Realtor’s Twitter Strategy: 4 Mistakes to Avoid By Communicating

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 11-16-08

Reuters.com published this deansguide article 11-16-08

ComputerShopper.com published this deansguide article 11-16-08

Free Twitter Strategy Chart courtesy of Paul Gram’s Websitesuccessdoctor.com

Twitter.com is quickly becoming one of the most useful, fastest growing social media tools available today. Anyone from entrepreneurs to large corporations can utilize twitter to gain exposure, push out their message of value, research, learn, and network. Yet a large number of twitter advocates are making the most basic mistake in social media which is costing them valuable opportunities and slowing their desired results.

#1 Mistake to Avoid: Collecting Numbers

Stop collecting and start connecting! Too many people view twitter as a place to collect followers or create impressive numbers. This syndrome is not exclusive to twitter as many people make the same mistake on Linkedin. The collection of connections has no depth, no meaning, and no value unless you create communication leading to relationships.

#2 Mistake to Avoid: Staying within Your Own “Tribe”

Many Realtors, from my observations on twitter, are guilty of staying within the “tribe.” Simply put many Realtors fail to communicate or investigate outside the sphere of real estate. Instead they tend to limit the majority (if not all) their communications to other brokers or Realtors.

#3 Mistake to Avoid: Stop Hard Selling

Realtors have been trained, and ingrained, to push features and benefits with an ongoing hard sell sales strategy that has worked for decades–up to now. In today’s information rich, Web 2.0 savvy world, the hard sell is dead. Today’s most influential and successful Realtors understand that they must provide valuable information on an ongoing basis without a sales pitch attached. Instead of A-B-C tactics of “Always Be Closing” fame, today it is all about giving value.

What does this mean to Realtors on Twitter? A: If you only provide listing links and links about you, people will quickly begin to stop paying attention to your messages. Which brings us to the next challenge.

#4 Mistake to Avoid: Narrow Focus

This dovetails into #3 mistake to avoid because delivering the same narrow focussed message over and over is not compelling. If you are a Realtor and the only subject and strategy you employ is to leave links to your listings or to your website-blog people will begin to tune out.

Then What is the Strategy?

Like any social media community, twitter is most valuable when you engage other members in meaningful communication, provide valuable information to the community, and then collaborate when given the opportunity. Antidote to the 4 Mistakes:

1. Stop collecting numbers by communicating with people, show you care, and get involved.

2. Go outside your real estate community and make new connections with people from other career paths. Also consider people with similar hobbies and interests as viable networking partners.

3. Stop Hard Selling and become a provider of valuable information. By doing this people will perceive you as a valuable resource and somebody to be read and respected.

4. Widen your subject matter for a more well rounded approach to your messages. Personalize and humanize by providing information about things other than your business. Create value for your business connections as well as your networking partners who have no business ties to you.

Realtor’s Virtual Sales Force: Leadvine-”The Community Is Your Sales Force”

LeadVine - The community is your sales force.

Courtesy Leadvine.com

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 11-14-08

Crowdsourcing according to the wiki by the same name is a term that “has become popular with business authors and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals.” A new service, based on crowdsourcing principles, Leadvine is the first service designed to make “the community your sales force.”

Realtors Create A New Lead Generator

1. Post Sales Leads on Leadvine: You post the sales leads your are searching for, list your referral fee that you will pay, and then “have the community act as your sales force.” The benefits:

  • Increase Sales
  • Outsource your Sales Process
  • Lower your Marketing, Recruiting, and Advertising costs
  • Leadvine is Free

This begins the process of helping Realtor’s find new customers

2. Search Sales Leads on Leadvine: ” Do you come across information that is not valuable to you but valuable to someone else? Get paid for information that is at your finger tips.”

