On the hunt for new real estate marketing tools!

The great folks at Inman News have asked me to put together a 15 minute presentation at SF Connect this year… and I’m downright excited about it.   The title of my presentation:  50 Technologies To Help You Survive the Downturn.

I’ve got some huge shoes to fill in that both Jamie Glenn of Trulia and Brian Boero of 1000watt have given versions of this presentation at recent Connect Events… and their presentations were top notch.

The Plan?

I’ve been given 15 minutes to talk about 50 technologies… Let’s break down into what that means in terms of the amount of time I have to explain each technology. Fifteen minutes is 900 seconds. Given the fact that I at least have to introduce myself and let my audience know I’m available for speaking gigs, I’ve already blow 30 seconds right there… Combined with the fact that I’ll need at least two 10-second water breaks, I’m down to 850 seconds or 17 seconds per technology!   I’m known for speaking fast, but the pressure is really going to be on!  😉

I Need Your Help!

Real estate agents: Do you have a favorite tool or technology that has become indispensable at making your business operations more efficient?   My preference is online tools, but I’ve have to find 50 of them, so I’m honestly not very picky at the moment!

Real estate tech providers: Do you have a tool you think is worthy of being featured at SF Connect?    Let me know, but make sure I can “sell” it 17 seconds or less!  I make no promises, but again, I’ve got to find 50 tools in less than 50 days, so I’d appreciate any help you can give!

My Bag of Tricks

Here’s an outline of the previous presentation.

Jamie Glenn:

  • Listing Sites (12 sites)
  • Social Media (9 sites)
  • Multimedia (15 sites)
  • Communication (7 sites)
  • Blogging (9)

Total: 52 sites!  Plus, his last slide through in 9 “bonus” resources!

Brian Boero:

  • Things that will help you work smarter and cut costs (10 actions)
  • Things that let you engage customers and prospects in new ways (8 actions)
  • Things that will help you grow your professional network (3 actions)
  • Blogs you should read (and watch) (7 actions)
  • Market smarter – and cheaper (6 actions)
  • New advertising opportunities (5 actions)
  • Technologies that help you leverage your knowledge (3 actions)
  • Things that shrink space and time (3 actions)
  • Technologies that help you meet the neighbors (4 actions)

Total: 49 actions.   Although much to his credit, each-and-every “action” included at least one technology tool and many of them included multiple tools!!!

I have both presentations in front of me, and I can tell you that they both did an excellent job of providing a wealth of information in only 15 minutes!

My Presentation

Lucky for me, I still have over a month!   Unlucky for me, I just typed out all the notes I’ve taken to date and I have only 33 technologies listed that are appropriate for the title: “50 Technologies To Help You Survive the Downturn.”

Here’s an outline of how I grouped the various tools, concepts, websites so far (but note, I’m positive the final outline will be MUCH different):

  • Online Marketing Basics
  • Publishing Tools
  • CRMs
  • Inspiration
  • Analytics
  • Listing Syndication
  • Listing Tools
  • Connecting with Consumers
  • Connecting with Professionals
  • Video Podcasts
  • Communications
  • Identity Management

However, rather than bias you’all by starting with my list of sites I would include (or listing out the websites from the the previous presentations), I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear some of the tools, techniques and technologies that you think would be worthy of being included in this list!

The 1st 4RealzEd event was yesterday and…

4ealzEdI think I’ve recovered enough now to actually post about it! 🙂

Despite our best efforts to be prepared, the day started off a bit rough with a nearby mudslide taking out power in our building in the morning (meaning no hot coffee and no projector) and a 9-car pileup on a nearby freeway slowed me down tremendously. AHHH

So, to say it started rough would be an understatement… But once it started, things seem to get on a roll quickly.

I started with an overview of consumers expectations in a web2.0 world to set expectations for the day… Jim followed up with presentation on optimal features and design for a real estate website. Then it turned back to me for a presentation on social networking… lunch… then another presentation by me on creating value through blogging about communities. And we returned for the day’s finally with Jim giving a engaging presentation on measuring and tracking marketing results to ensure a positive ROI.

All around, it was a wonderful day! And, maybe they were just being nice, but the attendees who talked with me said only good things about the education.

Because I promised attendees I would give them a list of all the sites I mentioned in my presentations (so that they wouldn’t have to ask me to spell out each URL), here is the list for everyone’s benefit.

