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How Obama Can Sell Real Estate

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Our new president Barack Obama can sell a lot of things. He sold the nation on his taking the Oval Office. His image alone sells newspapers, magazines, commemorative plates and coins, t-shirts, posters, wrapping paper, and a whole bunch of wacky items, too. But, can Barack Obama sell real estate?

Judging by his oratory powers alone, I’d say yes. However, the more important question is…

Can Barack Obama help you sell real estate?

Now, if you haven’t already done so (heaven forbid!) take a moment and read this agentgenius article on how the porn industry leveraged buzz over the bailouts to create a lot of attention and publicity.

By jumping into people’s conversations surrounding the federal bailouts of the bank and auto industries, the porn industry was able to infiltrate and turn that exact same conversation to themselves… and sell a few more DVDs.

So, the big buzz right now is Obama and the presidential inauguration. Folks, this is a prime conversation that’s already out there that you can leverage for website traffic and hopefully get a few new clients to boot.

Take a look at how these businesses have captured the buzz:

The website move-moron.com was able to enter the public’s conversation around the Obama presidency with this post on top movie presidents.

Known as a source for social media news, mashable.com leveraged the Obama conversation for traffic and views with this article on the White House’s use of Twitter.

Again, movie-moron.com jumped into the conversation with this article on Obama’s favorite movies.

Here we see that cracked.com, known for it’s off-beat humor and stories, leveraged the Obama conversation by highlighting some the more odd pieces of Obama merchandise.

theonion.com is famous for it’s fake news stories. With this non-news story were able to draw traffic and page views.

You may have noticed that each site covers niche content that, at first glance, have nothing to do with national presidential affairs. But, they looked at the most prominent conversation in the nation and found an angle that matched the Obama buzz with their audience.

From a real estate perspective, you could run with stories like these:

  • Homes of the Ex-Presidents
  • Selling the White House. It’s Fair Market Value.
  • Staging the White House Obama Style

What real estate spins can you find in the presidency?

Mark Eckenrode is a Certified Master of Guerrilla Marketing raised on comic books, punk rock, and Pepsi. He's also the chief marketing trainer at HomeStomper where AgentGenius readers can learn unconventional methods for winning with social media.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Missy Caulk

    January 26, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Wow, this is great. I actually did hear that news story on the porn guy trying to get bail out money. It was so ridiculous I let it go right over my head about what a great marketing tactic that was.

    Need to pay more attention.

  2. Marvin Jensen

    January 26, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I was thinking about this earlier this morning. How would I use this for selling real estate in Salt Lake City? Maybe:

    “Top 10 Reason Obama like the Salt Lake real estate market after his stimulas package kicks in?” I like this…

  3. Laura Cannon

    January 26, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    I don’t know if I understand this article. Is this a joke?

  4. Laura Cannon

    January 26, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    . . .scratch that, sorry. I just learned what guerrilla marketing is.

  5. Mark Eckenrode

    January 27, 2009 at 11:41 am

    @missy: agreed, Flynt’s appeal for a bailout does seem pretty ridiculous but, Flynt is a master of PR and he did a great job of harnessing the conversation and the turbulence to bring attention to himself.

    most often, the best marketing ideas come from outside the industry.

    @marvin: you’re on the right track, tying in the buzz of the stimulus package and what it means to local homeowners and investors. run with it 🙂

    @laura: if it was a joke, it’d probably be funnier with a proper set-up, which is in this article.

    the idea here is to tap into the dominant conversation inside your market rather than trying to start a new one. after all, the market’s already shown that this is what they want to talk about. once you tap into it, you can then add yourself to the buzz for increased visibility.

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Business Marketing

Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls

(BUSINESS MARKETING) While Macy’s shares have recently climbed, the department store chain is making a change in regards to big retail shopping malls.

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Macy's retail storefront, which may look different as they scale to smaller stores.

I was recently listening to a podcast on Barstool Sports, and was surprised to hear that their presenting sponsor was Macy’s. This struck me as odd considering the demographic for the show is women in their twenties to thirties, and Macy’s typically doesn’t cater to that crowd. Furthermore, department retail stores are becoming a bit antiquated as is.

The sponsorship made more sense once I learned that Macy’s is restructuring their operation, and now allowing their brand to go the way of the ghost. They feel that while malls will remain in operation, only the best (AKA the malls with the most foot traffic) will stand the test of changes in the shopping experience.

As we’ve seen a gigantic rise this year in online shopping, stores like Macy’s and JC Penney are working hard to keep themselves afloat. There is so much changing in brick and mortar retail that major shifts need to be made.

So, what is Macy’s proposing to do?

The upscale department store chain is going to be testing smaller stores in locations outside of major shopping malls. Bloomingdale’s stores will be doing the same. “We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC analysts. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats.”

While the pandemic assuredly plays a role in this, the need for change came even before the hit in March. Macy’s had announced in February their plans to close 125 stores in the next three years. This is in conjunction with Macy’s expansion of Macy’s Backstage, which offers more affordable options.

