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I Shall Call Him… Mini-Me.

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you know you want to do the voice... go ahead.I was talking with my father the other day – a mutual acquaintance had called us both, an agent in a different city who in the course of conversation was bragging about his success, that he had just brought on his second Buyer’s agent.

My father was adamant: he would never want to list his house with someone who separates Buyers and Sellers to different people.  Last time Dad sold a house, he listed with a guy who just lists and lists and lists and passes off all buyers to his team.  Pop’s impression was that his agent listed his house and was never seen from again.  I have a feeling there were major lack of communication issues there, but regardless, that’s how he sees it.

I was trying to explain the division of labor and the reasons behind having a team set up that way, but he wouldn’t hear of it.  No way, he says.  I want to list my house with the people who work with Buyers.  Those are the people who know house values and are more likely to know a large group of Buyers who might want my home.

We didn’t get to finish that conversation, but it was something that got me thinking.  Should we be specialists?  Or more well-rounded?  In a successful growing business, you eventually run into human limits and have to hire help in order to satisfy growing demand.  So does Team Housechick have a listing specialist and buyer specialists?  Or do I create a couple of mini-me’s who can handle either side with ease?  And more importantly, what’s best for the consumer?

(and then – can I hire a dude under team housechick?  what if they turn out to be ill-tempered?  have i limited myself to only half of the agent population?)

Kelley Koehler, aka the Housechick, is usually found focused on her Tucson, Arizona, real estate business. You may also find her on Twitter, where she doubles as a super hero, at Social Media Training Camp, where she trains and coaches people on how to integrate social media into successful business practices, or at KelleyKoehler.com, a collection of all things housechick-ish. Despite her engineering background, Kelley enjoys translating complex technical concepts into understandable and clear ideas that are practical and useful to the striving real estate agent.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Athol Kay

    November 5, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    I think it sounds like the listing agent did just disappear into the sunset as soon as the listing was signed. Bad communication there.

    Your Dad is wrong on the needing to know the buyers front. Agents and buyers are just getting their info from the MLS, the odds of “hey I know a guy” are pretty slim these days. And then, even if you “know a guy” you should still put the house on the MLS anyway and see what other buyers get interested.

    At some point you’ll need to group it up to develop business beyond what you can do yourself. It’s the way I think all RE business will head. Be a team leader, join a team, or start missing out.

    >>can I hire a dude under team housechick?

    /raises eyebrows…

  2. Daniel Rothamel

    November 6, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    I agree with Athol on this one. If the agent your Dad worked with had tons of buyer clients, would his experience have been any different? Probably not. As an agent, I have worked with other agents who specialize, and those that do both almost equally and very well. Does it make a difference? Not in my experience. Good agents are good agents, regardless of the nature of their clients.

  3. Toby Boyce

    November 7, 2007 at 2:16 am

    This is a great topic, and as a single agent — I believe that there is a difference between the two. Of course, the key being that GOOD agents are good agents regardless of what they are doing.
    However, I’ve seen too many “listers” that don’t have the communication skills or management system in place to balance the volume of listings.
    Of course, the same can be said (and is true) of single agents.

  4. Benn Rosales

    November 8, 2007 at 7:40 am

    I do not agree with a team approach. I think it has its place, but personally, I think there are better ways to get from a-b. Your dad likes the old way of doing business- he isn’t into being a product, he wants to be respected with a handshake and a cup of coffee, a gentlemans agreement, and results by reputation. That’s back when an agent earned his 3-6, it wasn’t maximized into fastfood real estate.

  5. Ken Jansen

    July 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    I think it would be funny to be the guy on the housechick team. You could were a kilt to the office. Ok, maybe not. I have seen both sides of the team argument played out well and poorly. There are some teams in Kansas City that are great and I would and have referred friends and family to them. There are other teams where they operate just like your dad envisioned and I can’t stand to work with them. The same is true of individual agents. It really depends on the professsionalism, systems, and abilities of those involved.

    Thanks!

    Ken

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Business Marketing

10 inspirational print brochure examples

We believe that print is nowhere near dead, it is just changing as things go digital, and only the best stand out.

