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I Wouldn’t but They Are….

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How do buyers find you?

Everyone knows I am big on lead generation and have no problem sayin’ it. One of the things that I have noticed is how the consumer is searching. It is a way that I would not have believed but it is happening so consistently I wanted to share.

Google.com/Local/add

Now the other interesting thing is the potential buyers are searching my companies name. The back end of my web site shows me how they found me with the exact string the home shopper put in. ex… Keller Williams agent Ann Arbor.

Now I would NEVER search by a company name, as I am sure you wouldn’t. I would just want to search for a “Realtor in Ann Arbor”, “Ann Arbor MLS”, “Ann Arbor homes for sale”, you know the normal way. But, is there a normal in how buyers think?

Now if you go to Google Search and put in Keller Williams Ann Arbor, my site SearchAnnArborHouses.com comes up first with a map. Then I have four other positions on Google for that same search term with two more of my web-sites and my two blogs.

Interesting

If you haven’t added your name and location to Google Local, it would be a good idea to do that. If I had seen this only once or twice I would never pass the information on, but this is happening five or six times a week.

One other way I am seeing the buyers search which is funny is Ann Arbor House. Not home, not plural but house. Weird, huh?

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Elaine Reese

    March 27, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Missy, good advice. I’ve noticed the same thing. I create maps for each listing (and link to them on my blog & web site). I also took the time to make one for the homes I’ve sold in my farm area. Basically, if a map is warranted, I create one in the “My Maps” section.

  2. Mack

    March 27, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Last fall a buyer searched on Google for my office as he and his wife lived in an apartment near by. He contacted me via Google local and we ended up about 6 weeks later at the closing table.

    BTW~I enjoyed meeting you last week at RETechSouth. Thanks for sharing your insights.

  3. DOVE4PEACE

    March 27, 2009 at 9:20 am

    With the economy being the way that it is and with the housing market making a gradual climb, every positive tool to assist with housing sales is greatly needed. This is a team effort. We need all of the realtor info that can be accessed. Maps are a must. Anything that saves time is greatly appreciated. Take a look at what AGAPE’ Soldiers are doing. Every house sales brings us that much closer to economic recovery and stabilization of our economy. Thank you for providing ways to making real estate transactions easier.

  4. Brandie Young

    March 27, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Great job, Missy. I think many people will find this quite helpful. And, how impressive that you constantly monitor and refine – letting the data tell you what to do.
    Brandie

  5. Missy Caulk

    March 27, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Elaine, very cool, I added all my listings to a map too but they are spread out all over Washtenaw County so I need to figure out how to make them smaller or would you suggest a map for each listing ?

  6. Missy Caulk

    March 27, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Mack, good for you.

  7. Missy Caulk

    March 27, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Dove4Peace, thanks for commenting and being encouraging. You are correct every home sold brings us closer to a recovery. I have not looked at Agape Soldiers but I will I have two sons in the Navy.

  8. Missy Caulk

    March 27, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Brandie, I thought it was so interesting as I had never thought about searching or trying to optimize that way.

    And if you read Mack’s comment it worked for him too.

  9. Elaine Reese

    March 27, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Missy, for listings, I do a single map since they would be too far apart as you say. For these, I include a link to the Google map.

    I have a special section on my blog for my neighborhood. I’ve sold 42 homes here so have put all those homes in one map as a reminder for my neighbors. I embed the map into that blog page so it is seen without further clicking.

    When I do the ‘local scene’ videos for my blog, I make a map.

    Where you used Google Local, I did the maps in MyMaps section. Not sure what the difference would be in doing that.

  10. Elaine Reese

    March 27, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Just thought of one more thing regarding the office search map (that you show in your post). Apparently the public can leave comments on those maps. I noticed that for one of the local real estate offices here, a disgruntled client had posted a nasty comment about an agent that worked at that office.

  11. Missy Caulk

    March 27, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Elaine, well lets hope that doesn’t happen. I will play around some more and take a look at your blog. Good geo tagging I am sure.

