Archive for June, 2008

Selling Homes? Of Course, But There’s More To It

Yesterday I was having a cup of coffee and a slice of blackberry cake in a coffee shop downtown Savannah. When everyone else finished their drinks and snacks, they left the plate and cup. Not me, no, I pick up behind myself, so I took my plate and cup to the front like I always do at such places and offered it to the person behind the counter. Now, a person who has a scintilla of service running in their veins would have accepted the plate and cup, thanked me and smiled.

Not this person posing as a customer service employee, no, she looked at me, slightly annoyed, and said, “Actually, would you take that down to the end of the counter?” I started to ask her if she wanted me to wash it, too. I just laughed and took it down to the end of counter, knowing no thanks was forthcoming (and there wasn’t).

This is an example of someone wanting a paycheck with no clue what it means to provide customer service. Did I get my coffee and blackberry cake? Yes. Was it good? Yes. Will I go back? I doubt it. The reason I won’t go back is because I can get the same good coffee and cake down the street with better, more personable service. I tried this place out and it failed to make me want to go back.

When I hear people confidently say about our profession—“I’m in the business of selling homes, dammit, not in the service business or socializing business or friend-making business, but the home-selling business!”—this appeals to my Hulk Hogan side, but it also leaves me unsatisfied with the posture.

Two people can be good at selling homes, yet one will be successful long term and the other will fade away into obscurity and mediocrity—why? Because of service. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Mike Farmer on June 20th, 2008 under Best Practices, Guest Bloggers

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Don’t believe everything you read – Call your Internet real estate leads!

I read an article today that Realtor.org put out talking about the 6 best practices of online leads. The author is a great guy and knows his stuff. However, he misses the boat on this one.

He spends a good amount of time discussing how important it is not to call your leads. This is completely wrong. As most of you know my Internet program through either 100MPH Marketing or my eHomes Realty Network, the reality is if you are not calling your leads which supply a phone number, you are letting buyers and sellers slip through your fingers.

The worst thing you can do is not make use of the information you are given to help your customers buy their home.

Of the over 20,000 people we have in our database, I can probably count on one hand the amount of times a person who supplied their phone number to us that was upset when we called.

In fact this is what we normally hear: “You are the first Realtor to actually follow up with us.” They are very excited and happy to talk about their real estate needs!

When I first started figuring out Internet leads back in 2002, I didn’t make phone calls. I only corresponded with people that contacted me. My first year of Internet Marketing I sold over 50 homes, but more importantly I lost more than 50 sales by not making phone calls. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Mitch Ribak on June 19th, 2008 under Best Practices, Leads, Motivation

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The 10 Dirtiest Email Words

If your email gets labeled as SPAM, it will not get read.

Many seemingly innocent and time-honored ad words are now considered SPAM words or add high SPAM “points” to filters which decide whether to toss an email. You may be using them in your e-mail subject lines without knowing it. Here’s a little help with that.

There are dozens of dirty words but I chose these as my top 10:

  1. Free
  2. Congratulations
  3. Compare rates
  4. Great offer
  5. Order now
  6. Guarantee
  7. Amazing
  8. Increase sales (started by another dirty email)
  9. Dear friend (or your name)
  10. Cash

Other SPAM triggers: Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Joseph Ferrara on June 18th, 2008 under Best Practices, Guest Bloggers

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Max Back On Track

Max Motor Tour Resumes in Phoenix and San Francisco

Max has been hitting the road hard since returning from taking his first vacation as HomeGain spokes-gorilla. “I barely had time to enjoy my new home when I felt the marketing road calling,” said Max.

Max was recently spotted resuming his What’s Your Home Worth motor tour in San Francisco, CA and outside Phoenix, AZ with his driver, Hoke Wolliz.

“The San Francisco part of our trip was hectic as Max is a bit of a local idol and we did more parking than driving to give the fans time to take pictures of Max and get paw prints,” said Wolliz. “Once we hit the open road in Arizona, we had some time to relax and Max was able to kick back and enjoy some jelly beans and coconut milk.”

“Max remains unaware of HomeGain’s product release schedule,” said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager of HomeGain.

“While Max took the announcement that HomeGain was offering blogs to its AgentView customers in stride, he did not react so well to the prior product announcement that HomeGain was allowing agents to post their profiles on HomeGain.com. “We’ve got another major announcement coming up and its probably best that Max stay on the road.”

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Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on June 17th, 2008 under Max

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10 Smart Email Marketing Strategies

Email marketing is another tool to increase business and drive traffic to your website but the emails must be received AND read to have any chance of success.

Here are some tips to smart email marketing:

1. Craft a compelling “grabber” subject line

Like any news article or blog post, the most important part is the headline. Like a headline, the subject line is your first contact with a reader and, like all first impressions, it is critical to craft a compelling reason to open the email. It is even more important with email. Emails are competing with a lot of other emails the reader is trying to cull—the delete button has been humming already before it gets to yours. How will you avoid that death null?

The best subject lines are simple, direct headlines. News or how-to advice seem to work best. Come on ads are removed faster than a weed in Martha Stewart’s garden.

2. Use HTML rather than plain text

Photos are an important part of any story and help get your story across. So is audio and video. They are more interesting than the WOT (wall of text).

3. Use professionally designed email templates

These are usually spam friendly and allow you to customize and brand as you like. Don’t be vanilla. Add links in the message to different parts of your site and measure which attract the most clicks. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Joseph Ferrara on June 16th, 2008 under Best Practices, Guest Bloggers

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10 Reasons NOT to Add Podcasts to Your Blog

You really shouldn’t try podcasting. Why bother? Tech-savvy youngsters are the only ones downloading files from iTunes. And, that’s exactly what you should believe. Please ignore reports from comScore Networks that indicate 35-54 year olds makeup a sizable portion of podcast listeners.

Apparently, many top podcasts are in the business and educational genres and appeal to the more educated and higher-income consumer segments. But that should be of no interest to you…because you don’t need to podcast.

You’re a real estate agent, not a radio broadcaster. You need to spend your time in the field with your clients. Don’t bog yourself down with a phenomenal social media tool that can spread your message, your brand, and your expertise like wildfire.

And here are 10 more reasons why you should absolutely, positively, NOT add podcasting to your real estate blog:

  1. Don’t do it….you will increase your online visibility.
  2. Don’t do it….you can gain a new audience for your blog.
  3. Don’t do it….you can strengthen the community bond with your current audience.
  4. Don’t do it….it may show off your expertise to your target market. Continue reading this post
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Posted by: Nicole Nicolay on June 15th, 2008 under Guest Bloggers, Technology

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