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Below are 10 inspirational print brochure examples that show print is not only alive and kicking, but when infused with a bit of creativity, can make an enormous impression. Gone are the days of horrid clip art and walls of text that overwhelm. Clean typography and design are the name of the game, and added flair can go a long way. Here are some ideas to get you started, click any of the images below to see more photos of each campaign and to dig deeper:

Craft Beer Field Guide

With this fold up brochure guiding Madison’s Craft Beer Week attendees, a vintage vibe is created through color and typography choices, with an emphasis on function and ease of reading. The guide is so enchanting, it is likely that most attendees kept the brochures, a dream for any designer or marketing team!

Italian Loft Brochure

In this Italian Loft Brochure, a classic Tiffany & Co styled blue and chocolate brown highlight the features of this luxury loft community, and is presented in a beautiful, heavyweight cardstock cover that keeps all additional papers that come along with tours. It’s more than just the brochure’s design, it’s the presentation, simplicity, and choice of materials that is eye catching about this print brochure.

Campaign for Freedom

Expressing the dire situation in North Korea, this campaign brochure uses simple to digest infographics and keeps to four colors – black, white, red, and yellow. It is effective for sticking to the point and using bold graphics.

Gourmet Natural Foods

Retailers often go overboard either by offering too many walls of words and facts, or by trying to be clever. Instead, this company’s design focuses on the simple ingredients that goes along with their streamlined, organic-looking containers. This brochure makes you want to go start eating hippie food, even if you’re a cow eater, just because it’s so aesthetically pleasing!

Graphic Designer Portfolio

When a seasoned graphic designer shows off, you can be sure that their presentation will never be an aged headshot of them with bullet points of their accomplishments. No, graphic designers show instead of tell, as below:

Typefamily Brochure

When introducing a typefamily to the world, a designer can choose to slap up a website, or go the traditional, and more elegant route of printing a type booklet explaining the type and giving buyers of the typefamily (font) a closer look at what they are buying. Brilliant.

Yahoo! Brochure

Yahoo’s brochure is a reminder that simple design elements can go a long way – a folding tab, white space, ditching clip art, and keeping consistency between pages all work in harmony to create a quality print brochure.

Antique News Format

In a very clever move, this commercial and residential space is being sold in the form of a large, folding antique- looking newspaper, complete with appropriate fonts and an antique layout, with surprisingly sharp and never cheesy images.

Architect’s Timeline and Story

Promoting an architect’s impressive timeline and story, this print campaign shows the power of red, black and white, making a dramatic impression at a quick glance. Using high quality photography and traditional movie poster tricks, the campaign is stunning.

Our Favorite: Lennar’s Old School Fun

Lennar’s new “Spencer’s Crossing” community brochures got a touch of old school, making the brochure a game that anyone can play. It’s more than a gimmick, it is consistent with their collateral that appeals to the youthful nature of the product and area.

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Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

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blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible; if your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

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Business Marketing

A personalized daily digital marketing checklist

(MARKETING NEWS) For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an digital marketing strategy, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit. This app can help.

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clearpath digital marketing

There is no doubt that starting your own business can be overwhelming. Along with promoting your business at events, meetings and in person, digital marketing strategies play a key role in the success of a company. For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an online presence, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit.

Simply creating a website and Facebook page for your business is not enough. However, software tools can help simplify digital marketing. ClearPath is a tool that organizes and creates tasks to optimize your online marketing. By creating to-do lists for you based on your online marketing strategy, you can focus on the areas of marketing that improve your business, all the while receiving useful tips and advice.

Using ClearPath is pretty straightforward and only requires one prerequisite. Before beginning, you must have a website.

If you are already lost, don’t panic. ClearPath can help you develop an online presence. Once your website is linked up, you get to choose the marketing channels that you would like to focus on. These include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), email, social, content, analytics, local, pay-per-click (PPC) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Again, if you are lost, ClearPath is there to help you strategize.

After ClearPath analyzes your site, they start sending you customized tasks based they believe can improve your online marketing.

As you finish each task, you can simply check it off and it will disappear. New tasks will appear each day, and some may even repeat as they need to be updated.

Whether you are well-versed in digital marketing or not, staying updated with the newest ways to optimize your business online is a constant struggle. Tools like ClearPath give people a place to start. Although I don’t think it can supplement an active and experienced digital marketer, it is a tool that can help small businesses that cannot afford to add to their team yet. At the end of the day, it aims to save you time. And since time is money, your business will hopefully be more profitable.

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