Back in 2008, I told a crowd of REALTORS® in Chicago that if they went to church every Sunday and implemented a concerted effort to sell real estate, that they were probably going to go to hell. Of course, REALTORS® who participate in church (or really any sort of a community) often find themselves in a position where a fellow community member becomes a client. If you’ve done a good job of building relationships, it’s almost inevitable. Building your sphere of influence is a great strategy for long term success in real estate, so tactics like participating in church, or Facebook, or the toastmasters club are great options for generating plenty of new business. 2008 was the first year that agents started adopting social networks, and many had great success in building relationships. Continue reading
I’ll offer no argument to impute the genius of Seth Godin. But I make it a point to steer clear of his blog. Why? Because it seems like everyone I know in blogopolis reads it. What’s worse, they take his comments as gospel. Seth could be right of everything he says. But when everyone follows lockstep, then everyone does pretty much the same thing.
My other problem with reading Seth is that he’s just one guy. No offense, to him, but there are a tremendous number of professionals, in and out of the real estate industry that come up with ideas every bit as good (and better implemented).
There’s no word of god when it comes to marketing on the net. That’s why this blog features as much advice from my peers, as it does from me.
Take this recent post from Seth’s blog for example. I don’t subscribe, but many of the RE bloggers I respect must. Greg Swann, Dustin Luther, Mariana Wagner, Jeff Brown, and Joel Burslem all mention the post. Jeff even went so far as to call the post an endorsement of what he was talking about months ago.
I think you’re wrong Jeff. I think it’s an illustration of how no one human can be counted on to be the last word on anything. I don’t need Seth’s endorsement (months later) to know you were correct at the time. Oh, and the idea to blog about high school sports? I came up with that idea about a year ago (see comments). Someone else could have easily come up with it before me.
Seth’s advice in that post is sooo 2007. It’s good advice, but I’d hate to be the one who’s just now getting it because they paid too much attention to one guru, and not enough to the professionals around them who were already making this work.
To me, “Being Remarkable” can’t happen if you spend the bulk of your time taking advice from others, or giving too much weight to one superstar’s ideas. For me, blogging has always been about taking what works for me off line, and figuring out ways to harness that success more effectively on the web. Sure, it’s great to listen to others, but look to yourself as well. Original ideas have only one origin.
You needn’t look past MYBlogLog, or the comments left here to see who typically reads this blog. This is a pretty low traffic, highly specific site. I designed it to engage RE.net. My own Facebook in many ways. Because of this, I never really thought about making available a way to subscribe by email. I just assumed that anyone who wanted to track this blog would do so by RSS.
Maybe that’s a mistake, even for this crowd. It would definitely be a mistake for a local real estate blog. When I revamped Den-Mod last fall, I added the ability to subscribe by email. Today, 78% of my subscribers (about 100) do so by email. It’s as if RSS doesn’t even exist.
From the relationships I’ve built with my readers over the last few months, I would consider that crowd to exhibit a higher than average grasp of the web. Yet RSS is not on the radar for most of them. A typical real estate blog reader, drawn more by location, could be even less likely to understand the benefits of RSS. One thought might be to try to teach these folks about RSS. But it seems to me that it makes just as much sense to allow them to subscribe by email.
To accomplish this, I use Feedburner’s email system. It’s free, and offers the appropriate opt-in/opt-out controls. Even if you don’t use their services to broadcast your RSS feed, this is a great little tool to manage email subscriptions.
To get started, register with Feedburner (free). Burn your RSS feed. From the feed details menu, click on the Publicize tab, then click on Email Subscriptions. There’s more to it, but you’re all smart enough to figure it out from there.
A great quote from Ardell DellaLoggia…
“Blogging is the show. Not the commercial. If you make it into a commercial, then your readers will go get a sandwich, like they do when a commercial comes on TV”
I love the premise. People visit blogs for information, not a sales pitch. I totally agree. But at some point, RE bloggers would like to convert blog readers into clients, am I right? Sure, some will be so impressed that they will pick up the phone and call. If you’ve charmed them with your blog alone, they are practically in the bag as clients. That’s awesome, but have you thought about how many avid readers don’t make the call because you forgot to ask for the sale on your blog?
I think Ardell is wrong. Sort of. People get up and make a sandwich when a bad commercial comes on TV. What about the good commercials? I love good commercials.
This weekend, while watching a forgettable football game, I went into my office to check my email. As a typical, bad commercial ends, I here a smoking female artist wailing away. I thought it was the bumper music for the game. As I walk back into view of the TV, I see it’s a Apple iPod commercial featuring Mary J. Blige. Wow. Next commercial break I waited for it and saw the whole thing. WOW. I went to Apple’s web site and found the commercial online. For kicks, I checked out YouTube and found dozens of people who had already uploaded it. Apple enlisted a superstar to promote their products. Mary gets a viral marketing campaign that gives her more exposure in today’s web savvy market than any payola schemer ever imagined. Mary’s eighth album will be released on December 12th, with thousands of expected downloads that will come solely from this video.
The genius of Apple, Nike, or even Shell Oil is in creating a commercial so good, that it becomes the show. I think most RE bloggers miss that point. Your blog is the show, now make it a commercial. Ask for the sale. I think it’s misguided to for RE Agents to banish their listings away to their “regular” web site. Their regular website is probably the sort of commercial that people go get a sandwich to. They’ve poured your heart out to show what an expert they are on their blog, not their web site. A blog is the better place to ask for the sale. Maybe it’s just some text, or a widget that collects leads, or listings. I’m not saying to over do it. But you don’t earn a sale unless you ask for it.