Realtor John Harper Keynote Speaking Strategy: Become An Expert And Go To Source For Your Community

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article June 27, 2008

John Harper of theharperteam in Danville, California is the best example, template, for Realtors who understand the value of marketing yourself through public speaking. John is an expert, and I don’t use that term very often, in online networking aka social networking. Even more critical to his efforts is the fact that John is an expert in understanding the value of creating a public speaking platform within your business.

Learn How From John Harper

If you wish to understand how to become a go to source of free valuable information to your community as a workshop or keynote speaker, attend John’s presentation “Strategic Thinking About Your Career” Saturday June 28. The workshop is being held at “CPC” Job Seeker’s Group meeting from 9:30-11:30am at the Community Presbyterian Church ( 222 West El Pintado, Room #100 ) in Danville.

In my article for Active Rain How To Win New Clients, Build A Contact List, And Become An Expert In A Niche: Employment Networking Groups Your Ticket To Leads And New Partnerships” I outline the benefits of providing keynote speaking-workshops to employment groups.

Benefits of Public Speaking

1. Create Awareness: help people know you and your business

2. Community Resource: Establish yourself as a resource of free valuable information to your community

3. Build a List: Build a client list from your audience

4. Remain in the Public Eye: Remind your community that you are in business and there to help them all the time

5. Hone your Speaking Skills: Practice makes perfect, builds confidence, and creates expertise

6. Blog Content: Now you have a place, speaking engagement, to bring your blog articles to life. In addition your appearances provide blog content

7. Network: Become a go to source to help others network within your community of contacts

Networking Strategy #8: Network Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

One of the most challenging yet rewarding networking strategies you can employ is to network outside of your traditional groups, niche, or tried and true organizations. One such challenge I took on recently was to attend the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneur meetings aka SVASE.

In my first and only SVASE meeting I met two priciples for the Venture Capital firm ONSET, a Phd working on stem cell research for Stanford, a real life journalist, and enough start up idealist to fill the entire Valley. If this were a card game, you would have to have an MBA just to sit at the table–I was woefully undermanned but game.

What is SVASE?

SVASE is the largest and fastest growing nonprofit association in Northern California dedicated exclusively to helping early stage entrepreneurs across all technology sectors build successful companies.

Network Outside Your Comfort Zone
The next SVASE meeting Digital Media: Building a Business with Social Networking. The speaker’s panel includes Patrick Chanezon, API Evangelist Google Inc; Jyri Engestrom Co-Founder, Jaiku; Konstantin Guericke, CEO of Jaxter (phone call widget for blogs) and Co-Founder of Linkedin; and Ramu Yalamanchi, CEO of hi5.
The substance factor for this panel is high in tech knowledge, start-up expertise, successful niche business development, and Valley connectivity.
SVASE Application #1
You could position yourself as the Real Estate specialist to the region (Silicon Valley) or to a particular job sector like high tech. Many Realtors in Silicon Valley have attempted to position themselves as “Your Google” Realtor. What special interest group or noteworthy organization resides in your area? Consider branding yourself to a particular group, business, niche, or company
Final Thought
At my first SVASE meeting I met two entrepreneurs who asked me to take on their marketing duties (a job offer), I met a principle of a VC firm, I connected my new entrepreneurial friends with my new VC contact, and I was introduced to the American Assoc. of Training and Development–a new networking experience. Whatever you choose make it an adventure!

Independent Brokers Network Meeting: SEM vs SEO-Do You Have Money Or Time?

The IBNMarin, Independent Brokers Network meeting held Tuesday June 3, hosted guest speaker Steven Schneiderman the Online Sales Manager for the San Francisco Chronicle’s website SFgate.com. MC. for IBN, the indispensable Frank Sunshine, Sunshine Realty and Marketing, did another stellar job of bringing a speaker and topic of importance to attendees.

Steven’s speech was compelling as he explained Search Engine Marketing and search from a beginner’s perspective, explained and identified the value of a SEM campaign, and he provided a solid base for people to understand how Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com are the driving forces behind today’s online search marketplace.

While bringing forward some interesting and compelling reasons why a Realtor or broker would want to adopt a pay per click program, a case can be built for establishing an organic program utilizing a blog in conjunction with a pay per click campaign.

