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My Plan to Conquer the Phoenix Real Estate Market

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“You’re right. I can’t actually back that up.” – Dr. Evil, after telling Austin Powers that he was AP’s father.

Similarly, I can’t possibly back up a boast to dominate the Phoenix real estate market, not when there’s such a wide array of luminaries here in the Valley (including two Agent Genius contributors, Russell and Jay.)

In fact, the mere knowledge that I’ve sold several percent the amount of homes that Russell has this year is a major cause for celebration, considering my advertising budget is a decidedly smaller percentage than his. This is 2008, after all, the year to celebrate minor victories and survive.

Plans Are Being Made

This isn’t to say I don’t have plans in the works though I seem to have more plans than time. I’ll share them here so long as you promise not to tell Russ and Jay what I’m doing. They probably stay up many nights wondering WWJD – what would Jonathan do – as it is and I’d just as soon let them wonder.

Agreed? Good.

Last month I had the brilliant idea of beginning a Phoenix real estate wiki. This was to be part reference material, part time saver (so I don’t have to keep typing the definition of absorption rate) and part Google juice on steroids.

Naturally, I wrote entries for the “A”s and quickly ran out of time. I’m working on getting back there but with kids out of school, vacation coming up and these pesky buyers actually expecting to look at homes (the nerve of some people!) it’s been hard to get back.

Which is unfortunate because I’ve come to realize this is a long-tail monster lurking in the wings.

Communities at Your Fingertips

I’ve had more than decent success with some niche sites focusing on particular neighborhoods – Ventana Lakes, Westbrook Village and Arrowhead Ranch. But what if I was able to skip a step, stop searching in vain for the rare useful URL that hasn’t been purchased, and simply provide much of the same information on one or more pages of a blog?

Anthem is my first experiment and I’m nowhere close to finished. Still to come are specific searches, or at least Diverse Solutions modules, for the condos on Galivan Parkway and eventually another module that’s just for golf course lots (I’m waiting for a change in Diverse Solutions’ search to do this one.)

Floor plans? I’ve got those and will add those soon. A photo page? Not high on my list, purely for time and gas-driven reasons, but absolutely within the realm of possibility.

And this is just Anthem.

Picture a Goodyear page with separate sub-pages for Pebblecreek, Estrella and Palm Valley. Or a Scottsdale page with different condo communities featured along with Grayhawk, DC Ranch and McDowell Mountain Ranch. The possibilities are endless.

Sadly, my time is not. And that’s why this hasn’t happened quite yet.

But it will. Oh yes, it will. Just don’t tell Jay and Russ.

Mooo-ha-ha-ha … mooo-ha-ha-ha-ha …

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Erion Shehaj

    June 14, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    I definitely dig the idea. What (plugin, widget) are you using to make this happen?

  2. Jonathan Dalton

    June 14, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Which part, Erion? All of the listings widgets and modules and such come through Diverse Solution’s IDX product. As for the rest, that’s just little ol’ me.

  3. Mariana Wagner

    June 14, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    How would one start a WIKI? I am pretty sure that is one of the coolest ideas I have heard in a long time, Jonathan.

  4. Jonathan Dalton

    June 14, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Practice, Mariana … wait, no. That’s how you get to Broadway.

    In this case, I just started typing. It’s not a pure wiki in that readers can’t add and edit their own content. I think that can be done through WordPress but that’s a little too large a can of worms for me to open right now.

    For those who want to see something added (once I’m done with the main topics, that is), they’re welcome to send the suggestions through the comment form on the right side.

  5. Jonathan Dalton

    June 14, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Once I add the comment form, that is

  6. Paula Henry

    June 14, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Jonathan –

    I think I already said it once – but I think your Wiki is a very cool idea! I won’t tell Jay or Russ, but I have thought about one for Indy. Like you I have more plans than time.

  7. Jay Thompson

    June 14, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    I’d like to read this post, but was told I can’t….