Gennette also stated that while those original plans are still in place, Macy’s has been closely monitoring the competition in the event that they need to adjust the store closure timeline. At the end of the second quarter, Macy’s had 771 stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.

Last week, Macy’s shares climbed 3 percent, after the retailer reported a more narrow loss than originally expected, along with stronger sales due to an uptick in their online business. So they’re already doing well in that regard. But will smaller stores be the change they need to survive?

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Business Marketing

Why you must nix MLM experience from your resume

(BUSINESS MARKETING) MLMs prey on people without much choice, but once you try to switch to something more stable, don’t use the MLM as experience.

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Discussing including MLM experience on a resume.

MLM experience… Is it worth keeping on your resume?

Are you or someone you know looking for a job after a stint in an MLM? Well, first off, congratulations for pursuing a real job that will provide a steady salary! But I also know that transition can be hard. The job market is already tight and if you don’t have much other work experience on your resume, is it worth trying to leverage your MLM experience?

The short answer? Heck no.

As Ask the Manager puts it, there’s a “strong stigma against [MLMs],” meaning your work experience might very well put a bad taste in the mouth of anyone looking through resumes. And looking past the sketchy products many offer, when nearly half of people in MLMs lose money and another quarter barely break even, it sure doesn’t paint you in a good light to be involved.

(Not to mention, many who do turn a profit only do so by recruiting more people, not actually by selling many products.)

“But I wouldn’t say I worked for an MLM,” you or your friend might say, “I was a small business owner!”

It’s a common selling point for MLMs, that often throw around pseudo-feminist feel good slang like “Boss Babe” or a “Momtrepreneur,” to tell women joining that they’re now business women! Except, as you might have guessed, that’s not actually the case, unless by “Boss Babe” you mean “Babe Who Goes Bankrupt or Tries to Bankrupt Her Friends.”

A more accurate title for the job you did at an MLM would be Sales Rep, because you have no stake in the creation of the product, or setting the prices, or any of the myriad of tasks that a real entrepreneur has to face.

Okay, that doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as “small business owner.” And I know it’s tempting to talk up your experience on a resume, but that can fall apart pretty quickly if you can’t actually speak to actual entrepreneur experience. It makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about…which is also not a good look for the job hunt.

That said… Depending on your situation, it might be difficult to leave any potential work experience off your resume. I get it. MLMs often target people who don’t have options for other work opportunities – and it’s possible you’re one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t have much else to put on paper.

In this case, you’ll want to do it carefully. Use the sales representative title (or something similar) and, if you’re like the roughly 50% of people who lose money from MLMs, highlight your soft skills. Did you do cold calls? Tailor events to the people who would be attending? Get creative, just make sure to do it within reason.

It’s not ideal to use your MLM experience on a resume, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Still, congratulations to you, or anyone you know, who has decided to pursue something that will actually help pay the bills.

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Business Marketing

This smart card manages employee spending with ease

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Clever credit cards make it easier for companies to set spending policies and help alleviate expense problems for both them and their employees.

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Spendesk showing off its company credit cards.

Company credit cards are a wonderful solution to managing business expenses. They work almost exactly like debit cards, which we all know how to use, am I right? It is the twenty-first century after all. Simply swipe, dip, or tap, and a transaction is complete.

However, keeping up with invoices and receipts is a nightmare. I know I’ve had my fair share of hunting down wrinkled pieces of paper after organizing work events. Filling out endless expense reports is tedious. Plus, the back and forth communication with the finance team to justify purchases can cause a headache on both ends.

Company credit cards make it easier for companies to keep track of who’s spending money and how much. However, they aren’t able to see final numbers until expense reports are submitted. This makes monitoring spending a challenge. Also, reviewing all the paperwork to reimburse employees is time-consuming.

But Spendesk is here to combat those downsides! This all-in-one corporate expense and spend management service provides a promising alternative to internal management. The French startup “combines spend approvals, company cards, and automated accounting into one refreshingly easy spend management solution.”

Their clever company cards are what companies and employees have all been waiting for! With increasing remote workforces, this new form of payment comes at just the right moment to help companies simplify their expenditures.

These smart cards remove limitations regular company cards have today. Spendesk’s employee debit cards offer companies options to monitor budgets, customize settings, and set specific authorizations. For instance, companies can set predefined budgets and spending category limitations on flights, hotels, restaurants, etc. Then they don’t have to worry about an employee taking advantage of their card by booking a first-class flight or eating at a high-end steakhouse.

All transactions are tracked in real time so finance and accounting can see purchases right as they happen. Increasing visibility is important, especially when your employee is working remotely.

And for employees, this new form of payment is more convenient and easier on the pocket. “These are smart employee company cards with built-in spending policies. Employees can pay for business expenses when they need to without ever having to spend their own money,” the company demonstrated in a company video.

Not having to dip into your checking account is a plus in my book! And for remote employees who just need to make a single purchase, Spendesk has single-use virtual debit cards, too.

Now, that’s a smart card!

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