Wecome to Real Estate 2.0

After my last speaking engagement, several people asked for a good article to read about Real Estate 2.0 future…. I was going to write one, but our Realtor magazine has done a fine job…… If some of the links don’t work, just clink on Realtor Magazine and it should take you directly to the article…. This should be a must read to understand how technology and real estate intersect…. Have fun….Terry
This article was published on: 03/01/2008

Welcome to Real Estate 2.0

There’s a new Web world out there. Here’s how to build business with a variety of social networking tools.

BY JOHN N. FRANK

When Teresa Boardman left a major Minneapolis-area real estate brokerage in 2005, she saw traffic to her Web site plunge. Most of her Web visitors had found her through the brokerage site, she soon realized.

Looking for a way to increase her online visibility, Boardman turned to a tactic then still relatively unknown to real estate professionals. She started her own blog, a Web-based daily chat with her customers, potential customers, and anyone else interested in hearing about real estate in her St. Paul, Minn., market area. “At the time, I couldn’t find any examples to follow,” she recalls.

Today, Boardman is setting the example. Her StPaulRealEstateBlog.com site pops up first on a list of Google finds when you search for “St. Paul real estate.” She’s getting between 3,000 and 5,000 visitors a week to her blog, and that’s translated into new business.

Ann Marie Clements, with the RE/MAX Realty Group, in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Gaithersburg, Md., has found another avenue for Web-based lead generation. She posted a profile of herself on Facebook, a social networking site. The site was founded in 2004 as a way for college students to connect, but in the past year, Facebook has been reaching out to business people. Within three weeks of her Facebook page’s debut, Clements got a client referral from another Re/Max professional who found her there.

Welcome to the latest incarnation of the Internet. The professionals who simply created Web sites for online exposure are giving way to the next generation of Web users. The tech world has dubbed tools like blogs and social network sites like Facebook as Web 2.0, enabling Web users to connect with one another rather than view content passively.

These tools offer real estate practitioners a new way to market themselves — turning Web 2.0 into Real Estate 2.0. “Real Estate 2.0 really means a conversation with the client or the prospective client,” says Brian Boero, cofounder of 1000Watt Consulting, an Oakland, Calif., real estate technology consultant. “That sits in opposition to Real Estate 1.0, which was really about one-way communication from the real estate professional or brokerage company about their services, their expertise, their brand.”

Major Real Estate 2.0 tools are:

* Blogs: Quickly becoming the most widely used symbol of Real Estate 2.0, blogs are online diaries or commentaries. Blogs can be on a free-standing site you create, a brokerage site, a real estate–oriented site that also includes listings, or a site designed to host real estate bloggers. Costs range from free for a basic blog to $2,500 a year for creating more elaborate, custom creations.

* Wikis: These are compilations of information from a variety of contributors. Real estate pros are creating wikis for their local communities, asking visitors to their sites to comment on schools, shopping, and other topics of interest to buyers and sellers. Web sites such as Inman.com and Zillow.com are also creating real estate wikis, asking real estate professionals to contribute their community insights.

* Mash-ups: This term refers to combining elements from different Web companies on your own site. That could mean combining Google maps with local demographic information. The goal, as with wikis, is to give potential customers community information that will help them decide where they’d like to live.

* Social networks: These are Web communities people join — usually free of charge — through a simple registration process. Members can post profiles of themselves and invite other members to become their friends. MySpace and Facebook are the best known of these sites. Because they were created as places for young people to meet up, these sites still skew toward the tween to college-age crowd, though that’s changing. And social networking is finding its way into the real estate realm. Activerain.com, which hosts real estate blogs, also has a social networking component that has more than 61,000 real estate professionals signed up.

* Videos: YouTube is the best-known video sharing site these days. Its policy forbids commercial use of the site, though real estate videos are popping up there. Real estate sites, such as Coldwell Banker’s ColdwellBanker.com, are also looking to make greater use of video, while third parties such as HGTV are creating new sites with more housing-related video content.

When you’re ready to join the Web 2.0 movement, you can do it on your own, turn to a variety of Web sites ready to help or, if you’re part of a large national brokerage, look to its Web site as your home base.

More tools likely will appear as the Web continues to evolve, but real estate and marketing experts agree that the key to mastering Real Estate 2.0 isn’t simply to focus on the tools. Rather, success involves taking a new approach to marketing yourself and a new realization that old approaches won’t resonate with buyers and sellers who look to the Web first for their real estate information.