    But if I could read it, I’d mention the WP FAQ plugin I’ve played with a little here. It might be able to be used for your “wiki”. There is also a WP glossary plugin here, but I have not used it or looked at it at all.

    I suspect there are plugins available for true wiki’s as well. I set up a wiki separately once from the blog and it was so overrun with spam that I took it down. With the interaction available on a blog , I’m not sure that a full-blown wiki adds all that much. I do like Jonathan’s glossary / wiki thingy though.

  8. Russell Shaw

    June 14, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Crap! My stats are already down and now this.

  9. ines

    June 14, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    I also like the wiki idea…..very clever! and the long tail advantages…..love those!

    As for the neighborhoods – I know Mariana has also created separate blogs for different neighborhoods – I decided from the beginning to set them all in my one miamism blog with some static content (that google likes) and could updated content constantly, which I do.

    Time management is a huge issue for me as well – so many ideas, so little time….and we still have to sell real estate.

  10. John Wake

    June 16, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Jay,

    What do you think would work best, a separate Anthem blog or a few Anthem pages on an already popular blog?

  11. Shailesh Ghimire

    June 16, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    This is great – and you’ll need a lender page on your wiki won’t you? Well, let me share with you how I plan to dominate the phoenix lending market… Mooo-ha-ha-ha … mooo-ha-ha-ha-ha …

  12. Jay Thompson

    June 16, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    “What do you think would work best, a separate Anthem blog or a few Anthem pages on an already popular blog?”

    Very difficult question to answer John. Partly depends on how one defines “work best”. From a purely SEO perspective, I think adding pages on an existing blog (assuming it has some “authority”) would work better (or at least faster) than starting a separate blog.

    On the other hand, there is much to be said for a “dedicated” neighborhood blog. It may be more initial work and time to get well ranked and establish readership, but once that hurdle was cleared, it might be ultimately more successful simply because it would attracted a very targeted readership.

  13. Jonathan Dalton

    June 16, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I think it depends what the overall plan is … if you have the time and information to dedicate to a neighborhood-specific blog, do it. I have local sites on WP platforms but I rarely use the blog function just because there’s a lack of time. It hasn’t hurt for Westbrook or Ventana Lakes one iota – I’m top of Google for both.

    Can a couple of pages on a larger site work? Possibly. Probably depends on how competitive the search terms are.

    Google “Fountain of the Sun” and my Phoenix Retirement Real Estate site is on the first page. I’d like to see it higher but I haven’t dedicated even a fraction of the time the site really could use outside of listings. But with a little more work, and less than what you’d need for a full-blown hyper local blog, I probably can get above the fold.

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Business Marketing

10 must-listen-to podcasts for business owners

(MARKETING) If you’re a business owner and want to learn something…anything…give one (or all) these podcasts a listen.

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As podcasts grow more and more popular, it has become increasingly difficult to sort through the sea of excellent options out there.

From interviews with business leaders to industry-specific advice from experts, podcasts are an incredible free and convenient way to get a small dose of inspiration and knowledge.

This short list offers just a taste of the myriad of business podcasts available. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking for some tips on breaking into a new industry or a seasoned vet hoping to get some new inspiration, we hope you’ll find something here worth listening to.

How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz.

Podcast fans will recognize Guy Raz’s name (and voice) from TED Radio Hour. While that show can be a great source of inspiration for businesses, one of the most consistently inspiring shows is his new project that shares stories and insight from some of the biggest business leaders in the world. In just four months, Guy has talked to everyone from Richard Branson and Mark Cuban to L.A. Reid and Suroosh Alvi. While there are plenty of excellent interview-driven shows with entrepreneurs, if you want to hear about the world’s best known companies, this is your best bet.

The Art of Charm, hosted by Jordan and AJ Harbinger.

The Art of Charm is a business podcast by definition, but the advice it provides will definitely help you in other parts of your day-to-day life as well. With over three million listens a month, the incredibly popular show provides advice, strategies and insight into how to network effectively and advance your career and personal life.