  • Earn easy money
  • Leverage your existing network to help companies increase sales
  • Make money for information you have at your fingertips
  • Spend a minimal amount of time earning extra cash

Resources for Realtors

1. Leadvine’s Top 10 Ways to Use Leadvine

2. FAQ Section: Everything from What is Leadvine to How was Leadvine Started?

3. Leadvine’s Blog: Many strategies and tips to help find business and make more revenue

Investor’s Warning: Ed Okun, FEA, Bonding & Insurance Still Major Barrier To Entry

Reuters.com published this deansguide article on 11-8-08

When deansguide readers have important comments that effect and provoke the thought process on a particular issue–we listen. When the comment comes from a very reliable source, a trusted confidant, and someone very close to a “situation”–we listen. And when that person is Elizabeth Callanan, one of the ‘experts’ following the Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group debacle–we stand back and give her the floor.

Standards of Due Diligence

Elizabeth Callanan’s comment (11-9-08) and indictment of the 1031 industry’s lack of due diligence standards, the FEA’s less than honest assessment of their own insurance policies, and investor’s lack of investigation (electing to avoid massive taxes by choosing a 1031 exchange) is a cautionary warning-before you even think about this industry you must read this information.

—————————————————

“I’m very interested in learning how prospective 1031 exchangers can “look at the longevity of ownership, management, and employees as well as bonding and insurance and experience.” In the case at least of the 1031’s quietly acquired by Ed Okun, who then proceeded to plunder the exchange funds held by each of them to acquire other 1031’s and finance his lavish lifestyle, nearly all of them had been in business for decades. The fact that the owners, in some cases known personally to exchangers over a long history of 1031 transactions, did not publicize or share with their client base the fact that they’d sold out to Okun and, in fact, remained on board in their former roles and capacities, along with their staffs, appears to have been part of a deliberate strategy (perhaps even a condition of the sale?) to hide from exchangers that any transfer of ownership had occurred. Where/how would a potential exchanger learn that ownership had changed? To what agency (federal, state, local) must a 1031 report its ownership. What requirements are there that demand that such information be published. What regulations or reporting exist governing the behavior and conduct of 1031’s at any level?

As to insurance, what should a prospective 1031 client look for in an insurance policy provided by a 1031? The fidelity bonds provided to customers of those acquired by Okun gave false assurances of coverage in the millions, but in fact, like the fidelity bond offered by the Federation of Exchange Accomodators (according to their website), “Q: How does the policy limit under the FEA Fidelity Bond apply to claims?
A: The policy limit applies on a “per occurrence” basis, meaning each separate loss event or series of related loss events has the full benefit of the policy limit. Losses are usually considered related, i.e. a single occurrence, if they arise out of the same set of circumstances. The limit does not apply per customer, per transaction or per account.” While exchangers to whom these Fidelity Bonds are routinely presented as some kind of assurance regarding the security of the funds held by the 1031 would reasonably interpret their transaction as the “per occurrence” covered by the bond value, FEA’s FAQ’s attempt to limit that coverage to each incident and insurers in the case of Okun are already attempting to construe him and his ongoing series of embezzlements from multiple 1031’s he acquired over time as a single occurrence. Since collectively he embezzled $150 plus million, these bonds are wholly inadequate in terms of providing any kind of security to exchangers. So, what should exchangers be demanding to see from prospective 1031’s they’re considering in order to assure themselves the 1031 is in fact a “safe harbor” and their funds will in fact not be absconded with? What regulations is the FEA promoting at any governmental level that would ensure the security of exchanger funds, the integrity of 1031’s, their owners and staff, and what penalties (criminal, financial, etc.) are they proposing in the event there is criminal activity?” –Elizabeth Callanan

Ed Okun Denied Freedom: Judge Payne Hammers Defense Attorney’s Explanation

Courtesy Gordon Gecko Wiki

Sensing his fleeting chances at freedom, 1031 Tax Group investment criminal Ed Okun made what looks to be his last feable attempt for release yesterday–he was denied! Okun’s attempt centered around a defense motion for release based on a 3rd party custodian (required terms for his release) a Mr. Alex Carrera. The defense attorney in the case, one of a long line who have come and gone no doubt at either taxpayer’s expense or that of Okun’s victims, originally proposed that Mr. Carrera would be present at the November 5 hearing: Carrera was a no show.