The coming of Real Estate 2.0 signals the end of an era when real estate professionals could attract business by promoting themselves while holding on tightly to key information about listings, says Charlie Young, chief operating officer with Parsippany, N.J.–based Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

“The listing information really is a commodity now. You have to look at how you can augment and bring value to it,” says Young. The most effective real estate bloggers, for example, “promote communities and not themselves. That’s a fundamental shift for a real estate professional who has been brought up in a culture of self-promotion,” Young contends.

Being genuine is the first and most important Real Estate 2.0 rule. Be yourself and let people who like you and your views find you.

Boardman, for example, writes about historic homes because that’s an area of interest for her. She’s found clients with the same interest and thinks they’re easier to work with because they feel they already know her from her blog postings, she says.

Other rules of the Real Estate 2.0 world: Developing leads takes time. Blogging and social networking won’t likely replace face-to-face contact with your sphere of influence. And your 2.0 efforts can overwhelm your day if you don’t manage your time properly.

Create a Brand

Which Real Estate 2.0 tool should you try first? Experts agree you need to take a step back and do some work before you decide. “It’s entirely likely there are real estate professionals out there making a killing using Web 2.0, but I would bet that they have a killer brand behind them,” says Tate Linden, principal with Stokefire, a brand-naming consulting firm in Springfield, Va. “Find a way to differentiate yourself.”

Claude Labbe, ABR®, GRI, with the Flaherty Group in Kensington, Md., consulted with Linden before deciding to position himself as a real estate professional for people who need things done quickly. His tagline, “Realty for Your Busy Life,” is on his Web site and is part of the name of his blog, YourBusyLife.com.He started the blog in the spring of 2007.

“I knew I wanted something to get people to talk to me more,” Labbe says. “Real estate is a contact sport; you have to be with people.”

“If you get over the psychological hurdle of using a computer, it’s really not that much different from what you’ve always done,” says consultant Boero. “Real Estate 2.0 should be a medium that helps you convey your voice and get your image out to a wider audience.”

To be effective, that image needs to be of someone who knows the market inside and out. Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. What would you want to hear if you were them?, Boero asks.

Ardell DellaLoggia, with Brio Realty in Bellevue, Wash., wants readers of her two blogs to know she’s their advocate. DellaLoggia began blogging as a tester for RealTown blogs on Jan. 1, 2006. “I always say I started blogging because I didn’t like football,” she jokes. Rather than watch traditional New Year’s Day college bowl games, she wrote five blog postings that day.

Today, “all my business comes from blogging,” says DellaLoggia, who does between 20 and 30 trans­actions a year and has done as many as 36 in one 12-month stretch. The steady stream of prospects from blogging has changed how DellaLoggia approaches other parts of her business. Open houses, for example, used to be strictly for attracting new clients. Now, when she does an open house, she’s out to sell the house, not herself, she says.

Her blogs appear on two of the more well-known real estate blog hosting sites — RealTown blogs and the Rain City Guide.

Networking 2.0

While Rain City Guide concentrates on the Seattle area, the unrelated ActiveRain, both are based in Bellevue, Wash., is a national site that allows real estate professionals to put up a blog without charge. Started in June 2006, ActiveRain bridges the space between blogs and social networks, offering a bit of each.

The idea to create an online real estate community complete with blogs was “one of those three-in-the-morning ideas,” jokes Matt Heaton, executive vice president and cofounder of ActiveRain. “We saw this huge need for social networking in the real estate space,” he says.

ActiveRain was conceived as a way for real estate pros to connect with consumers, but it quickly became a place for real estate pros to talk and refer business to each other. “So we embraced that,” Heaton says. “The feedback is just amazingly positive. One associate said he got seven listings in two days off a blog.”

ActiveRain isn’t standing still; in late 2007, a major site revamp was planned. It also was testing Localism.com, a new site to provide local market information across the country. Real estate professionals will contribute information about their markets. Another site, RealtyTimes.com, already offers local market information supplied by real estate pros in its Realty Times Market Conditions feature.

And now a new site, Zolve.com, is hoping to do much the same thing, creating local market profiles — in the form of wikis — that can be as detailed as what people think of a particular teacher in a particular school, says founder Brian Wilson.

Zolve, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., launched in mid-October 2007 with 2,800 members (membership is free). It allows business referrals with contracts on its site creating a digital paper trail for any referral. Wilson has plans to expand to a consumer function that will allow people to rate their experiences with real estate professionals, creating Amazon.com-like ratings of various pros. Sites such as Incredibleagents.com and Realestateratingz.com are already offering agent ratings.

Zolve and ActiveRain aren’t the only sites moving more deeply into Real Estate 2.0. Trulia.com, which began with property listings, now features Trulia Voices, where consumers can ask real estate–related questions and get answers from real estate pros in their area.

