Friday, November 24, 2006

Five Proven Ways to Waste Money With Pay-per-Click Advertising

Many of today’s more technologically savvy Agent CEO’s are using pay-per-click (PPC) as part of their overall marketing strategy. recently wrote a handy article to point out the most common mistakes made with PPC so that your efforts can begin generating results as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This short article shows
five common mistakes marketers make in using PPC services and how to avoid them. Here’s the five mistakes, check the article for details.

  • Mistake No. 1: Use your homepage as the landing page
  • Mistake No. 2: Don't bid enough to secure a top spot
  • Mistake No. 3: Don't make your ad copy specific
  • Mistake No. 4: Don't align your landing page with searchers' keywords
  • Mistake No. 5: Don't bother with testing

While you’re over on the MarketingProfs site, why not register for their newsletter? They provide a lot of cool marketing ideas for free.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Send Free Postcards of Support to US Troops Overseas

I’d like to start off this Thanksgiving week with something very touching, a THANK YOU message you can easily send to our troops serving overseas. Xerox has put together a “Let’s Say Thanks” program that makes it easy to send a heartfelt greeting card to show support for our troops.

After you have selected one of the cards drawn by children from around the United States, put on your Agent CEO hat and think about how you can get this message out to your prospects and sphere. You could put a message in an email with the link and send it to everyone and/or put a link on your website. The stories on the site are so touching you are sure to get some positive feedback.

After you have done that, take a quiet moment, think of our troops overseas on Thanksgiving Day, pray whatever prayer you pray that our troops will come home safe, and then, be grateful for all we have to be thankful for.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Home Price Increases by Metro Areas

Do You Really Know Your Market?

In these changing market conditions it’s vital to stay on top of pricing in order to make the most informed recommendations to your sellers and buyers. The headlines are full of “the market is crashing” type articles that glum onto one or two negative national statistics. You need to be able to sift through the frenzied media to find local, relevant information to look for trends in your market.

Look for your price ranking among the 270 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). Maybe your market will be among the top 20 with highest appreciation. You might be surprised where they are.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

10 Cheap Fixes to pass on to your seller's

As listings stay on the market longer and buyers are being pickier, the 10 cheap fixes I read about on MSN Real Estate makes for a good list to offer your sellers.

Remind sellers that changing market conditions necessitate making the house as presentable and appealing as possible if they want to get offers. Some of these inexpensive renovations will actually increase the home’s value. Use this list to get your client’s thinking along the right lines, right away.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

You Are Mighty!

If you need a pick-me-up, this site is for you.

Simply take your first name, and replace the "www" of the Web site with your first name. An example:

If you want first and last name, you can do that with an extra word and extra period. Just like:

Make sure your speakers are turned up. Do this for yourself, for a friend, maybe even a client or two that you know well. It almost always generates a smile!

Here's an example of how I've put this together for a friend in the industry. Not a bad reminder every morning as you go out to achieve and exceed your goals!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Fine Print Traps

No, I’m not talking about hunting season. I’ve discovered a web site called “MousePrint” that points out the fine print in advertising, a contract or a product label that is often tucked away out of easy sight. Their stated purpose is “The goal is to help educate the public about the catches or “gotchas” in disclaimers, and to encourage advertisers to abandon the motto, ‘the big print giveth, and the little print taketh away.’”

When you start looking at these blogs, like the latest talking about Wendy’s iffy trans fat claims, you can hardly stop reading some of the ridiculous claims companies make. Gives new meaning to “buyer beware".

Use this information in your newletters or special emails to all your prospects and clients. They'll thank you for it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Going Incognito on the Internet

Hewlett Packard has a handy website for small business owners full of practical tips and information you can use in your own business. One article caught my attention about the information we unwittingly share when we go online.

Most alarming fact pointed out is just how much personal data is collected when we surf the net and how it can be “used for financial gain or other malicious purposes. The article also points out what you can do to ensure privacy and safety on the web and how to go about “surfing anonymously.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How to Decipher Internet leads

No matter what your source of Internet leads, trying to figure out if one is “good” or not can be frustrating. To help you make the best use of every type lead try looking at these 6 levels of information and response to see if the lead has potential.

Before looking at the leads themselves it’s important to understand the nature of Internet consumers. Since nearly 80% of consumers start their moving process by going online, it’s vital to understand the average Internet consumers buying/selling process. Independent research shows:

A.) Today’s buyers and sellers can take anywhere from one year to over five years to actually make their move.
B.) Over 75% of buyers and sellers will use a real estate agent, but will only spend one to three days interviewing and selecting that agent.

With this research we can see why it is important to have automated systems in place to maintain contact with these leads over extensive periods of time. Keeping our name and additional helpful information in front of your Internet leads greatly improves the possibility of being the agent of choice when that one to three day window comes along.

Any level of contact with the prospect means it has potential. Here’s a look at those 6 levels.

1. Email only- the foundation piece to building huge e-farms of prospects. Use drip email campaigns and periodic 'special' emails to build name/brand awareness.

2. Plus phone- Use to establish service rapport. "I'm your information resource". Important
to leave messages- these are your personal advertisements. Think of a voice mail as a highly personal advertising impression.

3. Plus address- Expands contact opportunities to meet person to person and do direct mailings.

4. Prospect responds to email- Any acknowledgement is good, even if the prospect says I was just curious. Respond back with "I'm your information resource, would you like to have (whatever info you have like buyers/ sellers guides), personalize it for them in some little way.

5. Prospect responds to phone- May be an indication of readiness but not always.

6. Meet person-to-person (drop-by)- The best for getting 'the rest of the story'- what their intentions are in terms of moving.

Your ultimate goal for every Internet lead should be to bridge the gap between the impersonal (Internet) and the personal (you). This step will help establish the trust so necessary for your clients to act on the most expensive transaction most people make.

Monday, November 06, 2006

How would your business fare if you were unable to work?

While conducting a seminar in Orlando last week I heard a story that dramatically illustrates why it’s important to automate your business as much as possible.

Judy Dassinger was attending the seminar and shared this story. She was in a motorcycle accident and sustained a serious head injury. She had been so seriously injured she couldn’t work for at least 5 months.

Before reading on, stop and ask yourself, “what would I do if I couldn’t work for 5 months?” Here’s what happened to Judy. When she recovered, she told me she closed over $2.4 million her first two months back at work due to HouseValues. The prior year she closed $14 million- much of it due to HouseValues.

It’s not the fact that she was associated with HouseValues that made the fast ramp-up to income possible, it’s the fact she had an automated pipeline of prospects who were continually receiving information from her. She had all her prospects receiving automated email drip campaigns, even in her absence from the business. She had a pipeline of prospects “maturing” even as she was recovering.

Feel free to share any of the tools you use to manage your prospect pipeline.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Free “Real Estate Professional” Subscription

Back in September I talked about The Real Estate Professional magazine being an excellent resource chock full of useful advice, best practices and profiles both of successful real estate professionals as well as business services that are making Realtors successful nationwide.

They have the second-highest circulation behind Realtor Magazine (which is distributed for free to all NAR members), and is considered by many top agents as a must read.

Through my affiliation with HouseValues, I was able to make arrangements with the publisher to offer a free six-month subscription to all readers of Agent CEO. It’s a no-strings-attached offer, promoted as courtesy..Agents can sign up for this offer at

This is just one of many ways you can stay abreast of what other Agent CEO’s are doing with their real estate practices.