  12. Matt Thomson

    March 28, 2009 at 9:11 am

    In terms of the “House” search, I had found the same thus two of my main domain names are GigHarborHouse.com and PortOrchardHouse.com, and the sites reflect that verbage. Lots of traffic that way.
    Now on to Google/Local…I haven’t done that yet.

  13. Matt Thomson

    March 28, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Okay, now I’m curious. Can I add to more than just Gig Harbor? For example, can I put myself on the Port Orchard local even though I don’t have a physical address there. Also, what maps do you use for your listings? Is maps.live good, or is googlemaps better?

  14. Elaine Reese

    March 28, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Matt, for my listings you can see an example on the home page of my web site (elainereese.com) and click on the link below the slideshow of the home.

    To see an embeded map of the homes sold in my own neighborhood, go to reesespiecesofrealestate.com/stratford-woods-news-2/ and scroll down a bit.

    Hope that gives you some ideas. As I said, I created these (and others) in the MyMaps section of Google. Also, be sure to include the listing address in your alt tag.

  15. Matt Thomson

    March 29, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Great, thanks!

  16. Kim Wood

    April 1, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Thank you Missy! I didn’t put it off and quickly added myself to the GoogleLocal ! You are so full of information – thank you for sharing it with us!

  17. Karen Goodman

    April 4, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Missy – Thanks for a great tip. I often read things in blogs that I mark to save for another day. Rarely do I stop and immediately take action as I did from your post.

    I just added myself to Google Local. Hope it will work for me as well as it does for you and I’ll get some additional traffic.

    I’ve been using Google My Maps for my newsletter restaurant reviews. I do a short blurb on a local independent restaurant in every issue. On the map, I include my review, contact info for the restaurant and the date of the issue it was reviewed. I always have a link in the newsletter to the map so people can see all prior reviews. So far I haven’t gotten any traffic to my blog from this map, but it is one of the more popular features of my newsletter.

    I like the idea of using the maps to identify listings.

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Business Marketing

Buffer’s four-day workweek experiment: Boost or bust?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) After trying out a four-day workweek last year, Buffer is moving forward with the format going into 2021, citing increase in productivity and work-life balance.

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Man working in office with headphones on, making use of flexible four-day workweek.

The typical five-day workweek is a thing of the past for Buffer, at least for now. The company has decided to implement a four-day workweek for the “foreseeable future.”

Last year, the company surveyed its employees to see how they are dealing with the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic and the anxiety and stress that came along with it. They soon learned employees didn’t always feel comfortable or like they could take time off.

Employees felt guilty for taking PTO while trying to meet deadlines. Juggling work and suddenly becoming a daycare worker and teacher for their children at the same time was stressful. So, Buffer looked for a solution to help give employees more time and flexibility to get adjusted to their new routines.

Four-Day Workweek Trials

In May, Buffer started the four-day workweek one-month trial to focus on teammates’ well-being. “This four-day workweek period is about well-being, mental health, and placing us as humans and our families first,” said Buffer CEO and co-founder Joel Gascoigne in a company blog post.

“It’s about being able to pick a good time to go and do the groceries, now that it’s a significantly larger task. It’s about parents having more time with kids now that they’re having to take on their education. This isn’t about us trying to get the same productivity in fewer days,” Gascoigne said.

Buffer’s one-month trial proved to be successful. Survey data from before and after the trial showed higher autonomy and lower stress levels. In addition, employee anecdotal stories showed an increase in worker happiness.

With positive results, Buffer turned the trial into a long-term pilot through the end of 2020. This time, the trial would focus on Buffer’s long-term success.

“In order to truly evaluate whether a four-day workweek can be a success long-term, we need to measure productivity as well as individual well-being,” wrote Director of People Courtney Seiter. “Teammate well-being was our end goal for May. Whether that continues, and equally importantly, whether it translates into customer and company results, will be an exciting hypothesis to test.”