“It’s an example of us making interaction online extremely simple, and it has become an extremely effective way for real estate professionals to demonstrate their local expertise,” says Sami Inkinen, founder and chief operating officer of San Francisco–based Trulia. The average question in Trulia Voices receives an answer in 20 minutes, he notes.

Here Come the Caveats

Social networks like Facebook appeal to a younger demographic: Many are years away from home buying. But “those folks will be buying homes over the next 10 years” and so shouldn’t be ignored, says Mike Montsko, president of Weichert Lead Network for Weichert, REALTORS®, in Morris Plains, N.J.

Clements, who got a lead shortly after joining Facebook, learned some of the nuances of social networks when she first tried MySpace. She posted some photos of herself in casual clothes and even an evening dress on MySpace. Those got her e-mail from men wanting to meet her, not something the married Clements was looking for. So when she switched to Facebook, she went with only one photo in a business suit to convey that she was there for business, not casual chatting or dating.

While blogging has its real estate adherents who will tell you about business they’ve garnered from their blogs, social networking isn’t quite at that stage yet.

“Social networking should be left as networking; don’t get your hopes up for more than that. Don’t think this is going to be your bonus check at the end of the year,” says Nick Pacelli, interactive director at the Most Agency, a Newport Beach, Calif., advertising and communications agency that has worked with the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Social networks also are geared for person-to-person interaction, so professionals need to be careful they don’t come off sounding too brand-preachy.

Any Real Estate 2.0 tool you try will take time to gain a following, adds Keith Garner, managing director at the Center for REALTOR® Technology in Chicago. “Experiment but make sure that what you’re doing has some sort of return,” he says. Wait six months to evaluate whether your Real Estate 2.0 efforts are bearing fruit. “You’re shopping your personality out there,” Garner says.

Big Players Are Thinking 2.0 Too

Franchises, large brokers, and others involved with real estate also are trying to carve out space in the Web 2.0 world.

Homescape.com, a listings site, has hired professional journalists to create a blog that looks at real estate news. The site is a division of Classified Ventures LLC in Chicago, which is itself owned by media companies Belo Corp., Gannett Co. Inc., The McClatchy Co., Tribune Co., and The Washington Post Co. Those journalism roots provide it with a point of distinction from other listing sites, one it wants to emphasize with its new journalist blog, says Frank Breithaupt, Homescape’s vice president and general manager.

Scripps Networks, which owns HGTV and HGTV.com among its other media holdings, in December announced the debut of FrontDoor.com, which features a variety of videos on real estate topics in addition to real estate–related stories from its editors.

By the first quarter of this year, it hopes to be syndicating HGTV-produced video features to real estate partner Web sites, says Vicki Neil, vice president of real estate with Scripps in Knoxville, Tenn. The site already is mentioned on HGTV’s main site as a place to browse through home listings.

“HGTV has been trying to evaluate where great brand extensions are. Real estate shows have been doing a great job on our network, consumers turn to us as soon as they buy a home. The next logical step is to grab the consumer and help them through that homebuying process,” says Neil.

Coldwell Banker is partnering with Scripps, investing in videos it can put on its site, says Charlie Young, chief operating officer with Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC in Parsippany, N.J. It’s also working with another company to create neighborhood videos for its site.

On the blog side, Coldwell Banker introduced AgentSpace on its site at the end of 2007, allowing agents to write and post videos and photos, says Young. The company has also been working with its agents to populate a new wiki-like tool that will include surveys about the best attributes of neighborhoods around the country.

Coldwell Banker already has taken one of the largest steps into Real Estate 2.0 with its efforts on Second Life, a virtual reality online world where it set up shop in March 2006. “Our objective was to send a message to the real world that Coldwell Banker was serious about innovation,” says Young. Through July 31, of last year, Coldwell Bankers’ Second Life office had racked up 1.3 million minutes of visitor time. Young notes that the site has yet to attract a large enough number of users to make it a serious source of real estate leads. “At the current moment, I think we’ve learned as much as we can,” he says.

Just a few miles down the road, in Morris Plains, N.J., Weichert, REALTORS®, is workng on its own Web initiatives, including one that will enable its associates to create neighborhood profiles. “I think you’re going to see more and more large brokers incorporating these Web 2.0 principles going forward.” says Mike Montsko, president of Weichert Lead Network for Weichert, REALTORS®.
Among other initiatives, Weichert is working on ways its associates can build neighborhood profiles.

