Archive for May, 2008

HomeGain Opens Virtual Blog School

HomeGain officially opened the virtual doors of the HomeGain Blogging School today. The HomeGain Blogging School will provide AgentView agents with weekly tips on how to best use their HomeGain blogs. Tuition to the HomeGain Blogging School is included in the price of a AgentView subscription.

HomeGain has retained the services of HomeGain Guest Blogger, Joseph Ferrara, of the Sellsius Real Estate Blog to become the HomeGain Blogging School’s first instructor.

Mr. Ferrara, a.k.a. the “Blog Professor”, will be reviewing the blog posts on the HomeGain Agent Blogging Network and providing constructive feedback and tips to HomeGain AgentView agents via a weekly Blog Tip Newsletter.

“For blogging to work, it needs to be done right,” said HomeGain General Manager, Louis Cammarosano. “While there are many useful seminars that teach Realtors how to utilize blogging and social media, the HomeGain Blogging School will provide weekly and often personalized instruction. We are delighted that our customers in the HomeGain Agent Blogging Network will have access to the weekly blogging wisdom of Mr. Ferrara.”

Louis Cammarosano

Continue reading this post


Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on May 31st, 2008 under AgentView, Blogging and Social Networking, Guest Bloggers, HomeGain


Real Estate Prospecting: Two Sides of the Century

A few months ago, I had the amusing opportunity to slip Web 2.0 guru and HomeGain blogger Pat Kitano into a Mike Ferry Productivity School in San Diego, CA.

Pat had come down from San Francisco to explore real estate blogging workshop opportunities with a large title company, where he would introduce agents to Web 2.0 and the chance to start their own blogs.

We had lunch after the meeting and Pat, being the adventurous sort, accepted my invitation to go see what the Mike Ferry approach was all about.

We drove over to the Hilton and slipped quietly into the back of the large meeting room (with prepaid tickets). I think Pat’s jaw dropped two inches as he watched two hundred or so agents chanting Mike Ferry real estate scripts in unison—first expressing objections as a client, and then enthusiastically answering themselves as powerful agents.

Pat was stunned. He cocked his head and whispered, “Do real estate agents really say these things?”

I understood Pat’s reaction, and he could certainly express better than I his thoughts on this Mike Ferry pre-Web-one-oh success training formula (and perhaps he’ll weigh in on it). What stood out for me that afternoon, though, was the stark contrast between the two camps.

It’s so tempting to say that Kitano’s approach is Blu Ray compared to Ferry’s VHS, but there are more similarities than the Web 2.0 blogger might think.

The blogging approach to gaining clients is a universe apart from the cold-calling drills of the last century.

However, the ultimate goals are the same: To make a human connection without someone clicking away or hanging up. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Roberta Murphy on May 30th, 2008 under Blogging and Social Networking, Guest Bloggers


HomeGain Evolves with Web 2.0

HomeGain launched its blog back in the early days of February, 2008 in part to experiment with Louis’s premise that Web 2.0, or more specifically Real Estate 2.0, doesn’t have a revenue model.

Monday’s Financial Times weighs in with an article that mirrors this problem:

Despite the slow start to money-making by Web 2.0 companies, the trend towards more social online behaviour that it embodies is widely claimed by insiders to be of lasting significance.

“The capabilities that are coming with Web 2.0 are very profound,” said Devin Wenig, head of the markets division of Thomson Reuters. “The (Silicon) Valley is usually right, and it’s usually early.”

Web 2.0 may not be making money, but it is changing social online behavior.

In the four short months since the HomeGain launch, social media in its many forms—from micro-blogging Twitter to DIY social networks using Continue reading this post


Posted by: Pat Kitano on May 30th, 2008 under Blogging and Social Networking, Guest Bloggers


Next Guest Blogger Up To Pitch

We’d like to welcome Roberta Murphy of Villa Sotheby’s International Realty in Del Mar, CA as our newest guest blogger.

Roberta authors two blogs, Luxury Home Digest and San Diego Previews, which are also syndicated via the California Women’s Council of Realtors Blog Network.

Also an active blogger on ActiveRain, she combines her experience in real estate with her passion of journalism.

As a Realtor, Roberta was one of the very early users of HomeGain in 2000, subscribing to HomeGain’s marketing services (including exclusive ZIP codes).

Stay tuned for Roberta’s first blog post!


Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on May 29th, 2008 under Guest Bloggers

1 Comment »

References Attract Clients

This month’s featured real estate agent in our Agent Success Newsletter is Sharon Detrick or RE/MAX Suburban Northwest in Houston, TX.

Here’s the feature story:

In less than five months this year, Sharon has already closed 5 home deals with AgentEvaluator homebuyers compared with two deals in 2007.

Why the difference?

After adding in references to her proposals that she sends to potential clients, she’s been experiencing a higher response and interest level from those consumers in her services.

Although it varies year to year (she’s been a HomeGain AgentEvaluator member since 1999) she’s definitely seen an increase since having added the references.

“I was hesitant to add in references because I didn’t see the value,” stated Sharon. “Obviously nobody is going to put in a negative reference, but apparently consumers really do want to see what others say about you – and know that real live people have had positive experiences with you as their agent.” Continue reading this post


Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on May 29th, 2008 under Agent Success Newsletters, AgentEvaluator, Best Practices, Success Stories

1 Comment »

The Key to the Kingdom is Not the Keyword: Why You Must Market Offline

The Gospel According to NAR

I had read the Gospel according to NAR (National Association of Realtors)—77% of buyers use the internet to search for homes.

The NARstat is sacred dogma, incessantly chanted by mainstream media and the bloggerati. It provides the philosophical foundation for the agent congregation putting their listings on all manner of real estate websites, especially, the largest real estate church on the net.

The NARstat requires agents do penance and upgrade to the revered “featured listing” pews. To question the holy NARstat would be a blasphemy akin to questioning the earth’s roundness (actually, the earth is an oblate spheroid, but I digress.)

The NARstat also justifies, to a large extent, the agent’s participation and marketing in the new Web 2.0 world where the Google keyword prayer box promises to bring roaming client pilgrims to the agent’s blog or their Truzilfacespace profile—leading to blessed business and salvation for all. But, are we worshipping a false god at the Tower of Google?

The Internet Reformation

Last summer, I took a little RV cross-country trip with Rudy, my partner at the time. We set out to spread the Word of Web 2.0 to the masses, who we suspected were unbelieving techno-pagans. Our odyssey took us to over 30 cities—places like Boston, Philly, D.C., NYC, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, Tampa, St. Pete, Chicago, St. Paul, Denver, Phoenix, San Diego, Sacramento, Reno, Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, Boise, San Francisco -— and all the Waffle Houses in between.

We interviewed real folks young and old, owners and renters—to discover how and where they looked for the places they call home. After 5 weeks on the road and 10,000 miles logged on this beautiful country’s highways and byways, it was I who began to question my internet marketing faith. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Joseph Ferrara on May 28th, 2008 under Best Practices, Guest Bloggers, Realtor


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