Learning, learning, learning…

After last Thursday’s event, Jim and I took the weekend to relax and digest what we learned. The break was nice, but now we’re ready to hit the next event up harder than ever!   😉

Here are some of the things that I learned from our first event:

  • The people in the audience seemed to respond really well to the entire program, with almost everyone telling me the course was a great value (including agents who I’d consider to be quite internet savvy!). However, in marketing it to brokers and agents, many felt that the price ($149) and the time (8 hours) were too much.
  • The enthusiasm of the sponsors and the ability for us to get exactly the sponsors we wanted was a pleasant surprise.
  • The audience really responded well to Jim’s presentation on measuring and tracking ROI.   There’s obviously a lot of pent-up demand for this kind of extremely practical, nuts-and-bolts, education.
  • The most effective marketing was when brokerages/sponsors recommended that their agents/clients take part.

Based on what we learned, here are the changes we’re making to our next event in Orange County:

  1. We’re dropping the price to $49 per person!
    • This can only be done because of the awesome sponsorships we’ve been able to get from companies like Altos Research, Inman News, Zillow, Top Producer and Diverse Solutions. The willingness of the sponsors to support our effort to spread quality internet marketing education to agents is the ONLY reason we can drop this price so darn low!
  2. We’re going to squeeze all of our content into 4 hours
    • This will let us start at 9am and end at 1pm. To make this work, here is our new schedule:
      • 9am to 9:15: Intro (by Dustin)
      • 9:15 to 10:15: Creating a performance based website (by Jim)
      • 10:15: 10:30: 1st break
      • 10:30 to 10:45: Effectively engaging in social networks (see change #3)
      • 10:45 to 11:45: Creating local communities with blogs
      • 11:45 to noon: 2nd break
      • Noon to 1pm: Measuring and tracking your marketing ROI
    • The things we have to cut to make this work are lunch (1 hour), my discussion on social networking (from 1.5 hours to only 15 minutes), one break (15 min) and each presentation by 15 minutes.
  3. We will offer all attendees a free, 90-day, follow up course tentatively called Get 4RealzEd with 15 minutes a day
    • I’m more convinced than ever that the best way to get people knowledgeable on how to be effective within the various social networks is NOT to lecture on them, but to simply walk agents through a variety of social networks in simple steps.
    • At least for the first round, I’m going to keep this simple and send out a daily email with a simple (~15 min) social networking, blogging and/or ROI activity.
    • Attendees seemed to really respond well to this idea, so I’m quite excited about it going forward!
  4. Our next event will be in Orange County on April 17th
    • We’ve pushed back the dates on both the Orange County and San Diego events. We’re quite fortunate that some of our sponsors we’ve brought on in the past few weeks have shown an interest in helping us promote these events, so rather than rush things, we want to give them enough time to work their magic!

I really want to thank everyone for helping make the 4RealzEd event in LA such a success.   I learned a tremendous amount from the first event and feel more confident than ever that I’m on to something really big!  Because we’re still in the early stages of this roadshow (we haven’t even announced any events outside of southern California yet!), I expect we’ll continue to tweak things based on feedback we get from attendees and non-attendees alike, so please feel free to fire away with ideas, tips, critiques, and/or feedback… We’re listening!

7 responses

  1. Great news Dustin! At this price, I’m sure you’ll sell out fast! I just did an email blast to all my agent friends, and I will plan to be there too!

  2. Dustin – at $49 and the follow up email program, why not capture a session (in live or in a studio) and sell access to the recorded version and allow those in more rural areas to take advantage of the follow up material?

    Please consider this.

  3. Awesome Vicki!

    I see that someone just signed up a few minutes ago thanks to a recommendation from you! 🙂

    Just to let everyone else know, despite the extreme drop in price, we’re still just as excited as ever to use our REALZ coins to help spread buzz. In short, once you register with the course, then we’ll send you an email that includes a unique URL just for you.

    For anyone and everyone who signs up thanks to your unique link, we’ll give you one big antique brass coin that is worth $44 to be spent on our event sponsors! More details on this post.

  4. Mitch,

    I still think it is a great idea and something I’d love to work into the overall course at some point. For quality reasons, I’d much prefer a pre-recorded course if I was going to do something on video… and that is something that will take us some more time. But you make a very valid point that we’ll reach a hell-of-a-lot more people if we didn’t require physical attendance.

  5. “The audience really responded well to Jim’s presentation on measuring and tracking ROI. There’s obviously a lot of pent-up demand for this kind of extremely practical, nuts-and-bolts, education.”

    I have suggested this on more than one occasion.

    The first person to really show agents HOW to track ROI from using 2.0 technologies will win.

    In a way, this could be an entirely separate 4 hours geared only towards broker/owners.

  6. Jillayne,

    One of the beauties of going to the web with marketing dollars (web2.0 or otherwise) is just how simple (and cheap) it is to track your marketing spend. Things that can be difficult for a small company to manage offline, become almost trivial online (and often more transparent to the user!)

    For example, in an offline environment, it would be desireable to have a different telephone number (or at least extension) for each ad (and even each property in each ad!), so that you could track exactly which ads were performing. But, this type of solution is rarely used because it can be expensive to implement, track and manage.

    However, in an online environment, it is much easier to track the performance of ad/marketing campaigns because creating a unique referral code for each ad (and each property within each ad!) is not particularly difficult. Combined with the free tools from Google Analytics like the funnel analysis, it can be much easier to implement, measure and optimize a marketing campaign.

    Due to time limitations, Jim only spends about an hour on this material, but I think you’re right that measuring ROI in a web environment could easily be a four-hour course in-and-of itself!

  7. […] While RCG started out as an experiment to cheaply market my wife’s new real estate business, it turned into an epic personal journey that has allowed me to foster a fabulously healthy real estate community, learn a tremendous amount about building and marketing real estate websites, and make a living educating real estate professionals on how to improve their online marketing. […]

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