Well-known Real Estate Bloggers

* Teresa Boardman: A blogging pioneer, her site comes up first in searches for St. Paul real estate.
* Dustin Luther: Consultant for real estate professionals about the use of online space and founded Rain City Guide, a real estate blogging site.
* Frances Flynn Thorsen: Runs the Realtygram Blogger, includes video blogs.
* Jeff Turner: Writes Turner’s Perspective.
* Daniel Rothamel: Runs the Real Estate Zebra blog.

SLIDE SHOW

Web Sites That Work

BLOGGING TOOLS & SITES

ActiveRain
The Real Estate Tomato
Blogger.com
RealTown Blogs
TypePad
WordPress

LINKS

What’s Web 2.0?
Step-by-Step Blogging
Technology Main Page
Mr. Internet Columns
Buyer’s Guides
Tech Watch Columns

http://www.realtor.org/rmomag.NSF/pages/featuremar08?OpenDocument

http://snipurl.com/2em8x

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SmartProspecting Show Review and Resources 4.22.08

Today we focused on how to mobilize your family and friends to be your “Evangelist”. An evangelist is one who proclaims your praises and shares your good works with everyone. First rule…..It’s good to have more evangelist spreading the good news…..Yes, more evangelist you mobilize more referrals creating more business.

People who only will do business with you. This is heaven… Yes….Only you… Nobody else…. Your evangelist create expectations (you leap tall buildings), perceived values (you dine with the President) and great sense of worth without you bragging (a really good guy…Your kind of guy)…..

So tell me, “What motivates an evangelist”? Money no.  Generosity maybe.  Like your spouses says,  “It’s the little things I love about you”.  We  needs to be appreciated…. Therefore, after the money, generosity wears off, it all boils down to “I just like him”. You connect. Your values are their values.

So what gets you in the morning?….Money…maybe for short while… New Stuff… maybe for short while… No, what really motivates me at the end of the day is being appreciated, thanked and encouraged.. Just so you can see for yourself, I attached my “What motivates Me” as guide for you… It’s just who I am. Make your own list.

So now we know what motivate you, how do we do it…. What do we say….. What happens if they don’t say “Absolutely Yes… It’s my pleasure”… Well, for one thing…. Realize not everyone will refer or do business with you for untold number of reasons… Just accept this as truth. Chuck and I want you to have 7 Life Empowering Scripts to empower you Family and Friends to generate Referrals…. Now you should be on easy street. Not really… Now the work really starts….

Next Tuesday we’ll focus on Business2Business referral empowering. Strategies, scripts. Till next Tuesday….. Be The HERO…. go and do…. Terry

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Commitment…Dedication…Performance

Think outside of real estate… Look to those who perform… I received this morning, thought you would enjoy his insights and thoughts…. I recommend you buy his books and visit his seminars… He has very witty way of communicating….

Be THE Hero… Go and do…Terry

Bring sexy back, and your sales will

go through the roof..

When I say Justin Timberlake, what one word comes to mind?

Singer? Rich? Celebrity? Sexy? All of those words are correct. Add a couple more: Performer. Musician. Dancer. Entertainer. And of course, the .5 would be Britney.

I went to the Justin Timberlake concert. Paid a premium, and sat in the front. Actually, stood in the front. But I didn’t care. It was a spectacular event that none of the 20,000 plus attendees will soon forget.

What’s that got to do with sales? Justin Timberlake did not have to sell one thing. People bought. Every ticket. Every bag of peanuts. Every drink. Every t-shirt was bought by fans who stood on line for a half an hour waiting to overpay. And they were happy they did.

Justin Timberlake is the essence of the law of attraction. His customers are his fans. His theme, “Bringing Sexy Back” should prove once and for all that sexy sells.

But let me put this in perspective. I’m 61. What the hell am I doing at a Justin Timberlake concert, singing and dancing for three hours? I’m having a blast, that’s what I’m doing. And I’m learning the difference between the rock concerts I attended growing up in the early ‘60s, and the rock concerts of the 21st century.

Six months ago, I went to see Panic at the Disco. Both of these concerts had one thing in common. Excellence. You may not like the music, you may not appreciate the music — but the quality of their performance, and the performers dedication to their craft, is undeniable.

What’s your level of dedication? How excellent is your performance? Who is willing to pay to watch you perform – and buy the t-shirt? That’s what I want to talk about for the next 400 words.

Let me give you the qualities that Justin Timberlake exuded during his performance, so you can see how they match up to your sales qualifications.

In his 2.5 hours of performance, he never missed one note.

In his 2.5 hours of performance, he never missed one word.

In his 2.5 hours of performance, he never missed one dance step.

