrases that match global warming and you will definitely find some controversial and eye opening videos.  Here just some of the ones I found that we cool.

New NAR Green Designation Released at the National Association of REALTOR Convention

November 10, 2008

I had the privilege to attend the brand new green designation of the National Association of REALTORS at the 2008 annual Convention in Orlando, Florida.  There was so much content it was like drinking water out of a fire hose.  There were so many things that I am going to implement because of the tips, strategies, and innovative methods to save energy. Not only is the course good for the environment but also will help my and my family save money during the winter months.

Let's get green

Let's get green!

There seems to be more people hopping on the green bandwagon and I was lucky enough to have first hand education on how to implement green as part of my lifestyle.

Check out some videos that I recorded from others that were in the class.

To learn more about the green designation and additional green resources check out. http://www.greenresourcecouncil.org/

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 http://www.Amazon.com 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 http://www.PayPal.com 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.

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.

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.

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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAN-SPAM_Act_of_2003. Receiving an unwanted message over and over again could cause someone to really get ticked off and damage your reputation.

The Changing Real Estate Market Trends and Forecasts:Missouri Association of REALTORS®

September 27, 2008

Take a quick peek at the presentation to the Legislative and Regulatory Policy Committee of the Missouri Association of REALTORS®, September 25, 2008 at the Lodge of Four Seasons by Jed Smith, Economist of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Please take a look at this PowerPoint presentation and share with others who may benefit.

Reasons Why LinkedIn Groups Don’t Work

September 23, 2008

Anyone can create a group on LinkedIn or another online social network and attach a logo, description but that is the easy part.  Adding members, encouraging discussions, and monitoring messages can be more work than originally perceived.

Why don't they work?

Why don't LinkedIn Groups work?

Here are the reasons why LinkedIn Groups Don’t Work:

Self promotion. Group administrators must supervise discussions so that members do not monopolize discussions by offering their services as the main message unless that is the goal of the group.  This is no different that people going to a live networking event and the first thing they say is BUY from me now.  Discussion messages should mainly focus on analyzing hot topics, concerns or industry trends.

No promotion. Creating a group is not enough.  Consistent marketing and communication to existing organizations is mandatory for members to join the online group and participate.  Group administrators should encourage their members orally, link in email signature, advertise on website, blog, and other online social networking profiles.

No discussion. If nobody posts discussion questions or messages then the group just becomes a database.  People that share similar interests and expertise can fine tune their knowledgebase by asking questions and receiving answers.  Most discussions involve opinions which is great to see another viewpoint.

No members. There is such thing as a one person group but it is hard to communicate with just yourself.

Avoiding the Herd Mentality – Be Proactive

September 15, 2008

I heard Saul Klein, one of my favorite technology speakers say, “real estate is a ME TOO business”.  He meant if one agent see someone doing something that looks good others will do the same thing no matter if directly produced a result.  When I heard that I thought of lemmings.  Will we go so far to follow people to our death because everyone else did the same exact thing?

Are you in the herd?

Are you in the herd?

Here are some things I thought about:

Why does every agent have their picture on their business card?

Why does every agent have yard signs that look exactly alike?

Why does every agent go on broker tour?

Why does every agent mail out postcards?

Why does every agent send out baseball calendar schedules?

I am not saying any one of these things are right or wrong.  How does a seller select a listing agent?  I would assume they would look at all of the things that the agent will do and make their decision on quality or price.  Quality meaning the services offered that make people say WOW!  Doing the same thing as the pack will make people say next.

Here are some things that will make us unique from the rest and avoid the herd mentality.