Trial Results

Company Productivity
Buffer’s shorter workweek trials showed employees felt they had a better work-life balance without compromising work productivity. According to the company’s survey data, almost 34% of employees felt more productive, about 60% felt equally as productive, and only less than 7% of employees felt less productive.

However, just saying productivity is higher isn’t proof. To make sure the numbers added up, managers were asked about their team’s productivity. Engineering managers reported that a decrease in total coding days didn’t show a decrease in output. Instead, there was a significant output increase for product teams, and Infrastructure and Mobile saw their output double.

The Customer Advocacy team, however, did see a decline in output. Customer service is dependent on customer unpredictability so this makes sense. Still, the survey showed about 85% to 90% of employees felt as productive as they would have been in a five-day workweek. Customers just had to wait slightly longer to receive replies to their inquiries.

Employee Well-Being
With more time and control of their schedules, Buffer’s survey shows an increase in individual autonomy and decreased stress levels reported by employees. And, the general work happiness for the entire company has been consistent throughout 2020.

What’s in store for 2021?

Based on positive employee feedback and promising company results, Buffer decided it will continue the company-wide four-day workweek this year.

“The four-day work week resulted in sustained productivity levels and a better sense of work-life balance. These were the exact results we’d hoped to see, and they helped us challenge the notion that we need to work the typical ‘nine-to-five,’ five days a week,” wrote Team Engagement Manager Nicole Miller.

The four-day workweek will continue in 2021, but the company will also be implementing adjustments based on the pilot results.

For most teams, Fridays will be the default day off. For teams that aren’t project-based, their workweek will look slightly different. As an example, the Customer Advocacy team will follow a different schedule to avoid customer reply delays and ticket overflow. Each team member will still have a four-day workweek and need to meet their specific targets. They will just have a more flexible schedule.

Companies who follow this format understand that output expectations will be further defined by area and department level. Employees who aren’t meeting their performance objectives will have the option to choose a five-day workweek or might be asked to do so.

If needed, Fridays will also serve as an overflow workday to finish up a project. Of course, schedules will be evaluated quarterly to make sure productivity is continuing to thrive and employees are still satisfied.

But, Miller says Buffer is “establishing ambitious goals” that might “push the limits” of a four-day work week in 2021. With the world slowly starting to normalize, who knows when a four-day workweek might reach its conclusion.

“We aren’t sure that we’ll continue with the four-day workweeks forever, but for now, we’re going to stick with it as long as we are still able to hit our ambitious goals,” wrote Miller.

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Business Marketing

Should your content management system go headless?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) You may be familiar with your typical content management system, but had you heard of a ‘headless’ model? Let’s dig into it together.

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Person using content management system with hands on keyboard and small bit of desktop visible.

At some point, you have probably worked with a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal. If you haven’t already, you at least know that this computer software is used to manage website content.

But, have you ever heard of a headless content management system before? We didn’t. So, we set out to find out what it’s all about and how beneficial, or not, it can be for your company.

What is headless CMS?

Unlike your classic CMS, headless CMS is a back-end only content management system. It decouples where your content is stored and authored (body) from the front-end where your content is displayed (head).

This CMS isn’t tied to a particular output like a web page. Content is transmitted as data over an application programming interface (API). It’s a content repository that delivers content seamlessly to any device.

Benefits of Headless CMS

More versatile
Headless CMS isn’t your classic “monolithic” CMS so you aren’t constrained to an all-in-one system that might work for websites but not mobile devices.

Content is consumed by customers in more than one place now. Headless CMS provides a more versatile way to deliver multi-channel content to websites, Android and iOS apps, and even IoT (internet of things), like a smartwatch or in-store kiosk.

Businesses will benefit from this because only one back-end is needed to manage and publish content for different services and products.

No need for specialized developers
Developers aren’t tied to a specific programming language or framework. A developer can choose between using Javascript, PHP, Ruby, or any language they prefer.

