Personal Branding-Realtors and Car Salesmen

The mantra from Broker to Agent is, “you’ve got to create an on-line brand…”

I think that maybe the Brokers just got frustrated or ran out of ideas,. Maybe they didn’t have the time during the “boom” to give better counsel… or perhaps they SIMPLY DON’T UNDERSTAND THE INTERNET. But frankly, this is really low-grade advice… Imagine yourself looking for a new shiny car.. A Prius, or even a Benz. You go to your favorite search engine, pause and breathe, and type in your search, p-r-i-u-s. You eagerly await the results and ta-da, there it is… three pages filled with sites advertising Prius…..salesman.

“Please choose me to buy your Prius, I have been in the industry for 23 years. I was number one in Talooga County in 2004. I have 15 initials after my name, Phd, BS, Md, Esq, l-m-n-o-p… Look at my picture, don’t I look trustworthy? Oh, and here is my dog!

Is this the actual results you were looking for? You are probably clicking through these sites faster than a 14 year old playing a video game. I want to see a car, I want see deals on a car, I want to see information about the car. I want to find the right car. I want see prices on this car. Convince me to buy THIS car and then I will THINK about who I want to buy from.

But that is exactly what Realtors are offering the Real Estate Searcher… *repeat* REAL ESTATE searcher. When was the last time you searched for a REALTOR on the Internet? Seldom? Never? Most Real Estate based Searches are just that…. Real Estate. Notice on the (hard to read) adwords chart below that Seattle Realtor is number 8 and not even close to the search term MOST searchers are using… which is REAL ESTATE. Realtor doesn’t show up again until number 23…


Enter Web 2.0… How about giving your searchers what they are looking for? They are not looking for you… They don’t care about you! They want your product. Real Estate Searcher come to the Internet to learn about houses. Check out houses, look at the prices of house. They come to get information (from you) about neighborhoods, architecture, market trends. They even come for advice…. about houses, housing and all things Real Estate.

Build it and they will come.

So, now you know what they want… Is your site offering it? Do you have the best IDX in your market. Can they see inventory with 2 clicks, one click, NO clicks. Do you have pertinent market information. Pertinent = timely and Original. Do you have community information. Not canned, regurgitated HOA information, but meaningful, valuable, original information. What would YOU want to see in a site… Make a list. If you were moving to Talooga county in six months, what would the site look like that YOU WOULD WANT TO USE….

Build it and they will come.

I couldn't of said it better myself…

Sometimes a post comes along that I just couldn’t agree more. Every paragraph, sentence and syllable. Jim Cronin of the Tomato posted this article entitled “is you website working against your Real Estate career. It is on spot and brilliant. My client/readers will feel this is an “echo.”

A couple of other “expireds” are:

  • Any type of personal BRANDING… Real Estate searchers are looking for …..Real Estate, not Realtors. They don’t care about you. Give them what they came for and hope they appreciate it enough to self-identify.
  • Driving people to your site via other (expensive) marketing. You just invested 12 and half zillion dollars to buy the front page in “Dream Homes on the Cliff with a pool in Belair” Magazine and once you have the readers attention, you drive them to your website? How about a separate and effective call to action, like “pick up the phone and lets go for a car ride!

How about a couple of extra”wireds”

  • Pertinent, timely, unique and CURRENT information about your market. Average Sales Prices, Inventory Levels, Trends, and your well thought out opinion on the market… You are an authority, right? Prove it.
  • Fun or Interesting. Searcher will check out cool info, trivia, and interesting facts… as long as it is fresh… How about “Top 5 most expensive, Top 5 least expensive, Coolest Architecture in town…etc.” But if it is not you and not CURRENT… don’t do it. “

Jim’s article is a breath of fresh air. He gets it.. Do you?

Google Reader Short Cut Keys…

Every Realtor should spend a small portion of their day keeping up with local, regional and National Real Estate news. Your clients and prospects EXPECT you to know the answers. Google Reader is absolutely the best thing since sliced bread for keeping up on your RSS feeds. But wait… it gets better. I found this list of shortcut keys around the internet…

j/k item down/up selects the next/previous item in the list
space/shift-space page down/up moves the page down/up
n/p scan down/up in list view, selects the next item without opening it
shift-n/p navigation down/up selects the next/previous subscription or folder in the navigation
shift-x navigation expand/collapse expands or collapses a folder selected in the navigation
o open/close item in list view, expands or collapses the selected item
enter open/close item in list view, expands or collapses the selected item
shift-o navigation open subscription opens the subscription or folder currently selected in the navigation
Acting on Items    
s toggle star stars or un-stars the selected item
shift-s toggle share shares or un-shares the selected item
v view original opens the original source for this article in a new window
t tag an item opens the tagging field for the selected item
m mark as read/unread switches the read status of the selected item
shift-a mark all as read marks all items in the current view as read
e email item opens the email form to send an item to a friend
g then h go to home goes to the Google Reader homepage
g then a go to all items goes to the “All items” view
g then s go to starred items goes to the “Starred items” view
g then shift-s go to shared items goes to the “Your shared items” view
g then u go to subscription allows you to navigate to a subscription by entering the subscription name
g then t go to tag allows you to navigate to a tag by entering the tag name
g then shift-t go to trends goes to the “Trends” view
g then d go to feed discovery shows the recommendations page, or the browse page if there are no recommendations
r refresh refreshes the unread counts in the navigation
u toggle full screen mode hides or shows the list of subscriptions
1 expanded view displays the subscription as expanded items
2 list view displays the subscription as a list of headlines
/ search moves your cursor to the search box
a add a subscription opens the “Add a subscription” box in the sidebar
? keyboard shortcuts help displays a quick guide to all of Reader’s shortcuts

Simply search for sites that carry the content you crave and subscribe to them in your Google Reader. Then list all unread and power short cut through them. Get ready to replace your keyboard whent the “J” pops off!!

Good Luck!

Do Realtors Know…What they dont know?

As I travel to seminars and speak to Realtors , I am running into a problem that I never actually considered. The REASON, I thought, that Realtors (in general) werent effective in realizing income on the Internet was that that they didn’t understand how. Understandable. Realtors should be good at selling houses. Internet marketing is a whole cottage industry away from Real Estate. Perhaps they were trying, but just missing the mark. The actual problem, I now see, is more systemic than that.

Most Realtors dont know what they dont know.

The Idea that a Website is should be built to create REVENUE and not a brand? I didn’t know that.

The concept that I can create a website that APPEALS to my searchers and creates a DESIRE to self-identify? Really, I didnt know.

The theory that I can actually track my visitors progress through my site and see which parts they enjoy and which they dont? and that I should actually build the site THEY WANT? I didn’t know that I didn’t know that, either.

So, lets take the next couple of weeks and set a plan in action to learn what we need to know… and then we will learn that…

Make sense? Who knows…. stayed tuned.