Archive for the ‘REALTOR Associations’ Category

This Blog Has Moved

December 2, 2008

Please visit the link below.

http://dougdevitredelivers.com/

http://dougdevitredelivers.com/

This new blog has more information than the one you are looking at right this moment.  You can find free technology tips, tricks, FREE stuff, see my available seminars, schedule me for your next event, and see the integration of social media in its purest form.

This blog replaces my previous website at http://www.ReTechTraining.com also.

See, notice, and feel the difference between hosting a blog at WordPress, or hosting on your own.

How to Recruit Young Leaders – Improve the Transparency of REALTOR Associations

November 25, 2008

I have heard frustrations that current leadership want young professionals to participate and join association leadership activities but have no idea how to get them involved.  It is interesting because Generation Y or the Millennials are community driven, fast acting, and innovative in perspective.  They ask … why do things have to be the way they are now, or why can’t we do this another way?  A young leader with guidance from mentors, practice in serving and patience with existing ideals can revolutionize an association.

Generational housing shares that we should keep in mind the preferred method of communication for all of our perspective clients.  If we were to target Gen Y and get them involved then we ought to learn how to communicate with them.  This involves new forms of communication using text messaging, blogs, podcasts, social networks, and online communities. More importantly, young professionals want to do their homework online, communicate online, and share online.  Young professionals are able to create binding relationships online that add value to one another.  Young professionals want to see the transparency in people, groups, and associations so that they can choose how to participate from a distance before they commit to an in person meeting.

We have all the tools to help our organizations communicate more efficiently, faster, and offer more member services while consuming less resources.

It is time to start rethinking the way that we market, communicate, and advertise our services to our members. The future of association lies in the leaders that we select and the new tools that guide membership to embrace innovative concepts and embrace transparency as a way of life.

Take a look at this presentation that I have created for how to implement transparency with young association leaders.

As leaders of your association you have the tools at your side (technology), the materials, (the leadership), and the energy to move your group to collaborate on new ideas, changes and laws that impact the private property rights of homeowners. It is a big ship and may not turn easy but with a little guidance, practice, and patience you can improve the transparency of your association and recruit young leaders into your association.

Please pass this along to your association leadership, board of directors, committee chairs, and young members to see how this plan can fit into your strategic action plan.

Comments are requested below.

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.

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

Sponsorship Ideas to Offset Education Expenses

October 7, 2008

If you see a class, a speaker to hire, or a event that you want to host but are having a tough time making the numbers make sense it from a budgetary standpoint it may be time to look for a sponsor. But, how many times have you asked the same sponsor for money again and again and delivered a minimal payoff at best. Sponsors want people to say yes to the product or service that they are representing and the more times they can put themselves in front of prospects, then the more chances they will benefit from participation. The trade-off exists when the sponsor can earn enough business from developing a relationship in a short period of time in lieu of handing money over to the organization.

Here are some brief thoughts on what sponsors look for and how to help them make the decision easier.

Sponsors want:

1. Floor time. Give sponsors up to 5 minutes to introduce themselves, their product or service and open up the floor for questions. It is also important that sponsors know how to use the 5 minutes wisely. The introduction of a sponsor MUST be sincere and the group will notice.

2. Future contact. Give the sponsor the database of individuals including name, phone, number, and email address. Make it clear to the audience that by attending the event for FREE then the sponsor may contact each individual over time.

3. Feedback. They want to know how many people attended, who they do business with, and how those people can be better served. This can be in the form of a written pre-program survey during the opening or electronic email survey.

Is it fair to give the sponsor the time, the ability to contact, and feedback from their presentation? I say rightly so. This will give them the ability to gauge their decisions and the more information they can receive the likelihood of them sponsoring again will better.

What to put in your sponsor packet:

1. Letter. Type out a short letter to the sponsor that defines the purpose of the event, the strength of the organization, how many members, average class size, past successes, etc. This can be a standardize letter that is sent out to numerous people for participation.

2. Testimonials from attendees. Ask your members to write letters that identify the results achieved by performing the actions listed during past events.

3. Testimonials from past sponsors. Ask past sponsors to write letters about how much they have benefitted from sponsoring the event or organization. The more of these the better.

The success of the sponsorship depends on how well of an overall impression was made on the group and how well the sponsor was able to follow up with the attendees. There is no one quick solution this answer. It involves an orchestrated set of activities from choosing the right venue, hiring the right speaker, and delivering value every single time.

View Sponsorship Letter Here

FREE Teleseminars by Doug Devitre

September 29, 2008

TECHNOLOGY TIPS FAST!

