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

Bay To Breakers San Francisco’s Eclectic “Race” A Realtor’s Marketing Fantasy

sf.curbed.com illustrious San Francisco blog linked to this article May 19, 2008

Thinking outside the box never got more fun than “think tank” brainstorming. One of the most under utilized ideas is turning San Francisco’s Bay to Breaker’s race into your marketing bonanza. One example is Autodesk, a successful Bay Area software company. Autodesk has entered a team of runners dressed as the Autodesk centipede. Although this race is more fun and follie than serious sporting event, the television coverage Autodesk received was invaluable:

If you are Realtor, broker, or real estate affiliate sponsoring a team of runners, in costume, to run and advertise your company and your company’s cause is a great way to publicize who you are and what you do!

NIN’s Trent Reznor’s Direct Marketing Approach: How Realtor’s Can Understand The Power Of Value

Trent Reznor is a hard core rock n roll singer who looks the part and acts the part. He is the centerpiece of a very successful band: Nine Inch Nails. What can Realtors learn from a screaming rock God?

Marketing direct to the consumer is all about giving away what your target audience values, continuously giving value to your audience, and giving away value without asking or demanding anything in return.

Reznor’s Plan A Purple Cow?

Seth Godin author of “The Purple Cow” and marketing guru for the ages suggests many of the concepts Reznor has adopted in his approach to marketing his music.

Value Prop #1: Giving Away “The Slip” As An Introduction

In a great article by Eliot Van Buskirk of Wired.com NIN’s latest album “The Slip” is being offered online for free to any fans who wish to download the music to MP3, lossless (FLAC or Apple) or 24-bit, 96-kHz WAV files. The album-CD goes on sale in July so this is a free introduction to fans

Realtors: What can you provide your audience for free that is of value and makes you a valued expert in the eyes of your audience? Blogs written with expert advice, sources, tools, and tips would fill this order

Value Prop #2: Selling Tickets Direct To Fans

In an effort to remove the inflated ticket prices that come with widespread “scalping”, Reznor now sells concert tickets directly, through their website, to fans. Each ticket is printed with the fan’s name on it; the supply is controlled giving the perception of exclusivity while keeping the average fan coming out due to ticket affordability

Realtors: How can you help a consumer save money, avoid dishonest deals, or help them understand the changing real estate landscape? Educate your audience on deceptive lending practices, on proper home inspection, or provide them information on avoiding PMI

Value Prop #3: Staying In Direct Contact With Your Audience

nin.com provides their audience with Official NIN news, discography, tour dates, video clips, and answers to submitted questions. Fans can subscribe to the site feed and everything is free. In addition Reznor and the band communicates directly with their audience by posting articles and answering fan questions

Realtors: If you believe that staying in touch with today’s buyer or seller entails placing a listing print ad in a local rag, commenting to a real estate columnist in a local rag, sending out email announcements aka Spam, or writing a 1x per month newsletters you are mired in Web Zero and in need of a Web 2.0 makeover.

Realtor’s #1 Tool To Expertise: Economic Research Institute

salary surveys

The best source for Realtors to find free “calculator” tools and research, to help people decide the best cities in the US to live, are provided by the Economic Research Institute. The best page to find these valuable tools is the ERI “Career and Cost of Living Comparison” page. In addition a number of valuable reports are available for purchase.

Understanding Your Niche and Choices

As a Realtor or broker, you can elevate your perception with consumers as well as become more knowledgeable, if you are willing to research. Some of the best research available on cost of living, relocation, and economic conditions can be found at the Economic Research Institute. The information is global in scale and very detailed nature.

2 Career Cost of Living Comparison Tools

1. Salary Potential 2023: This tool “reports the estimated annual mean salary potential for 5,634 positions in the Year 2023.”

2. Cost of Living: This tool is a fantastic point of reference. It calculates cost of living for cities around the world and in some cases neighborhoods within the cities.