The following is the tip from ever present and well informed Okun victim Elizabeth Callanan. Elizabeth has been a huge source of information and guidance in my 1 1/2 years of coverage on the Ed Okun rip off and eventual prosecution. The following comment will give all involved a much clearer picture of what has just transpired. This comment came in the last 24 hours. Certain passages were highlighted for reader convenience:

“Judge Payne DENIED Okun’s motion for release. The 3rd party custodian (required for Okun’s release) originally proposed in the defense’s motion, an Alex Carrera, was a no-show at the hearing, despite the Defense’s new attorney (a private attorney with an office in Washington, DC, named Barry Pollack — so Okun now has THREE attorneys, including the two from the public defender’s office, at US taxpayer expense!)telling the Judge he’d spoken to Carrera the previous afternoon and had every reason to believe he would be there and couldn’t explain why he wasn’t. Interestingly, his absence could not have been a surprise to Simone Bolani (Okun’s Brazilian bride), since she’d recruited a substitute, Edwin Escobar, the night before the hearing (odd she wouldn’t have shared that information with her husband’s attorney, isn’t it?) who did appear in the courtroom. However, under questioning by the US Attorney, Escobar had to admit that he was apparently guilty of one of the same offenses with which Okun was originally indicted, namely asking Okun to pay him $10,000 he was owed for some reason in increments of less than that to avoid IRS reporting limits! Judge Payne must have thought that wasn’t the most stellar qualification for a third party custodian and denied the motion. He also expressed chagrin that Carrera, described in the defense motion as a “family friend,” had in fact only met Okun once, at Simone’s Feb 2008 birthday party, and had not seen Okun since. He cautioned the defense not to bring any further such motions unless they’d personally interviewed the proposed custodian and assured themselves of the facts being claimed and that they were in fact suitably qualified to serve in that capacity. Thanks to Judge Payne and the US Attorney (Michael Dry), it looks like Okun’s appearance at his criminal trial which begins Jan 19 has been assured.”

internshipIn.com: Realtor’s Human Capital Resource

Thanks to Emily Chang and her eHub for outlining the following company.

internshipin-logo

How do you as a Realtor and entrepreneur leverage your expertise, knowledge, and experience as “commerce” in your quest to meet your human capital needs during one of the most challenging markets in recent memory? How do you cut the costs of hiring human capital? The solution may be the newly minted Internshipin.com. The brainchild of UC Berkeley students Arielle Patrice Scott, Jessica Mah, and Andy Su, Internshipin.com, Internshipin.com bills itself

“We know startups, especially early and mid-stage startups, have a difficult time recruiting at different universities. We also know students have a hard time finding internship opportunities at companies doing something important to them. We fill this connection gap with company profiles, university partnerships and more! In short, internshipIN plays matchmaker for students and startups!”

internshipIn is a resource, community, search engine, and job board rolled into one. It matches students to desired internships.

FAQ for Students

1. Q: Are students required to submit a resume? A: No students can communicate directly with employers

2. Q: How much does this service cost? A: It is a free service to students

3. Q: Are internships available at internshipIn.com? A: Yes

FAQ for Employers

1. Q: What kinds of internships can we post on internshipIn? A: Whatever internships you have available paid or unpaid. The only requirement is that companies consult the US Department of Labor Fair Labor Act before developing their internships.

2. Q: How much does it cost to get started on internshipIn? A: It is free to setup your company profile. Right now it is free to post internship listings.

Solution

If you have plenty of experience and knowledge in your niche. If you can trade on this knowledge and you are willing to mentor a student; then consider the win-win situation of saving human capital costs while helping to develop new skill sets and launch a career for a student.