Every Monday morning at 8 a.m.
unless otherwise noted in schedule

FREE advice from real estate technology guru Doug Devitre

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


See schedule of future teleseminars

Give feedback from previous teleseminars

Transparency of Association Leadership

September 21, 2008

People will do business with you if they know you, like you, and TRUST you.

People will join, participate, and share their hearts, ideas and minds if they know you, like you, and TRUST you.

People will give all that they can if they…..

Where are the new leaders?

Where are the new leaders?

What is stopping new members from actively participating in the bureaucracy of leadership, in my opinion, is the lack of transparency of how the association makes decisions and communicates those decisions with their members.  Generation Y is a very giving, sharing, and community based demographic but are they not giving more??  I think it is because they are not involved in the process or cannot see what is happening behind the scenes.

Here are some ways to improve the transparency:

RSS.  Associations make decisions often and members need should be informed IMMEDIATELY.  This does not mean send out an email blast.  It means adding RSS feeds for status updates, calendar appointments, and changes in practice.  This can be done using a blogging or online social networking platform.

Google Docs.  Decisions, minutes, bylaws, and committees communicate regularly by email are working harder than they have to.  Committee members can be allowed to share and edit documents in real time and make decisions how they can be posted to the web for FREE.  In addition the revision history and RSS feed for documents can

Podcasting.  Set up a free teleconferencing service with www.FreeConferenceCall.com and interview a person of influence.  Take the MP3 recording and edit using http://audacity.sourceforge.net and upload the file to www.HipCast.com.  Total cost $10/month for unlimited plus $10/year for the domain name.

Social media.  I see more associations using this as a way of positioning themselves online.  How do you make it better?  Discuss hot topics that answer frequently asked questions.  Include RSS feeds from your blogs, podcasts, and status updates.  Set this up once and like Ron Popeil would say, “Set it and forget it”.

New and existing members will appreciate innovative ways of communicating with them.  The only cost is time and time is money.

Time saved:

Once a blog entry has been posted it releases to all of the online social media.  Total time 20 minutes.  No extra steps.

Once a Google document has been edited it releases to all those who have access to the feed.  Total time 0 minutes.  No extra steps.

Once the podcast date has been determined you have to record, edit, and release to the feed.  Total time 30 minutes.  No extra steps.

Once the social networking account has been set up and RSS feeds in place there is not much else to do.  Total time to set up RSS feed 5 minutes.  No extra steps.

Has your association staff been retrained to accommodate this new form of social media?

Young Real Estate Leaders Unite

September 6, 2008

This is your chance to give back in an open and collaborative environment.

Calling all up and coming real estate leaders!  This is not a MySpace page,  it is not a Facebook group,  this is a place where discussions will take place to help one another grow in a  private and collaborative environment.

Young Real Estate Leaders www.YREL.org

Young Real Estate Leaders http://www.YREL.org

This group is not for everyone. This group is ONLY for those who are dedicated towards serving their communities, REALTOR® associations, and companies by becoming centers of influence.

If you join and do not participate you will be removed from the group.  If you join and post obscene or hurtful comments you will be removed from the group.  If your messages become too political you will be removed from the group.  If your messages turn into self promotion you will be removed from the group.

We will be able to work faster, smarter, and share ideas that will help our REALTOR® associations with fresh ideas that can easily be implemented which will benefit membership and the private property rights of home owners.

Here are the ways to participate:

  1. Videos.  Post videos that demonstrate the benefits of being a REALTOR, educational talks, and anything that will benefit the search or sale of homes.  We encourage out of the box thinking and creative ways to define alternative ways of serving buyers and sellers of real estate.
  2. Photos.  Post pictures that actively display collaborative meetings, agents working hard, clients being served, and successes within the community.
  3. Forum.  Post discussion topics that everyone can benefit from and also answer questions that will benefit members.
  4. Chat.  Post anything that is on your mind that has relevance to the market, challenges of being a young real estate leader, or success stories from the day.
  5. Events.  Please list any events that other members will benefit from.  These include webinars, designation courses, and conventions that other members are able to attend.
  6. Notes.  Please list anything on your mind, great websites found, or invaluable tips that you want to share with others.  Please limit the notes to 100 words or less
  7. RSS.  Each member should subscribe to the latest activity history by email or in a RSS reader to keep up to date on what is happening in the young real estate leader community.

How do you get started?

Visit http://youngrealestateleaders.ning.com/ or http://www.yrel.org

You must sign up and join the group.  Anyone is allowed to join but they must meet strict requirements in order to stay in the group.