SFGate.com

1. SFgate.com: the website for the San Francisco Chronicle in fact acts more like a blog due to the fresh content placed on the site (writers’ articles) on an everyday basis

2. SFgate.com: is ranked by Alexa.com 836 most trafficked website in the world, ranked #229 in the US, 17% of it’s traffic is global with high rankings in Uk, Canada, India, and Germany

3. Pay per click: advertising campaigns on SFgate.com will provide any Realtor in the Bay Area or any Realtor looking to do business in the Bay Area from any location in the world another piece to a well rounded marketing campaign

SEM Positives

1. Only Guaranteed Method: to top of page placement if you are willing to spend the money
2. Pay: only when your ad is clicked
3. Tracking: ability to track your activity
4. Adjust: you can adjust your spending to drive “conversions” by choosing a higher priced placement or lower your costs by choosing a lower per click cost and placement
5. Proxy Technology: Steven’s terminology for how you can identify keyword popularity, keyword activity, measure your activity and set a strategy to convert clicks to sales

Why SEM vs Blogs For A Realtor?

1. Technology: the #1 hurdle to blogging is the technology learning curve and the time it takes to understand. Realtors who do not have the commitment fail at blogging
2. Writing: Realtors that do not write well will have a difficult time producing compelling content that would attract readers
3. Time: Realtors who do not make time to write 3-5 days per week will not blog effectively
4. Social Network: The #2 reason behind successful blogs is social networking within the blogosphere. If a Realtor is unwilling to spend time commenting on other Real estate blogs and building online relationships, they will fail to blog successfully
5. Commitment: Blogging is a commitment of time, energy, innovation, and pride. If a Realtor is unwilling to make the commitment they are harming their own reputation

Realtor Marketing Meetings: The Most Important Networking Event You Can Attend

One of the most effective methods to market listings, meet like minded professionals, search for affiliates, hear industry news-updates, and build last relationships is the Realtor Marketing Meeting. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, most counties have at least one weekly meeting; with many counties having 2 or 3 participating associations that hold separate meetings.

Profile

In the last five years, I have attended hundreds of breakfast marketing meetings sponsored by Realtor Marketing Associations. My schedule was filled with four morning meetingsTuesday through Friday. After these meetings, the associations sponsored broker open house tours where we could caravan together and see upwards of 15 locations. It is a chance to network with other Realtors and see their properties.

My Favorite Meetings

1. Walnut Creek aka Contra Costa Association of Realtors: Tuesday mornings from 7:45 to 9:45. This is one of the most powerful meetings available with Realtors and affiliates coming from as far away as a 50 mile radius. The attendance level was 200-350. Many prominent Realtors, mortgage brokers, and independents attend this meeting faithfully. This meeting is held at the Concord Centre a old but huge meeting hall reminiscent of your high school auditorium.

2. Los Gatos aka Silicon Valley Association of Realtors: Wednesday mornings 8:00 to 9:30. This meeting is the best Association meeting in Silicon Valley (Penninsula) in my opinion. The power broker quotient is high with very prominent brokers and long time Realtor luminaries, like English royalty, dot the landscape. This meeting held at the Willow Street Pizza restaurant has, easily, the greatest breakfast spread of any meeting for only $5 and the most hilarious host in big Michael.

*Note: This meeting was where I received the tip, ahead of the press at the time, that the Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group scandal had just hit. 1031 Advance in San Jose had just closed it’s doors and my “contact” put me onto the story that day.

3. San Ramon aka Realtor’s Marketing Association: Thursday mornings from 8:30-9:45. This meeting is powerful like the Walnut Creek meeting but on a much smaller scale. Attendance runs between 50-85 but again there are a number of Real Estate broker owners, managers, and powerful agents. The beautiful people quotient at this meeting makes it look like a casting call from the 1980’s Dynasty series–fun people watching.

4. Pleasanton aka Valley Marketing Association: This meeting is held Fridays from 8:30-9:30 at Tommy T’s Comedy Club. The venue itself is special because it has a wonderful stage and the best tech gadgets for multi-media presentations. The attendance here is 80-150 with many luminaries coming from Livermore, Dublin, and farther outbound. Information is fresh and the speakers list in most cases is top shelf presenters. John Harper, he of theharperteam blog fame, is one of the long time attendees adding substance to this group. It is a fun meeting and a social event!