Realtor’s Video Tool: Monkeysee.com How To Library For Exposure

Chicago Sun-Times paper the Post-Tribune published this deansguide article 10-31-08

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 10-31-08

How many times have we said: “If I could only watch someone do it first, I could really get the hang of it much faster”? And when we think of the concept of learning through video tutorials we are usually looking through youtube, or another video site. We often find amateur video with a wide variety of opinions on how something should be done. Not with Monkeysee.com. Monkeysee bills itself as providing “The highest quality, most credible how-to videos on the web.”

Monkeysee.com Features

1. 17 Categories: Everything from Auto & Mechanical to Business to Sports & Leisure

2. Upload: Upload your own videos for possible inclusion, save your favorites for future use

3. Become an Expert: Submit your video to be considered for inclusion on Monkeysee.

Monkeysee.com Benefits

1. Huge Library: Great informational videos for your education

2. Opportunity: Featured Videos are on the home page for each category and become a huge opportunity for exposure: Newest, Most Viewed, Recommended, and Highest Rated

3. Expert Spotlight: Expert page is a fantastic spot to land if you can get accepted

4. Traffic: Monkeysee.com has huge traffic numbers and would provide you with networking and exposure opportunities

Realtors Branding Guide

1. Public Speaking: If you create a video that showcases your expertise, and it is chosen for inclusion, you will have the beginnings of your public speaking platform

2. Exposure: If your video is chosen you will have the opportunity to gain wide spread exposure to your message and your business. Monkeysee.com’s Alexa ranking is 24,545 worldwide and 6,736 U.S. which translates to huge traffic numbers

3. Content-Research: The site library has how to videos with rich content and resource potential for ideas and projects

Blogging Realtor’s New Content Tip: Blog Article “Mashup” Provides Variety and Measurement

The mashup content post is a concept that combines 3 subjects, in tip or list format, in one blog article. Today’s first edition will provide 3 tips on 3 different subject categories: Anchor Text, Social Media Construct, and Focus and your plan.

Mashup Article Benefits:

1. Variety for the writer and reader

2. Measure your reader’s enthusiasm for each subject with traffic analytics

3. Valuable information in multiple areas

Tip #1 Anchor Text:

Anchor text is according to Wikipedia “is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink.” According to Marilyn at Seoshootout.com you will “Improve your SEO and build relevant anchor text by using an important keyword as the hyperlink – preferably linking it to another, relevant page on your site or linked to an external site that is relevant.”

Ex: SEO Shootout is the premeire SEO blog in the blogosphere

Tip #2 Social Media Construct: Chris Brogan-Darren Rowse featured by James Helm’s todaysbesttools.com

Here is a great description of the construct for Soc Media sites

a.) Blog is Home where all sites should point and all readers funneled

b.) Outposts (Darren Rowse) “are third party sites where he creates “Relationships, ideas, traffic, resources, partnerships, community and much more emerge from the outposts” Darren’s idea is a powerful method to multiple points of exposure for the blogger

c.) Frontiers (Kyle Lacy) feels these are “a website or service you have a presence on but rarely go.”

Tip #3 Focus

According to James Helms the best method to stave off burnout and feelings of overwhelming angst over the massive crush of available social media sites and tools is to consider the following:

“When it comes to social media don’t focus on the tools before the goals within your strategy. Said another way, first focus on your campaign and then leverage available tools that help you meet your goals.”

Great advice and very important to remember–your efforts to leverage tools is useless if you don’t stay connected to your planned campaign

Courtesy of James Helm’s todaysbesttools.com and inspired by Chris Brogan, Darren Rowse, Kyle Lacy and James Helms

Realtor’s Hyper Local Investigation Tool: Local Perspective Through Experience

Placeblogger.com is a fantastic local and hyper local site that lists local blogs for the express purpose of creating news and information about places that may be ignored by the local media due to their tiny size or stature. To further understand the site, you must consider their definition of a placeblog:

Placeblogs: are sometimes called “hyperlocal sites” because some of them focus on news events and items that cover a particular neighborhood in great detail — and in particular, places that might be too physically small or sparsely populated to attract much traditional media coverage. Because of this, many people have associated them with the term “citizen journalism,” or journalism done by non-journalists.”

