which was all the impetuous I needed to finally get around to publishing my very own online marketing bookstore here on 4realz. This is something I’ve been thinking about doing ever since I built a similar (Amazon-powered) bookstore for a client, but just never took the time to do for myself.
So far, I have three categories of books:
Starting Your Business
and only two books in each category. My idea is to limit the books under each category so as to make it a “best” of breed books…
Nonetheless, I like the idea of adding a few more books to each of the categories and potentially even another category of two, so if you have a book that should be included because it’s been particularly inspiring to you, definitely let me know!
It was at that point that I knew I had to move 4realz.net to a self-hosted environment so I could realize this long-held dream and open up the site to the rest of you. Well, after messing with the code for a while to get the site to operate just how I wanted, I’m ready to release what I’m calling the 4realz Hotlist.
So, here’s the idea… Once you register with the Hotlist you’ll be able to submit articles to be published on the site. And because I’m going to be very liberal in what I let get published on the Hotlist, it just became quite trivial to give yourself a link from the 4realz.net domain.
Here’s one way to think about the 4realz Hotlist. After you write a blog post that you know is great, think to yourself: why did I write this post? If you can sum it up in one sentence, then publish that one sentence as your 4realz mini-post along with a nice link back to your site.
With that said, don’t limit your activity to simply promoting your own stuff. You can also use the Hotlist to promote just about anything interesting you find on the web. And if you check out how I’ve been using the tool over the past few weeks, you’ll see that I’ve been embeding YouTube videos, photos, and generally linking out to anything that catches my eye.
But here’s the catch, I really want to encourage clever, interesting and/or insightful mini-posts. So to put the incentives in the right places, I’m going to publish the highlights each week here on 4realz.net (Carnival of Real Estate style) AND include the highlights in my weekly emails that go out to many of the most influential people in online real estate. This means that a clever one-liner is likely to get you some great traffic, some nice inbound links, and in front of some interesting people.
But enough about the tool… You really have to try it out to get a feel for how cool it is to publish a blog post from the homepage a blog, so get over to the Hotlist, register for an account and start posting!
…of social media is probably because he is simply more in touch with the technology? For example, my guess is that he was probably answering his own emails just a few years ago while Clinton has probably always had other people filter and respond to emails for her…
(some names left anonymous to protect the innocent)
There’s a hell of a lot of VC money floating around this industry. I was surprised at how many people there were with lots of VC funding. Joel seemed to notice the same thing: “a whole new crop of real estate search sites that are going to be hitting the market”
comScrore and Hitwise are measuring traffic on two different internets. (Hitwise shows Trulia with 1.45% of category traffic and Zillow with 2.28%).
Also interesting from the Hitwise report is that Move.com moved from #2 to #5, while RE/Max moved from #2 to #5. That’s big enough news where I would have expected to see a Press Release. Realtor.com at #1 and Move.com at #2 is huge for Move, Inc., even if it is only for December. (Oddly, I’m getting all the Hitwise numbers for December from an Inman Blog article on my feedreader. The actually article was removed from their site for some reason, so maybe the numbers are butchered!)
Lots of neighborhood projects coming out. Here’s my (unsolicited) advice to anyone looking to build a successful social network in this space. If you really want consumer adoption, you’ve got to have a clear answer to this question: “What’s the consumer benefit?” So, so, so many of the “social networks” I saw this week were focused around real estate professionals. ActiveRain was an anomaly. Be able to explain your consumer proposition clearly, or don’t expect success.
With that said, VillageMaker from RealProSystems will likely be a success… in that agents will the product, not in the sense that consumers will use it. This is the ultimate social network with the real estate professional at the center of the transaction in that a real estate agents must invite consumers to this platform. Sounds great, except it won’t work for all but a few agents.
Saul Kline is still the same great guy even after becoming CEO of Point2. (Frances has photos). His stated approach for moving Point2 forward is sound, although I’ll let him explain that approach when he’s ready.