5. Fremont aka Tri-City Marketing Meeting: This meeting is held on Thursdays from 8:00-10:00 in a huge banquet room of the Golden Peacock Chinese restaurant a cavern of a space. The crowd is warm and diverse in cultural experiences. Attendance runs between 120-175 per meeting. One of the greatest drawings aka lottos of any meeting, I won the number in one meeting and walked out with $175. This is a more difficult meeting to break into as many Realtors and affiliates are long time partners and have their own cliques.

Realty Times: Excellent Source But Where Does Blogging Fit In?

Realty Times is a premiere source of real estate industry news, information on different real estate instruments, and top advice for the real estate professional. They have market condition information, consumer advice, agent and industry news, as well as a rich library of valuable content to anyone interested in nearly any aspect of real estate.

The reason I said nearly any aspect of real estate is the rather stunning omission of information or tools on blogging. Although Realty Times is not as archaic or dormant in their Blogging coverage as a certain large industry association we all know, I expected more from such a fine site.

Blogging

When I searched the site, utilizing their search box, inputing the phrase “blogging tips” nothing was returned. I then input “blogging” and the results were a mixed bag of information.

In 2008 only 3 article have been written that have referenced information to blogging. Of the three, the most information is contained in “Online Real Estate Marketing Is More Than Just Sharing Ideas” written by Ralph Roberts. It is a good solid informative article but Ralph only spends 2 paragraphs and a handful of bullet points on blogging. It is even more curious when you consider the following excerpt from Ralph’s blog:

“Blogging has created so many opportunities for me, from speaking engagements and consultations to defining my expertise as an authoritative figure on real estate fraud. There is no questions that blogging has greatly benefited me both professionally and personally.”

The next Realty Times blogging articles date back to August and May of 2007.

As Ralph so eloquently stated in his opinion of how blogging effected his business life and personal life, I would have to say that blogging has greatly benefited me both professionally and personally. I have carved out a niche for myself in the business world with the help of blogging and blogging has been a major focal point that I shared with my love interest when we were just beginning our relationship. You got it right on the money Ralph!

SEO “Keywords 2″ Module #3: Go After Competitive Keywords Set Your Benchmark High

SEO Design Solution’s Jeffrey Smith has written a clear concise uber-valuable article: “For Competitive Keywords Think Like a Big Fish.” This is simply one of the best articles on how to target your keywords and why. As Jefferey states in his intro:

“. . . thinking like a big fish is vital for breaking free of the constrictions of the traditional marketing (food chain) and skipping to the front of the line.”

Realtors if you want traffic, if you want to understand the best keywords for your target audience, and if you want to know how to go about testing your keywords for their effectiveness then this is the article for you.

Jeffrey’s Method To Identifying Powerful Keywords

1. Search: perform a search query with your keywords of choice in quotations. Example- “Realtor”, “San Francisco Realtor”

This is a quick way to assess the benchmark of exact match (how many sites are competing for the term)

2. Allinanchor Check: perform an allinanchor check at allinanchor:domainname.com. This allows you to check to see if your keyword matches up–if there is an exact match then you know that this exact match is accurate in determining the barrier to entry aka the difficulty of ranking highly for that keyword.

3. Top 3 Sites: Look for the top 3 sites and cross reference their age, back links, and number of respective pages on the topic.

Killer Traffic Analysis Tool: SEO Quake

SeoQuake provides the Alexa ranking (traffic), age of the domain, as well as links from major search engines. It is a free download to your toolbar and it gives you a beginners analysis tool for traffic. This is a must have for any aspiring blogger.

“SEO Basics” Module #1: Realtor’s “How To” Library For Search Engine Optimization

One of the best blogs for SEO is written by a Canadian company called Search Engine People. Consequently when I opened my subscription feed to searchenginepeople.com/blog today, I was surprised and very please with their gigantic SEO article “One Week of Sphinn SEO Lessons” by writer Ruud Hein.

This article is so vast and expansive I am going to break it down into smaller modules so that you can consider the importance of the library of content Ruud has provided. The first module is SEO Basics for the anyone looking to understand the definition, strategies, and tools that search engine optimization brings to your marketing promotional efforts. This first module contains 17 links to information critical to your Web 2.0 efforts:

The SEO Basics