Ways to encourage others to join:

  1. Email your friends the exact same notice or the link http://youngrealestateleaders.ning.com/ or http://www.yrel.org and encourage them to join the group.
  2. Create a badge.  The badge identifies you as a member of the group and you can post your badge to your blog, Facebook profile, MySpace Profile, and/or website using HTML source code.

If you wish to participate in the administration of the Young Real Estate Leaders Group we will be looking for the following positions:

  1. President
  2. Chief Technical Officer
  3. Treasurer
  4. Secretary
  5. Membership

There will be plans to have a Board of Directors that will actively manage the direction of the group.  All meetings will be online or using teleconference as a last resort.  These meetings will be paperless and efficiently run in 20 minutes once a month.

Thank you again for your interest!
Doug Devitre
Young Real Estate Leader Network Administrator
Info@YREL.org
http://www.YREL.org

7 Ways for REALTOR Associations to Save Money and Time

August 5, 2008

Membership is down.  Budgets are tighter.  Members expect more.  Remain relevant as the source of current information at a fraction of the cost.  In most cases FREE.  I am serious, FREE.  Association staff may need to be retrained on innovative marketing methods, integrated systems, and powerful tools to market their services to their members.

It just slowly slips away

It just slowly slips away

Here are my 7 ways to do it:

RSS. Email is becoming less relevant due to the number of SPAM messages that people receive on an hourly basis.  Give your members the ability to receive the information that they want to know about in a way that they want to receive it.  RSS is a way for people to subscribe to knowledge either by receiving emails or using a RSS reader.  Google and Yahoo both have a RSS reader.  New content that is typed and distributed using RSS will appear automatically on the homepages of these sites when you log in.  Subscribe to new education  classes. Subscribe to new policy changes.  Subscribe to new municipal ordinance changes.  Subscribe to association events.  It all happens automically for FREE.  Go to http://www.Feedburner.com to promote your content that your members will be willing to receive instead of jamming their email inboxes.

Google Docs. Create budgets, marketing materials, presentations, statistics and agendas for FREE using Google Docs.  Each file publishes a new website that can be visible to everyone or selected parties.  Invite other members, staff, or leadership to collaborate on editing these documents to ensure accuracy and how the information will be distributed.  Each document is provided with its own unique hyperlink that can be used in email marketing, blogs, and own website.

Google Calendar. Promote all of your events on Google Calendar for FREE.  These events include where, when, and a detailed description of what is happening.  Invite others by sending an email that includes event info and a direct link to save directly to their Microsoft Outlook calendar.  This saves both association staff time with registration of events, entering data on multiple sites and attendees time and mistakes saving the information to their calendar.0

Blog. Frequently asked questions take up too much time on the phone.  If they were answered on a blog, members would know where to go to receive this data.  Anytime a FAQ (frequently asked question) is asked, then staff should post the answer to the blog which creates a unique web page.  Next, email the web page to the student in the form of a hyperlink.  If the same question is asked by another member then forward the web page the same way.

Online newsletters. Most members check their email on a daily basis.  Set up a schedule of twice a month or once a month that is loaded full of web links, not descriptions, to inform members of new changes, events, and activities for the association.  http://www.iContact.com and http://www.ConstantContact.com are two great email marketing type software to choose from.

TV Channel. Live events can be shared with the members for FREE.  Buy a Flip Video camera http://www.FlipVideo.com and record live classes, events, testimonials, and association activities and post them to http://www.YouTube.com.  Create a detailed YouTube profile, custom YouTube players, favorite videos and allow your members to subscribe to receiving the latest videos produced by email or RSS.

Podcasting. Pick the best talkers in your bunch to go live with your own REALTOR Association podcast for FREE.  Hot topics, local market statistics, and new changes can be address by the Association Executive or current President.  Also, record members’ experiences as being a REALTOR, expertise in a certain area, or award winners.  Interview local politicians, utility companies, and service providers to give their expertise that has value to all the membership.

There are more to be discussed soon…

Technology Problems for REALTOR Associations

August 4, 2008

My limited experience in working with associations has provoked me to ask staff some of the problems they face with technology.

What should I do next?

What should I do next?

Here are the top ten…

  1. The time that it takes to find important attachment someone sent them two weeks ago.
  2. Members want to help create documents and can only share them by emailing to everyone.
  3. The amount of paper that is wasted by printed documents that need to be changed in the future.
  4. Members miss new events to the because the email servers are not working correctly.
  5. The time that it takes to open up multiple programs to produce one and share one document.
  6. The number of emails addresses of members that do not work.
  7. Controlling who can make see online documents and who can edit documents
  8. Everyone haves a different version of Microsoft Office.
  9. Keeping information current that all members have access to on a regular basis.
  10. Entering information on multiple emails and websites.

Solution…

Google Docs