If you already have a talented developer, you don’t have to scramble to find someone else who specializes in a specific system or language you are moving to. Your current developer can do the job for you in the best way they know-how.

Better Security
Security is important. Not being married to the front-end, headless CMS has a security advantage a regular CMS doesn’t. Usually, content provided to a headless CMS is read-only, and the admin portion lives on a different server and domain.

With the back-end detached from the presentation layer, there is a smaller target area to attack. Also, layers of code can be used to hide the content-delivering API making it safer than a traditional CMS.

Real-time collaboration
With two separate systems, content editors and web developers can work concurrently. This shortens a project’s timeline and helps get your product and services to market quicker. Also, content editors don’t have to spend more time creating the same content for each system. Designers and developers can take care of that.
Downsides of Headless CMS

As with anything, headless CMS isn’t perfect and isn’t for everyone. It has its disadvantages.

More technical
Little technical involvement is called for in a traditional CMS. As a result, the tool can be picked up quickly by almost anyone.

A deeper understanding of CMS, coding languages, and front-end technologies is needed when using headless CMS. You must have a developer that can build the web or app just for you.

Increased maintenance
With the body separated from the head, there are two systems to maintain. Implementation and maintenance could potentially become complex.

Bigger price tag
Building a system from scratch costs time and money. With a traditional CMS, there is one account, and, most likely, one payment. With headless CMS, you’ll have multiple payments for the CMS, a developer, and the infrastructure running your website or app.

Your custom CMS also isn’t coming from a pre-built content management system. All that hard work takes time (and patience) to get it done right.

Conclusion

Headless CMS lets you create a unique user experience and allow for cross-platform publishing, but it isn’t a one-size-fits-all content management system.

Before you jump ships, take inventory of all your content needs. Does your content need to be published on different platforms? Will a simple stand-alone website work for you? Only you can decide what works best with your business, but we hope this information helps.

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Business Marketing

Spice up your remote team building with a fully virtual escape room

(BUSINESS MARKETING) As part of a remote team, team building has become even more of a groan. But this virtual escape room seeks to make a fun and unique challenge for remote teams.

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Woman waving at laptop in living room, on team building activity.

Team building events aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. While some enjoy getting to know coworkers they don’t normally socialize with, others dread the day before it arrives. Plus, there’s always work that needs to be taken care of, and using some of that time to mingle might seem like a waste of time.

Love it or hate it, working remotely has made team building slightly better, maybe? You don’t have to worry about physically being present in a place you don’t want to be. You’re not awkwardly talking to a co-worker whose name you can’t quite remember.

Nonetheless, it also has its downsides. We don’t see each other anymore so it’s easier to not be on the same page, and this makes learning how to work together much harder.

We’re almost a year into the pandemic and happy hour Zoom calls no longer hold the glamour they once did. So, what else is there to do in this virtual world?

Skyrocket Your Team has just the answer for you. This company provides virtual team building experiences through collaborative online escape rooms. The escape rooms are designed with remote teams in mind and can be tailored to accommodate different sized groups.

“If you’re working remotely, Skyrocket Your Team will help your team feel closer together and improve your internal communication,” wrote Co-Founder Jorge Sánchez Hernández. “Our puzzles are designed for teams by adult educators to trigger a set of emotions, feelings, and situations. Everyone sees a different screen and you need to communicate in order to get through the challenges. There is no way to continue without teamwork!”

From the comfort of your office or couch, each team member joins from their own computer and location. The escape room consists of an immersive story about astronauts trapped in a damaged spaceship. By solving puzzles and challenges, the team must work together to repair the spaceship and return to earth.

After hopefully, safely landing your rocket, there is a debriefing session. During this time, teams can share their experiences and discuss what they learned.

Skyrocket Your Team says their new form of team building will bring your company several benefits like:

  • Bringing your team closer together
  • Fostering collaboration instead of internal competition
  • Improving communication across your company

The end goal of the experience is to learn how to communicate effectively by solving the different sets of problems together. And, I think we can all agree that’s a good thing.

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