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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

Use nostalgia as a marketing niche for your business today

(MARKETING) A market that is making waves is found in the form of entertainment nostalgia. Everyone has memories and attachments, why not speak to them?

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nostalgia

Is it just me or does it seem like there is something for everything nowadays? Let me clarify, as that is a rather broad question…

With the way communicating through technology has advanced, it’s become much easier to connect with those who have shared interests. This has become especially evident with interests in the entertainment community.

Entertainment nostalgia

It now seems like there is an event for every bit of nostalgia you can imagine. Autograph shows, meet and greets, and memorabilia collections of all kinds are held in convention halls all around the world. (To give you an idea of how deep this thing goes, there was a “Grease 2” reunion convention sometime within the last five years. Being that I’m the only person I’ve ever met who likes that movie, it’s amazing that it found an audience.)

This idea of marketing by use of nostalgia is something that is becoming smartly tapped and there are a variety of directions it can go in.

For example, the new Domino’s ads feature dead-on tributes to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

What’s your niche?

If you’re a fan of anything, it’s likely that you can find an event to suit your needs.

And, if you want to take it a step further, you can think outside the box and use nostalgia as a marketing tool.

I recently began dabbling in social media gigs that have brought me to a few different fan conventions. One was a throwback 80s and 90s convention that featured everyone from Alan Thicke to the members of N*SYNC. Another is a recurring convention that brings together fans of sci-fi, horror, and everything under that umbrella.

I was amazed by the number of people that came out to these events and the amount of money that was spent on the day’s activities (autographs, photo ops, etc.). I was energized by the fact that you can take something you have a great appreciation for and bring together others who share that feeling. Watching people meet some of their favorite celebrities is something that is priceless.

Hop onboard the nostalgia train

If you’re a fan of something, you don’t have to look too far to find what you’d enjoy – going back to the aforementioned “Ferris Bueller” example, there is a first-ever John Hughes fan event taking place in Chicago next month that will bring fans to their favorite Brat Pack members.

In the same thought, if you have an idea, now is the time to find others who share that interest and execute your vision.

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Business Marketing

5 tips to help you craft consistently high-converting email marketing

(MARKETING) Email may seem too old to be effective but surprisingly it’s not, so how can you get the most out of your email marketing? Try these tips.

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Email marketing

Email marketing might seem archaic in comparison to modern mediums like social media, blogging, and podcasting; however, it actually remains one of the highest converting options marketers and small businesses have at their disposal.

But Why Email?

Hopefully, you believe in email as an effective marketing channel, but in case you have doubts, let’s hit the reset button. Here’s why email marketing is worth investing in:

  • Email is one of the few marketing channels that you have total control over. Unlike a social media audience, which can disappear if the platform decides you violate their terms, you own your email list.
  • Email is considered very personal. When someone gives you access to their inbox, they’re telling you that you can send them messages.
  • From a pure analytics perspective, email gives you the ability to track behaviors, study what works, and get familiar with the techniques that don’t.
  • The ROI of email marketing is incredibly high. It can deliver as much as $44 in value for every $1 spent.

5 Tips for High-Converting Emails

If you’ve been using email, but haven’t gotten the results you’d like to, it’s probably because you’re using it ineffectively.

Here are a few very practical tips for high-converting emails that generate results:

  1. Write Better Subject Lines: Think about email marketing from the side of the recipient. (Considering that you probably receive hundreds of emails per week, this isn’t hard to do.) What’s going to make you engage with an email? It’s the subject line, right?If you’re going to focus a large portion of your time and energy on one element of email marketing, subject lines should be it.The best subject lines are the ones that convey a sense of urgency or curiosity, present an offer, personalize to the recipient, are relevant and timely, feature name recognition, or reference cool stories.
  2. Nail the Intro”: Never take for granted the fact that someone will open your email, and read to the second paragraph. Some will – but most will scan the first couple of lines, and then make a decision on how to proceed.It’s critically important that you get the intro right. You have maybe five seconds to hook people in, and get them excited. This is not a time to slowly build up. Give your best stuff away first!
  3. Use Video: Email might be personal, but individual emails aren’t necessarily viewed as special. That’s because people get so many of them on a daily basis.According to Blue Water Marketing, “The average person receives more than 84 emails each day! So how do you separate your emails from everyone else? Embed videos in your emails can increase your conversion rates by over 21 percent!”This speaks to a larger trend of making emails visually stimulating. The more you use compelling visuals, the more engaging and memorable the content will be.
  4. Keep Eyes Moving: The goal is to keep people engaging with your email content throughout. While it’ll inevitably happen with a certain percentage of recipients, you want to prevent people from dropping off as they read.One of the best ways to keep sustained engagement is to keep eyes effortlessly moving down the page with short and succinct copy.One-liners, small paragraphs, and lots of spacing signal a degree of approachability and simplicity. Use this style as much as you can.
  5. Don’t Ask Too Much: It can be difficult to convey everything you want to say in a single email, but it’s important that you stay as focused as possible – particularly when it comes to CTAs and requests.Always stick to one CTA per email. Never ask multiple questions or present different offers. (It’ll just overwhelm and confuse.) You can present the same CTA in multiple places – like at the beginning, middle, and end of the email – but it needs to be the same call. That’s how you keep people focused and on-task.

Give Your Email Marketing Strategy a Makeover

Most businesses have some sort of email lists. Few businesses leverage these lists as well as they should. Hopefully, this article has provided you with some practical and actionable tips that can be used to boost engagement and produce more conversions. Give them a try and see what sticks.

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Business Marketing

Here’s how one employer was able beat an age discrimination lawsuit

(MARKETING) Age discrimination is a rare occurrence but still something to be battled. It’s good practice to keep your house in order to be on the right side.

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Jewel age discrimination

In January, the EEOC released its annual accounting for reports of discrimination in the previous year. Allegations of retaliation were the most frequently filed charge, which disability coming in second. Age discrimination cases accounted for 21.4% of filed charges. As we’ve reported before, not all age discrimination complaints rise to the level of illegal discrimination. In Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., the federal court dismissed the claims of age discrimination, even though seven (7) plaintiffs made similar claims against the grocery store.

What Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores was about

In Cesario, all but one of the seven plaintiffs had spent years with Jewel Food building their careers. When Jewel went through some financial troubles, the plaintiffs allege that they began to “experience significant pressure at work… (and) were eventually forced out or terminated because of their age or disability.” Jewel Food requested summary judgment to dismiss the claims.

The seven plaintiffs made the same type of complaints. Beginning in 2014, store directors were under pressure to improve metrics and customer satisfaction. Cesario alleges that the Jewel district manager asked about his age. Another director alleges that younger store directors were transferred to stores with less difficulties. One plaintiff alleged that Jewel Food managers asked him about his retirement. The EEOC complaints began in late 2015. The plaintiffs retired or were fired and subsequently filed a lawsuit against their company.

Age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA). The ADEA prevents disparate treatment based on age for workers over 40 years old. However, plaintiffs who allege disparate treatment must establish that the adverse reactions wouldn’t have occurred but for age. Because none of the plaintiffs could specifically point to age as the only determination of their case, the court dismissed the case.

A word to wise businesses

Jewel Food was able to demonstrate their own actions in the case through careful documentation. Although there was no evidence that age played a factor in any discharge decision, Jewel Food could document their personnel decisions across the board. The plaintiffs also didn’t exhaust all administrative remedies. This led to the case being dropped.

Lesson learned – Make perssonel decisions based on performance and evidence. Don’t use age as a factor. Keep documentation to support your decisions.

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