Archive for the ‘ Blogging and Social Networking ’ Category

Should Google Pay Its Users?

Now that giving away products and services for free is a viable business model, will a profitable model of paying consumers to use products emerge?

by Louis Cammarosano

In any transaction two parties assign relative values to what they are exchanging. A purchaser of a cup of coffee at Starbucks values the coffee more than the three dollars in his pocket and Starbucks values the three dollars more than the coffee it is selling.

The pricing of goods and services has been established in this manner for centuries. Some people will not pay three dollars for a cup of coffee, but others will. Starbucks determines how much it will charge and consumers how much they will pay through the price discovery mechanism of the free market.

In recent times, a new form of exchange has emerged that the price discovery mechanism of the free market has not yet fully tested.

These new forms of exchange involve companies giving away products and services for free.

We can refer to these business practices as the freemium or freeluxe models.


Under the freemium model a company gives away a product that is either feature, time, capacity or customer service limited with the goal of eventually charging the customer for full use of the product. Examples of this model include Pandora and Flickr.

The freeluxe model, in contrast, starts with no limitations on product usage and its business model does not depend on ever charging the user. Examples of freeluxe business models include Google, Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. The user has full access to all features of the products and never pays the company in exchange for their usage.

Gmail- A Freeluxe model that works

Under the freeluxe model the company offers the product and the consumer “exchanges” his use of the product in return.

The consumer deems the value received from using Google’s Gmail sufficient to his consent to use it.

Google in turn through the consumers’ use of the Gmail product receives a plethora of information about its users that it can then employ in the individual and in the aggregate to determine user behavior and preferences to sell advertising.

The relative monetary value that consumers place on their consent to use products like Gmail is nothing. But should it be? Should the consumer ask to be paid to use products such as Gmail?

Sound ridiculous? Perhaps Google one day WILL pay consumers to use its products-especially in areas that he has not gained market share-think Google Plus or the defunct Google Buzz.

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Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on August 16th, 2012 under Blogging and Social Networking, HomeGain


HomeGain Identifies Real Estate Agents’ Top Marketing Practices and Preferences

Recent HomeGain surveys reveal the top marketing practices and preferences of real estate professionals in 2010- 2011; Referrals ranked number one; Real estate professionals preferred marketing via open houses and postcards/mailings vs. social media; blogging as a marketing preference wanes.

Emeryville, CA – May 19, 2011 – HomeGain®, a leading website that connects real estate agents with home buyers and sellers, today announced the results of its Real Estate Professionals Marketing Practices and Preferences survey, reflecting the cumulative data from HomeGain’s May and August 2010, and April 2011 surveys.

Based on responses from over 700 real estate agents and brokers nationwide, referrals ranked the number one marketing preference among real estate professionals for acquiring new clients, with a cumulative overall score of 8.7 out of a possible 10 for effectiveness. Referrals also ranked number one in the February 2010 HomeGain Real Estate Professionals Marketing Practices and Preferences Surveys.

Leads from brokers and events (including open houses) ranked second and third, respectively, as most effective marketing strategies, replacing featured listings and email campaigns as indicated in the February 2010 HomeGain survey.

Postcards and mailers were bumped down from fourth in the February 2010 survey to sixth. Print ads fell from 10th in the February survey to 11th.
The most recent results show a substantial decline in agents’ marketing preferences for blogging (moving from fifth to thirteenth since February 2010), as well as a slight decrease in preference for social media.

“It comes as no surprise that real estate professionals once again noted that referrals are the most effective and most preferred form of marketing” said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager of HomeGain. “It is surprising, however, that social media and blogging as marketing strategies lost some favor with real estate professionals over the past year.”

Top Effective Marketing Strategies for Real Estate Professionals:
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Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on May 18th, 2011 under Best Practices, Blogging and Social Networking, HomeGain, HomeGain Surveys, Twitter


Is Social Media the Next Step in SEO?

Social Media has become one of the most effective tools in a real estate agent’s repertoire in engaging their target audience. And now, according to search engine guru, Danny Sullivan, data shared through Twitter and Facebook has a direct effect on a search engine results page placement (SERP). Although it had long been suspected in the SEO community, this announcement further confirms the weight being placed on social media interaction.

Long held to be of utmost importance in search engine algorithms, Google’s PageRank has been a benchmark of trust by which a website/domain can be easily measured. How does this translate into Social Media? ‘SocialRank’ (Danny’s term, not confirmed lingo used by the SE’s) could very well be the next level of social measurement, which takes an individual and calculates THEIR level of authority on various networks (independent of the PageRank of the page to which he/she is associated). Factors taken into account in calculating ‘SocialRank’ could include number followed/followers, number of friends, number of ‘Likes’, etc.

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Posted by: Alex Cortez on January 27th, 2011 under Blogging and Social Networking, Website Strategies


Agents, One Easy Way To Get Free Content For Your Real Estate Blog To Attract First-Time Home Buyers

Maintaining a daily blog content schedule is challenging for full-time real estate agents who dedicate most of their energy to serving the needs of their clients, which is why it’s a good idea to tap the expertise of your local transactional partners for guest posts.

While there are literally thousands of topics real estate agents can blog about that may answer important home buying questions, it’s nearly impossible to publish a complete guide to home ownership without leaning on some of your business partners for a little help.

One of the main benefits of having a comprehensive real estate blog is being able to email quick answers to clients and prospects with a link to an article you’ve written on your own site.

However, as we know, one simple Q&A can easily lead to 10 additional questions as your clients start to realize that every scenario comes with its own unique set of circumstances.

A major frustration many agents have with their lending partners is their lack of communication or timeliness in responding to important questions that may mean the difference between investing a weekend showing homes or waiting a few extra business days for a full underwritten loan approval letter.

The last thing you want is for a client to start searching around the Internet for credit or down payment related answers and then have them end up in another agent’s marketing web. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Mark Madsen on November 10th, 2010 under Blogging and Social Networking


New ‘Home Search’ Tab on HomeGain Facebook Page

HomeGain just added a Home Search tab to its Facebook Fan Page.

Now fans can read the Wall tab for timely, interesting and relevant real estate articles and news, as well as visit the Home Search tab and start searching for homes for sale, get a home’s value, and find a Realtor®.


If you are interested in the HomeGain Blog’s weekly email that alerts you of new posts, subscribe.


Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on October 28th, 2010 under Blogging and Social Networking

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6 Reasons Real Estate Agents Should Care About Blogging

Real estate agents should value blogging if they want to develop a perpetual business model based on a specific type of client that is well informed, loyal and trusting.

While it has already been proven that a real estate company can be established solely around a successful Internet presence, most agents new to the web get caught up chasing social media shiny objects before they clarify their true purpose for getting online.

One of the first misconceptions agents make about blogging is that they approach their business blog like it’s an all-encompassing forum to journal their personal thoughts about life or evolution through social media technology.

However, the business-minded industry professionals that are able to keep their online content focused on providing valuable information for clients are actually quite successful at integrating an Internet presence into their daily office routine.

Quick Overview Of The Basics:

Simply put, a blog is just a type of website platform that is designed for the purpose of quickly publishing content to the Internet.

Categories, Tags, RSS Feeds, Page / Post structure, Widgets, Sidebar / Footer Areas and Custom Menus are some of the technical components of a blog that allow a publisher to easily organize their content in whatever manner best suites the needs of their target audience. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Tony Sena on October 12th, 2010 under Blogging and Social Networking, Guest Bloggers


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