Lots of start-ups are twisting and turning to think how they an make their products more REALTOR friendly in the hopes of catching some Second Century funding! Mark Lesswing is a popular man at these conferences.
I really liked one startup and can’t wait until they launch in a little bit because I want to see how they market themselves. The product is an (solid) incremental improvement on search, but I don’t think it is enough of an improvement to go viral on its own.
The beer for bloggers event is a great way to start off a conference. (photos on the Zillowblog and Sellsius).
The WellcomeMat boys are quite the fun crowd. I really want to see them succeed because the technology is top-notch. Next step for them is figuring out a way so that their users don’t have to do their own marketing. If uploaded listing videos were getting hundreds (or even dozens), I think they’d be well on-their-way to being a a must-have product for most agents.
Apparently, there is a $15B dollar opportunity in the online real estate space since I heard multiple people throw that number around.
Rumor has it that Cyberhomes is going to spend a LOT of money on advertising this year in order to reach out to consumers. This is a change from my take on their original approach in that they were going to focus on reaching out to agents by offering them a “white-label Zillow”. I like Marty Frame a lot, but I don’t think ads will do the trick. I hope they have one-more thing up their sleeve.
As one would expect, Lockhart is quickly growing his team at Curbed and it was a lot of fun to meet them at the NYT party. From what I saw, Lockhart tried to dampen expansion rumors. He would only talk about Chicago at this point.
Up Yours! Video TV war! Intothebox.tv rips on BrokerIPtv.com (around second 40). Not to take sides, but I was interviewed by the BrokeIPtv team at RE connect, and will be interested to see what comes out of that. On the other side, Rachel of Intothebox is oddly interesting… In watching, I just keep waiting for something to fall or break.
I could never repeat linkation too many times. I keep repeating myself and people continue to act like it is new information. Please tell me if and when I need to stop with the linkation bit. 🙂
ActiveRain introduced a few new people from their team. Rumor was that they have some funding that they will announce soon.
Brendan King and other ex-Point2 folks were passing out business cards with the company name VendAsta. My guess is that the name is only temporary.
The way I read the press release, RISMedia has adopted InternetCrusade’s RealTown blog platform as their social networking interface. I think this is something akin to an official endorsement, but there could also be an understanding that RISMedia will integrate the RealTown’s community content on their site. However, I didn’t see any details suggesting what this partnership will look like.
I first heard about it from Maureen, but it is Jonathan who has the first bit of analysis. His take is that the announcement is really no big deal and I tend to agree. Nonetheless, I can see how this would make sense to both companies and really plays to both companies strengths, which is in their connection to the industry. I think the idea behind the partnership is that they can use their connections to encourage real estate professionals to engage more deeply on their sites.
But as with another recent InternetCrusade-related announcement, I’m a bit skeptical that the two companies really understand the types of innovation that will be necessary to attract consumers. I believe that focusing on the benefits to the real estate professionals first is going about it backwards. I strongly believe that the next round of social networks that will be adopted by real estate professionals are the ones that get massive consumer adoption. Without consumers, the benefit to participation is simply too low for more agents.
It seems relevant to reiternate a comment I made a few weeks ago (thanks to Jim for reminding me of it!): “I really don’t care if its a new CMS, new listing tool, new social network, new blogging tool, new MLS backend, or new analysis reports… If you can get enough consumer eyeballs, the real estate agents will follow.”
… I totally feel for Alex. Getting called up by a journalist can be a rush and cause even the most savvy people to say things they regret (especially if they talk too long).
My take is that people are pretty forgiving of the occasional slip of the tongue and that journalists will continue to gravitate to those people who are more free in their answers. Especially for a small business person that doesn’t get much free publicity, you may be better just telling it like it is. Staying on message often results in such a bland message that you may not be quoted in the first place.
Like Brian Brady, Jay Thompson, Greg Swann, and others, I’m shocked what people can pass off as science to the media. Just because someone uses statistics, doesn’t make it true… and any study based on the people visiting Redfin.com, or the people who use Redfin’s services, will NEVER be a valid sample for making general conclusions about the market.