Placeblogger’s Differentiating Factor

Without a doubt this site takes on a hyper hyper local flavor and one that is built on the experiences of people who have lived in the places they write posts for and about:

According to placeblogger: “They’re about the lived experience of a place. That experience may be news, or it may simply be about that part of our lives that isn’t news but creates the texture of our daily lives. . . “

Find a Location: This is a search engine for placeblogs

Add Places: This is a method to add your blog to the directory and gain more exposure

Founder-Editor and Advisors: A solid list of bright people in which to entrust your research with confidence

Placeblogger’s Value

This site is supported and produced by the Center for Citizen Media a grassroots organization that promotes and sustains citizen journalism at every level possible. This is the type of organization that provides the help and guidance for bloggers to continue to propagate hyper local messages, prosper as self contained journalistic entities, and create community amongst the masses.

Principles of Citizen Journalists

1. Principles of Citizen Journalism

2. Accuracy

3. Throughness

4. Fairness

5. Transparency

6. Independence

7. Resources

Meetways.com: Realtor’s Meeting Mapping Tool

Chicago Sun-Times published this deansguide article October 23, 2008

Emily Chang and her ehub site are one of the most valuable tools a blogger can utilize. Due to her constant stream of reviews on the latest and greatest new Web 2.0 sites available, I am able to deliver new tool information to the real estate community. The latest fun and easy to use tool is Meetways.com.

Ever have a tough time finding a place to meet clients that is in the middle or half way between your location and theirs? Now you have a fun little tool that will map out all of your choice and pinpoint the midway point between you and your clients: MeetWays.com.

“Meet Me in the Middle”: The Utility

Meetways.com plots halfway points aka a point of interest between two addresses.

Powered by Google Maps

Meetways provides a map that identifies restaurants, coffee shops, meeting office space locations

Business Tool

According to MeetWays you can support your business with this tool:

1. Setting up a Conference or Regional Meeting

2. Managing Sales Reps on the road

3. Managing Mileage and Fuel costs

4. Meeting clients for business

MeetWays supports their tool with an informative blog and special deals through partner companies offering internet services, travel, food and drink, hotels, car rentals, and even traffic school.

Realtor’s 10 Step Process to Handling Customer Problems

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article October 17, 2008

Today’s Realtor faces challenges from a suffering economy, unavailability of credit, changing political landscape, and an overall public perception that “all is not well.” In the most competitive times in recent history for agents, it is of the utmost importance that a Realtor make the most of every single opportunity. A large number of opportunities are born out of obstacles or challenges within the real estate transaction.

Consequently a Realtor must have a set of processes that bring about solution that can be mobilized quickly in order to head off the worst scenario possible: a totally dissatisfied customer.

10 Steps to Handling Problems

1. Acknowledge Dissatisfaction and agree with the complaint if it is valid

2. Apologize for the problems leading to dissatisfaction

3. Ask Permission to revisit and outline the series of events leading to the disatisfaction

4. Acknowlege Responsibility for the actions leading to disatsifaction if it is valid

5. Provide Multiple Scenario solutions to the problem at hand

6. Ask Your Client if they have an alternative solution you did not name

7. Make Certain that the client has chosen a solution that meets their expectations

8. Outline a Schedule for the actions and the completion of the “fix”

9. Keep Client Informed by providing reports during the process of rectifying the situation

10. Upon Completion ask and obtain an agreement, verbal, that the client is satisfied with the solutions provided and everything involved with the “fix” upon completion

If you follow these 10 tips you will avoid the nasty fall out from “reverse viral marketing” where a dissatisfied client tells many friends, associates, and anyone who will listen their “perception” of your poor performance.