Talking (and talking…) online marketing in real estate

upcoming conferencesReal estate presentation season is in full swing!

After a great event last week with the Leading RE Companies of the world in Las Vegas, I’m off to Chicago later this week to talk about how to make Social Media Work for You, Atlanta next week to talk about how agents can optimize their lead management strategies… It also looks like I’ll be speaking in Portland, Orange County, and Toronto in the very near future, but those events are all at least two weeks away, so they haven’t hit my radar just yet!

I simply love engaging, challenging and entertaining a live audience… I may not be the best speaker, but I sure do have more fun than most! So if you know of anyone who’s looking for a speaker who can provide valuable education to a group of real estate professionals on developing an online marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to send them my way. While I’ve talked for years on blogging (my first real estate blogging presentation was in May 2006!), my current favorite topics to cover include building a real estate hub and developing a lead management strategy that works.

[Also, I have a super special request to make… About a year ago, I was invited to speak in Burmuda for a Christie’s Great Estate event… That was super cool. Total bonus points if you can get me a paid trip to an exotic location: New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Paris, the Caribbean, etc… ;)]

And of course, if you’re going to be attending any of my talks, don’t hesitate to reach out and introduce yourself! Far and away the best business contacts I’ve made came after meeting people at conferences!

Where else can you get a great conversation around RE BarCamps and Cougars???

Thanks again to all the people who joined us on today’s radio show.

Lani gave a great overview of this week in real estate and then we quickly dived into a conversation about the status and future of RE BarCamps with people such as Stacey Harman, Matt Fagioli and Todd Carpenter.

Of course, we followed it up with an equally entertaining conversation about cougars. Diane Guercio was instrumental in defining some cougar related items…

Want to be informed about our radio show? Become a fan of our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter for regular updates on upcoming shows!

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!

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

At the last 4RealzEd event, a wonderful real estate videographer by the name of David Toth agreed to film our event as well as some reactions from attendees. My favorite video, for reasons that will probably be obvious if you watch it, is when he captured me talking with attendees after the event:

Here are some links so you can learn more about the people featured in the video:

Our next event is in Pasadena on May 30th! And just like the Irvine event, we’re hoping to blow this one out of the water and close registration down early again for lack of space, so now is the time to register! 😉

And finally, I also want to thank Jessie B of ReTrove. He went out of his way to connect us with David Toth so that the videos could be possible! Not only did he capture the testimonials above, but he also edited down our presentation into three pieces to give you an idea of what to expect if you attend (4RealzEd Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Obviously, if you’re looking to connect with a real estate videographer in Orange County area, you should consider talking with David because the guy knows what he’s doing!

(By the way, don’t be too surprised if I drop off the internet for the next few days as I travel and present in Toronto at RealtyQuest early this week…)

4RealzEd Irvine was exhilarating!

What an awesome crowd!

4RealzEd Irvine

People seemed interested, engaged, and enthusiastic about the material.   Thanks to everyone who helped make this event happen!

Also, I just posted a few of my photos from the event on Flickr… including photos from the evening before when a group of us went out for dinner at an unbelievable too Mexican restaurant in Newport Beach.

What a blast!

Wednesday Night Meetup in Orange County

Considering there’s a great crew sponsors and attendees traveling to Orange County for 4RealzEd event on Thursday, we thought it would be fun to meetup at Javier’s Cantina the night before.

Jim made a reservation for 16 people…. and considering Rudy, Joel, Jeff, Loren, and Drew have already RSVPed, you’ll want to get your name on the list quickly if you want to reserve a spot!  It should be a blast!

(By the way, there’s still a handful of spots left open for our event on Thursday and we’d obviously love to fill the place up.  If you know of any real estate professional in Southern California interested in getting a jolt of internet marketing education this Thursday morning, we’d obviously appreciate it if you helped spread the word!)

I just confirmed with Brad Nix that I’ll be speaking…

 …at REtech South later this month!  (Brad moves fast!)

Check out the homepage for the full list, but it goes without saying that the list of speakers is top-notch and at $100 for a full day, I suspect they are going to get some great attendance!  I’m excited already!

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!

It’s time for a 4Realz Internet Marketing Education!

Word has been leaking all over the (I wonder how that happened) that I’ve been working with Jim Marks to organize a series of seminars where we aim to educate real estate professionals on how they can improve their internet marketing. Our first event is only two weeks away in Los Angeles and we’re going to quickly follow that up with two more events in Southern California.

I like to think of my target-market as “tech-interested” agents and brokers as oppose to agents that are already “tech-savvy.” And because much of the material we will cover is probably a bit too basic for many of the people reading this blog, I’ve been doing most of my outreach to date through other mediums (such as e-blasts through brokerages) where I am more likely to reach local real estate professionals who would be most likely to sign up for one of our courses!

However, just yesterday, Jim picked up my favorite marketing piece for the event and I can’t help but share my excitement! I honestly think this will be one of the most interesting parts of my education to the people of the (that means you!)…

4realz Coins

Just yesterday, Jim picked up our REALZ coins!

These are two-inch, heavy, antique brass coins. When you pick one up, they feel valuable and that is because they ARE!

Each coin is going to be worth $44 to be spent on our event sponsors (to be names shortly!).

Essentially, I hate asking for favors of people, and rather than beg the bloggers of the to do promotion for me, my idea is to reward those who are able to attract a relevant crowd of real estate professionals!

So here’s the deal… Registering for one of our events is a two step process… Step 1 is filling in your contact information and step 2 is paying. Anyone who completes step 1 (regardless if they pay) will be emailed a unique URL that they can use to help spread the word.

If you’re up for helping us spread the word then for ever person who signs up after clicking on your unique link, we’ll give you one coin at the event that can be spent on any of the event sponsors.

The REALZ coins are obviously geared toward encouraging real estate agents to tell other agents because the sponsors we have on board by-and-large serve the agent community.

Jim with 4realz coins

However, my number one concern (and only concern at this point considering how easy it has been to get sponsorship), is filling the seats up for the first event.

For the first event we reserved a room for 100 people, and I’m completely committed to filling the room up!

And just as attendance at my events last spring went from 68 people at the first event to over 250 by the third event thanks to positive word of mouth, I’m convinced that once we give a few people a 4realz Education, they’ll tell their friends who will tell their friends and we’ll be able to attract good size crowds well into the future. (Call it faith in the wisdom of the crowds!)

However, despite my overall optimism, my stress level will be considerably lower (and I’ll start to get a full night sleep again!) if I can get a packed house at this first event!

For that reason, if you’re a vendor, mortgage broker, or other industry insider who is interested in helping us fill up the seats by blogging, emailing or simply spreading the word in any way you see fit, I want to make sure you get a massive benefit!

I can’t make any promises about paying out cash per person you can help me get registered, but I can promise that I’ll make sure you feel well-rewarded! And if you need something more specific than that to get your promotional wheels spinning, contact me and I’ll happily work something out on a case-by-case basis.

So, now that I’ve talked about the promotional angle, what is a 4Realz Education all about? And why am I convinced we’re launching the right course at the right time?

I’ve got all that information on our event website, but I haven’t provided a link to the site for a very good reason. I want to reward the people who have already started to spread the word! So, if you want to learn more about the 4realz education, here are some of the places you can find a link to the event website where you can learn more:

    As always, if you have any questions about the event, please don’t hesitate to contact me! And, even if you don’t plan to attend, please consider signing up for the first part of the registration in order to get your unique code that will give you credit for spreading the word about this valuable educational opportunity for real estate professionals!