Posts Tagged ‘money’

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.

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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. http://www.Kayak.com. 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 airfare.com 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. http://www.EverNote.com. 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. http://TripIt.com. 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 m.tripit.com 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. http://www.FlightAware.com. 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 http://www.Kayak.com to find the best rate. I then receive an email from from the airline and I forward to tripit.com, I make the reservation (a non NAR registered) hotel and forward the itinerary to tripit.com. 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.

Doug

111 Ways to Save Time and Money Using Google Docs

September 27, 2008

At the Missouri Association of REALTORS Business conference this month I had the priviledge to share all of the new ways you can use Google Docs for agents, brokers, REALTOR Associations, and instructors in 50 minutes.  How do you think I shared 111 in 50 minutes?  I explain the benefits, how to create the documents and then opened up the floor to see what documents they could create, edit, and share online.  I knew we couldn’t get all of them covered so I came up with my own 111 ways to share with the group when they were stuck.  Would you know that they had some similar ideas but had some gems that I want to share with you on the PowerPoint presentation listed below.

If you have some more ways please share them with everyone by making comments