Consumer Expectations in a Web2.0 World:

Engaging in Social Networking to Earn Clients

Using Blogs to Build Communities

I wasn’t tracking the sites that Jim mentioned, but there were not nearly as many of them in his presentations…

And thanks again to all the bloggers who have helped spread the word about the event, the sponsors who helped us keep the price low and all the attendees who made the day possible!

I received some incredible feedback from all three groups, which is going to lead me to make some changes to the upcoming events (I’ll announce those early next week!). Great stuff all around. Thanks again to everyone!

Greg thinks Top Producer is vulnerable to…

the Zillow machine, but I seriously doubt it…

I 100% agree that someone could seriously improve on the existing CRM products for agents… During our after-lunch conversation this past week, I mentioned that if Trulia really wants to reach marketing dominance some day, they should offer a free, high-quality CRM to agents. But first, they’d need to start thinking of themselves as a company that provides marketing tools to agents, not just as an advertising platform (and interestingly, I get the impression that Rudy is already thinking this way!).

However, I don’t think Rudy is enough to make it happen for Trulia.

Why? Because to call either Trulia or Zillow a “marketing” platforms for agents would be to confuse marketing with advertising. The core DNA of both companies is to build consumer-oriented products and then find a way to integrate agent-advertising into those products. Other than the (very valuable) service of getting agents in from of consumers, I’m yet to see either company make the mental leap toward thinking what should they do to make the day-today business of agents easier or more efficient.

Just as it is in TP’s DNA to build products for agents, T and Z still live in a world of consumer-oriented products. My guess is that some of the executives at T or Z would view the development of pure agent-centric products (like a CRM) as selling-out the consumer experience of their core sites.

Nonetheless, if T or Z (or Roost!), decided to build some agent-centric projects, I’d argue that they’d likely open up some interesting business opportunities and potentially do a much better job endearing themselves to their core advertisers.

And a quality CRM is only one way they could go… CMS, market intelligence, and transaction coordination are three other (obvious) areas where existing agent-centric products are either seriously lacking features or the market is seriously under-served.

But just because the market is starved, doesn’t mean T or Z have any interest in coming to the rescue. As a matter of fact, inertia suggests to me that they are not even thinking about taking on this market and TP executives are right not to worry about Zillow.

(Are you having a hard time translating this post? A key can be found here.)

RE.net Acronyms

Jim got me thinking about some of the acronyms that I use on 4realz and other common terms I’ve seen others use:

  • AG: AgentGenius.com
  • AR: ActiveRain
  • BR: BlueRoof
  • BHB: Bloodhound Blog
  • CB: Coldwell Banker
  • CH: Cyberhomes
  • CL: Craigslist
  • CMS: Content Management System
  • CRM: Customer Relationship Management
  • FBS: FBS Blog
  • FOREM: Future of Real Estate Marketing
  • FORET: Future of Real Estate Technology
  • FD: FrontDoor
  • G: Google
  • GDH: Garage with a Detached Home
  • HV: HouseValues
  • HG: HomeGain
  • IC: InternetCrusade
  • KW: Keller Williams
  • M: Microsoft
  • MBL: MyBlogLog
  • MLB: MLBroadcast
  • MLS: Multiple-Listing Service (this means different things to different people!)
  • MLW: MyLevenworth
  • NAR: National Association of Realtors
  • P2A or P2: Point2Agent
  • RCG: Rain City Guide
  • RCV: RealCentralVA
  • RDC, R or R.com: Realtor.com
  • RE.net: The real estate blogosphere
  • REB: The Real Estate Bloggers
  • RES: Real Estate Shows
  • RET: Real Estate Tomato
  • REW: Real Estate Webmasters
  • REZ: Real Estate Zebra
  • RF: Redfin
  • RT: RealTown
  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization
  • SEM: Search Engine Marketing
  • TP: Top Producer
  • TPG: The Phoenix Real Estate Guy
  • T: Trulia
  • WM: WellcomeMat
  • WP: WordPress.org
  • WP.com: WordPress.com
  • Y!: Yahoo!
  • Z: Zillow

UPDATE: Based on suggestions in the comments I added a few more names to the above list and decided to alphabetize them. (I also went back and added links to the various sites, which I should have done from the start!)