There were 20 other dancers and musicians in his troupe who also performed to perfection. Everyone gave their BEST performance. Justin sang, played, danced, spoke to the audience, and performed as well as any entertainer I have ever seen. He owned the audience of 20,000 people from the first note. He’s 26. How old are you? How well do you perform?

If you’re going to sing and dance and play instruments for 2.5 hours, you better be in shape. Justin Timberlake is in sexy shape. And the audience responded in kind with the appropriate singing along to every word of every song, and shrieking every time he came close to them.

I wonder if being in shape, and giving his all, and preparing for months, had anything to do with his ability to sell out the house, win the approval of fans, win Grammy after Grammy, and make millions of dollars.

I wonder how in shape you are? And I wonder how that affects your ability to perform and earn at the level of “best.” How many “Sales Grammys” could you win?

And, oh yeah – he also writes his own music.

From a business perspective, there are a lot of lessons you can learn from this event and this performer.

His image, his reputation, his music, his attraction, his marketing, his level of performance, his self-confidence, his team, and his ability to communicate are all beyond excellent. And when combined into a concert, it’s not just an event; it’s an experience.

After 2.5 hours of Justin Timberlake’s performance, no one wanted the concert to end. Appropriately, he ended with his current anthem, “bringing sexy back.” Not just singing and dancing and playing — but literally jumping on top of the piano with one leap. He didn’t win the approval of the crowd; he earned the accolades of the crowd.

If he would have said, “Okay, everyone give me 100 more dollars when you leave,” EVERYONE would have gladly donated.

And they will talk about it, write about it, blog about it, and YouTube about it for years to come.

What do people say after your sales performance? Your service performance? How much applause do you get from your customers?

Maybe you should attend a Justin Timberlake concert and discover his sex, er, sales magic.

If you would like a few of Justin’s lyrics to get you in the sexy selling frame of mind, go to http://www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first time visitor, and enter JUSTIN in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Little Red Book of Selling and eight other business books on sales, customer loyalty, and personal development. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on sales, customer loyalty, and personal development at www.trainone.com. Jeffrey conducts more than 100 personalized, customized seminars and keynotes a year. To find out more, visit www.gitomer.com. Jeffrey can be reached at 704.333.1112 or by e-mail at salesman@gitomer.com

© 2008 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without
written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer, Inc • 704/333-1112

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Smart Prospecting: Social Phobia article with Comments

Social Phobia

The article mentioned during the April 3rd Smart Prospecting talk show……See you next week Wednesday at our new time………2:00 California Time…….

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Web Show

Greetings…. to listen to the SmartProspecting Talk Show dail (724) 444-7444 and enter the following code 15696 (call id):

then enter (1 )and pound sign (#)…. you can just listen or share your thoughts and ideas…. Join us today….Terry

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Smart Prospecting Talk Show

Greetings…… Yes, today is our first show….. I have Chuck Lamb as my guest and we’ll discuss how to use the Next Generation Prospecting….. Shifting from traditional methods to social networking…..Join us today at 11:00 California time…. Dial in (724) 444-7444 and enter the following code 15696 call id… then enter 1#…. you can just listen or share your thoughts and ideas…. Join us today….Terry

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Terryisms….General George S. Patton

I choose to Bounce: “I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs, but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” General George S. Patton….

If you haven’t hit a bottom, then you never know how high you can bounce or what you’re really made of……Getting up from what the world considers failure is only the beginning of the real “who you are”. You can quote a thousand affirmations, but until you deal with persistent doubt, fear and worry all you stand on is sand.

When you have the privilege of going through a drought time in your life, you really never know depth of your character….When people shun you, everything you touch turns sour and you question your purpose.  It is only then you look deep into your soul and ask for help……. “Attempt something so great that unless God intervenes, it is bound to fail.” Jamie Buckingham’s quote continues to ring in my ear……

did-you-call-your-back-if-not-someone-else-will-2-26-08.jpgWe started RealAgile with the purpose of changing the process of prospecting from haphazard, random prospecting into scalable, dynamic business solutions…. 5 friends who have a heart to change our industry. Now we’re 9 friends and growing. Each day provides us with the opportunity to give-up, but we refuse to heed the passive naysayers with myopic views….. Fear stops too many ideas from moving forward.

Every time I look at my phone,  I think about the frustration and difficulties of raising capital for the telephone.  But new ideas, processes and inventions are developed from pain…. People move away from pain or towards pleasure.  We believe the old ways and no longer “the way” to prospect…..  BE THE HERO… then go and do.  Terry McDaniel

p.s.  If you want more information about RealAgile, send an email to terry@realagile.com

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