By Dolores Esanu
Recently, I’ve noticed quite a few business professionals engaging in “Klout.” Klout is a program that rates your sphere of influence within the social media world, with a score of 1 being lowest and 100 being the highest. Through Klout, companies offers perks for those who attain higher scores. For example, American Airlines offers upgrades and Moo.com offers free business cards. The idea behind it is the higher your score, the more influential you are online, therefore companies give you perks in the hopes you’ll share their content or give them a plug in your social media channels.
I read an article recently about a gentlemen who was asked to put his Klout score on his resume. Is that necessary? Are his years of experience and resume not enough for the position? It makes me wonder if sooner or later, buyers and sellers will be asking for this number. Buyers are looking online for homes now more than ever. Statistics show more than 80 percent will look online before calling an agent.
Will Klout be a number that the average buyer/seller considers before hiring you? Maybe not now, there’s a possibility in the future that this number will be used as a measure of experience. Food for thought.
I know my Klout score. Do you know yours?
By Laura Rubinchuk Schwartz
It seems there’s a new hyped technology in real estate every week. Old favorites include Facebook, Craigslist, Twitter, Blogging, YouTube, and LinkedIn. But what about those sites that were so popular so fast and now we never hear about them anymore? Remember Posterous, Postlets, and now Pinterest? Real estate agents tend to kill technology quickly.
With so much to do every day to keep your business going, the biggest of which is lead generation, do you really have time to learn every new platform that suddenly emerges? Probably not. Should you? Probably not. As an agent who built my business on technology, I have a few suggestions for those of you who feel like you’re drowning in new technology and don’t know where to start, or where to find the time:
1. Figure out what works with your schedule: You can’t be the master of all trades, but you can master just a few. Some things take more of a commitment to make it work, ex. Twitter and Facebook are daily commitments for most. Other platforms may just an as-needed thing, like Postlets for advertising listings or Craigslist (if you don’t use Craigslist for lead generation).
2. Don’t waste time learning every new technology. I haven’t spent a single minute on Pinterest. I see Facebook friends posting wedding ideas or baby shower themes on there — don’t kill this by inundating useless real estate information on it. Don’t force a round peg in a square hole just because someone told you to.
3. Learn something so you’re comfortable with it, then use it as part of your lead generation. Continue reading »
By Dave Robison
About 10 years ago when I started advertising online, I knew I only had a few years before the rest of the world caught up. When I first broke out my SEO and PPC campaign, I was paying $1,000 a month. It gave me heartburn at the time, but my business grew and flourished.
That first month I was dumbfounded how I turned $1,000 advertising into $20,000 in commissions. Sure enough, other agents started to do the same thing. My costs started to grow as it got more competitive. Back in January 2008, that cost grew to $20,000 in one month. Ouch. I hadn’t done anything different 7 years ago from that month, I had just let my campaign stay the same. I realized times change and you have to change as well, or one morning you will wake up saying “ouch” like I did that month.
The new secret to advertising is three-fold and its extremely cost effective!
1. Have a Facebook business page. You can’t just have a personal one. Use a personal one and a business page. There is a difference.
2. Focus on getting likes. Don’t pay for likes. Attract people to ‘LIKE’ your page. This is how you grow your sphere. You can see how I did this at www.facebook.com/utahdavehomes You must have a welcome page that brands you and invites people to ‘LIKE’ it. I went to www.builderonlinesolutions.com and for as low as a $199 promotion you can get your page branded for you. Continue reading »
By Scott Newman
At a recent Chicago Association of REALTORS® YPN Board meeting, YPN Manager Rob Reuter presented to us a beta-test version of NAR’s new YPN Community platform – an interactive and searchable system of registered YPN member profiles. I wanted to share the exciting details with you so you can get the word out and make this a success!
With so much buzz surrounding the explosion of YPN on a national level, it is imperative that we do everything in our power to ensure this system is as robust, detailed, and accurate as possible to maximize its integration by agents across the country.
The first and most obvious benefit of the Community system will be its ability to quickly and effectively sort through agent profiles to help you refer business to the right person. Need a short sale expert in Chicago with proven experience? The system will allow you to breakdown agents by numerous aspects of their expertise and experience so you know your client will be treated right!