  1. Stop doing phone duty. I have done phone duty and their is nothing more de-activating than sitting waiting for a phone call for someone that may or may not want to work with me in the first place.  Instead use that time calling past clients, sphere of influence (SOI) and enhancing the relationships we already have.  People will work with those they know like and trust.  Phone duty can be a desperate gamble of time when our SOI is a sure thing.
  2. Stop holding open houses. Ever spent time, money, and energy to hold an open house and no one showed up?  I have and it is a sickening feeling to leave and then call the owner to give our best reasoning why no one showed up that day.  Maybe the weather?  Maybe the holiday?  Maybe is graduation weekend?  Since most houses are sold by other agents or showings away from the open house why are we misleading the sellers that this option will work.  Instead spend time calling our SOI if  we want to work with buyers.
  3. Stop advertising in the newspaper. Shelf life of newspapers are faster than a 2 hour movie.  Instead of taking the time to create the ad spend $10 to go see the latest action movie and save $200.  At least we were entertained by seeing the movie.
  4. Stop saying yes to every client. Some clients will make us work harder than warranted.  The 24/7 agent mentality will damage our relationships with our friends, family and anyone outside the business.  Unless we are getting paid like a brain surgeon, set rules for our clients to follow.  If they won’t follow our rules then find clients that will.  80% of the problems come from 20% of the clients.
  5. Stop spending money. Just because the money is in our budget or we see the next greatest toy or service put a hold on our purchases.  Most advertising is a waste anyways.  If we have done a good job with our clients then the word of mouth will spread faster than the flyer we sent out in the mail.
  6. Stop pretending you know everything. I know what I don’t know and that is fine with me.  There are plenty of other people to refer to when we do not have the answer.  There is nothing worse than giving an answer that maybe false.
  7. Stop showing every house. If a client asks us to see 40 houses on a weekend do we get started setting the appointments or do we dig deep to see why they have selected the ones they liked.  Ask qualifying questions like, “How does this house make you feel? or What make this house stand out amongh the rest?”  The more questions we ask in the beginning the more time we can save our clients and ourselves.
  8. Stop praying. Responsible people do pray but take responsiblity when the situation did not work out.  If a negotiation turned sour do we assume responsibility or blame the other agent?  If an inspection has huge problems could we have have known about some of these problems ahead of time.  Praying may help mentaly but things happen for a reason.  Take responsiblity and move on.

The best way to avoid the herd mentality is to take education classes outside  your local area.  Attend conferences, conventions, and seminars from successful agents who know what they are talking about.  Take designation classes such as GRI, ABR, CRS, PMN, CCIM, and CRB to learn from accredited schools and instructors.  Visit http://www.REALTOR.org to see the available courses you can take which will take you to the top in your market.

Brand Awareness vs. Brand Insistence

September 13, 2008

Are people aware that you are in the business or do people insist on your brand?  I heard this from Nido Quebin and thought to myself… wow, I have been missing this mark.

Marketing is so much about letting people know what you do and how you do it but it never did occur to me that just marketing did not make people insist on your brand.  The more I thought about this I finally figured it out.  The only way people will insist on your brand is if they have tried it before.  The brand was soooo good that you had to come back for more.

Do our past clients demand for more?

Do our clients rave about what we do?

Do your clients insist on your brand?

Do your clients insist on your brand?

If not, then we have a serious problem.  You see the only way we can grow a business is if more people know about what we do and have good things to say about the experience they had.

I think the only place that we can make mistakes is in practice, not in the field.  If we make mistakes in practice we can correct, redrill, and prevent from making the same mistake twice.  Clients will not let you make mistakes twice.  Clients will not let you forget the mistakes that you made.  Clients have so much to do with your future success it is crucial to understand that we must be 100% on target when we enter into the arena.

Insistence is the demand, requirement, or necessity of an individual.  Whatever it is that you are selling if people do not insist on what you sell or insist others to try it then action to say yes does not exist.

People are willing to pay a higher price for those things that they insist upon.

People are willing to make sacrifices for things that they insist upon.

People are willing to break the rules for things that they insist upon.

What is it that you have that people will be willing to do whatever it takes to get what you have?

Think about it and make a comment to this post.