In my example I found the following information about San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood: “Student Cost of Living for Consumables as a percentage of the U.S. National Norm: 125%”

There are many more detailed reports comparing cities globally and nationally, cost of living conversion rates and economic condition calculators. Although these reports are not free, the descriptions of the reports can give you a starting point to becoming an expert.

Realtor’s Web 2.0 Crash Course Tool #1: MiloBlog

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article May 3, 2008

Are you a Realtor, broker, or affiliate who is interested in learning what Web 2.0 means, how it effects the real estate industry, and how to harness the power of this ongoing revolution? Even if you just want to look informed and with it, the best spot to begin is Miloblog. Miloblog’s tagline “Your guide to real estate marketing and technology trends” says it all.

MiloBlog’s categories contain articles for beginner-advanced lessons on Web 2.0

1. Blog Tips: Blogging the most powerful marketing tool to Realtors today
2. Finance 2.0: With the meltdown, this becomes a very important area to master
3. Listing Tips: Days of the local newspaper are fast approaching zero
4. Search Optimization: aka SEO aka How people find you and your business
5. Web 2.0 Marketing: Global reach, 24/7, online all the time
6. Web site tools: Tools that make your website effective

Substance Factor

The list of experts featured on Miloblog is a who’s who of major players in the blogosphere

1. Joel Burslem of Future of Real Estate Marketing

2. Brad and Inman News

3. The Trulia Blog

4. The wizards at Mashable

5. Jim at The Real Estate Tomato

6. Mighty Zillow Blog

Two additional sites you should read to round out your education

1. Pat Kitano’s transparent real estate a veritable looking glass crystal ball into the future of real estate

2. Tommy’s the real estate bloggers a split second news magnet keeping you informed ahead of the crowd

Newsflash: Los Angeles No Longer “Sootiest” City In US

Reuters.com published this deansguide article on May 9, 2008

A recent study completed by the American Lung Association has a new king of soot: Pittsburgh, PA . For the first time ever, Los Angeles is no longer considered the “sootiest” city in America. “Soot”, aka short-term particle pollution, is one of the categories that make up the overall clean air score given a city by the ALA in their “State of the Air” report.

Los Angeles still took the all-around pollution title: We’re #1 was never so well deserved. The shocking developments were two Utah cities making the top 10, Detroit sinking to #9, and in a obvious trend California dominating the top 10 with four locations.

Top 10 “Sootiest” Cities In America

1. Pittsburgh, PA

2. Los Angeles, CA

3. Fresno, CA

4. Bakersfield, CA

5. Birmingham, AL

6. Logan, UT

7. Salt Lake City, UT

8. Sacramento, CA

9. Detroit, MI

10. Washington, D.C.

Newsflash: Ed Okun’s Bond Hearing Postponed To May 9

This just in from the Department of Justice and one of our train wreck friends Elizabeth, Ed Okun’s bond hearing scheduled for today (April 29) was canceled. The new date for Okun’s bond hearing is Friday May 9 at 2pm. The reason for the postponement? Okun’s appointed public defender asked for the postponement so your guess is as good as mine: preparation issues?

How do you represent a criminal like Okun to a court of law in hopes of gaining his freedom-even if it is a short lived freedom?

Here are the challenges Okun’s attorney faces

1. Ed is reportedly flat broke
2. Ed may have hidden funds offshore
3. Ed is definitely a flight risk
4. Ed has embezzled, without recovery to victims, at least $132million
5. Ed’s credibility and word are worthless

Against All Odds: Cases That Attorneys Represented the “Unrepresentable”

1. The OJ Case–Simpson walked to the amazement of the world
2. The “Nightstalker”– Richard Ramirez sits on death row the best he could have ever gotten
3. Polly KlausRichard Allen Davis how could anyone represent this piece of _hit?
4. Scott Peterson–Did anyone and I mean anyone ever believe this punk?
5. Rodney King’s Cops–just change the venue and everything goes bye-bye