The second benefit of the system is the collaboration that occurs when some of the best and the brightest in our industry have the opportunity to belong to a place where they can meet up and share their ideas. While our business is competitive, it is obvious that our generation understands the value of collaboration and forming partnerships with those who may very well be our biggest competition. There is something new to learn every day in this business, and by being able to check-in on-demand with what is going on with YPN groups and members around the country, we have a 24-7/365 place to go for motivation and inspiration. Continue reading »
By Stefanie Hahn
Just like chocolate and peanut butter, being social and Facebook go hand-in-hand. But are you really being social through your Facebook business page? This tutorial video will give you tips and advice for getting the most out of Facebook by simply being friendly.
Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Malvern, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.
By Jonathan Osman
No one would have guessed that REALTORS® would look back on 2009 as “the good ole days,” but as the real estate market continues to find bottom, that’s exactly what some are doing. The reality for 2011 may be that we are all fighting for a smaller piece of the sales pie and remaining in business means implementing low-cost solutions to save money.
That being said, here are a five technology tools that brokers and agents alike should implement to help survive an uncertain 2011.
1. Cloud-based Phone Service
The telephone is still the most important tool of our business but for most brokerages, this can result in a huge monthly expense towards the bottom line. Plus, every agent walks around with a phone attached to their hip so is the expense of a phone system and monthly service even necessary?
Services like RingCentral, Grasshopper, and Phonebooth offer users a plethora of options and features usually reserved for phone systems that cost as much as a BMW 550i for less than the cost of a cell phone bill. Local number – check, 800 number – check, fax-to-email – check. “Find Me” features – check. Best of all, whether you are a solo agent, small company working from home, or a mid-sized firm with 50 agents, you can still have the big-company presence which is could help in recruiting agents to work for you. Continue reading »
By Stefanie Hahn
The two major players in the location-based check-in game are currently Foursquare and, simply because of the size of the network, Facebook. You are probably already a member of Facebook, which is really how Facebook will beat Foursquare in the end. Maybe.
Let’s start with the basics … If you haven’t heard about Foursquare yet, don’t worry. There are still plenty of people not sure what it is or how it works. In a nutshell, Foursquare is one of a few mobile networking sites that allow you to broadcast you location in the world and interact with others who are nearby. It was designed as a game, but has become more about social media than it is about play. Here is a cute video from the Foursquare folks describing the service in their own words.
I resisted Foursquare for quite a while – mainly because I didn’t really feel the world needed to know where I was at every moment and also because I didn’t really see the value in playing along. Then in February there was a whole debate about the “please rob me” sites popping up that told people when you were somewhere else – that was a bit creepy too. In the end, however, I signed up because I recognize when something cool is coming along. Continue reading »
By Stefanie Hahn
It’s summertime! Let’s grab our bathing suits, hit the pool and… oh yeah, check our Facebook privacy settings. Another update from Zuckerburg and crew has created the need to recheck what you are sharing on Facebook.
First things first …
If you are connected with more than 15 people on facebook and you haven’t created a few “Friend Lists” yet, stop and do this now. Setting up your lists is simple and…BONUS…they are easy to maintain.
Just as a refresher….
Click on Account
Click on Edit Friends
On the left menu, click on Friends
Click Create New List
Enter a name for your list (family, work, YPN)
Click on the faces of your friends to add them to the list
- You can have friends on more than one list
Click Create List
<Rinse, lather, repeat>
Now that you have your lists setup you can add a friend when you accept their friend invitation.
OK, where were we … oh yeah, privacy. Continue reading »
By Brooke Wolford
My husband recently pointed out there is never a moment when I am not looking at something on my iPhone. I kind of thought to myself, “How did I get here?” I do remember a time in my life where the Internet was not my whole entire life…I think. Well, I was born in 1980, so I was practically born with a computer in my hands.
I often find it traumatic when something goes wrong with my iPhone. For instance, when my battery randomly dies and I instantly feel as if the world is coming to an end. I will race to a charger as quickly as possible. I don’t know how to handle life without it. My iPhone and I are really close. It’s one of the longest relationships I have had since I married my husband.
I also sometimes forget how to communicate without using a “handle,” “RT,” or a “hashtag.” I often catch myself abbreviating everything as well. Besides the fact that I get all of my news from various social media sites and I rarely call my friends on the phone.
Here’s my experiment for one weekend…seriously, I’m going to do it. I am going to shut my phone off. Not just temporarily, but for the WHOLE weekend. Here’s the plan: Continue reading »