StartUp, hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there is no excuse not to be listening to StartUp, the award-winning business podcast from Gimlet Media. The show’s talented hosts come from incredible radio shows like Planet Money and This American Life and bring a top-notch level of storytelling to the show, which provides behind the scenes looks at what it is actually like to start a company. Now on the fourth season, StartUp is one of those business podcasts that even people not interested in business will get a kick out of.

The Whole Whale Podcast, hosted by George Weiner.

One of the best things about podcasts is the wide variety of niche shows available that go in-depth into fascinating topics. One of those shows is the Whole Whale Podcast, which shares stories about data and technology in the non-profit sector. You’ll get detailed analysis, expert knowledge and can hear from a long list of social impact leaders from Greenpeace, Change.org, Kiva, Teach For America, and more.

Social Pros Podcast, hosted by Jay Baer and Adam Brown.

Navigating the surplus of social media guides online can be a nightmare, so look no further than Social Pros. Recent episodes talk about reaching college students on social media, the rise of messaging apps, and making better video content for Facebook. Plus, there are great case-studies with companies doing social right, like Kellogg’s, Coca Cola and Lenscrafters.

Entrepreneur on Fire, hosted by John Lee Dumas.

One of the original entrepreneurship shows, Entrepreneur on Fire has logged over 1,500 episodes with successful business leaders sharing tips, lessons and advice learned from their worst entrepreneurial moments. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always inspiring, this show is sure to have at least one interview with someone you can learn from.

The $100 MBA, hosted by Omar Zenhom.

Think of The $100 MBA as a full-fledged business program in snack-sized portions. The daily ten minute business lessons are based on real-world applications and cover everything from marketing to technology and more. Cue this show up on your commute to or from work and watch your knowledge grow.

This Week in Startups, hosted by Jason Calacanis.

This is your audio version of TechCrunch, Gizmodo, or dare we say The American Genius. Each week, a guest entrepreneur joins the show to talk about what is happening in tech right now. You’ll get news about companies with buzz, updates on big tech news and even some insider gossip.

The Side Hustle Show, hosted by Nick Loper.

This is the show if you want answers for the big question so many entrepreneurs face. How do I turn my part-time hustle into a real job? Featuring topics such as passive income ideas, niche sites, and self-publishing, host Nick Loper is upfront and honest about the tough world of side hustles. The show features actionable tips and an engaging energy, and may just be that final push you need to grow your gig.

Back To Work, hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.
Focused on the basics that you don’t think about, Back To Work looks deep into our working lives by analyzing things like workflow, email habits and personal motivation. Somewhere between self-help, and business advice, Back To Work takes on a new topic relating to productivity each week.

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Business Marketing

Why your coworkers are not your ‘family’ [unpopular opinion]

(MARKETING) “I just want you to think of us as family,” they say. If this were true, I could fire my uncle for always bringing up “that” topic on Thanksgiving…

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The well-known season 10 opener of “Undercover Boss” featured Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar. Brandon Landry, owner, went to the Lafayette location where he worked undercover with Jessica Comeaux, an assistant manager. Comeaux came across as a dedicated employee of the company, and she was given a well-deserved reward for her work. But I rolled my eyes as the show described the team as a “family.” I take offense at combining business and family, unless you’re really family. Why shouldn’t this work dynamic be used?

Employers don’t have loyalty to employees.

One of the biggest reasons work isn’t family is that loyalty doesn’t go both ways. Employers who act as though employees are family wouldn’t hesitate to fire someone if it came down to it. In most families, you support each other during tough times, but that wouldn’t be the case in a business. If you’ve ever thought that you can’t ask for a raise or vacation, you’ve probably bought into the theory that “work is a family.” No, work is a contract.

Would the roles be okay if the genders were reversed?

At Walks-Ons, Comeaux is referred to as “Mama Jess,” by “some of the girls.” I have to wonder how that would come across if Comeaux were a man being called “Daddy Jess” by younger team members? See any problem with that? What happens when the boss is a 30-year-old and the employee is senior? Using family terminology to describe work relationships is just wrong.

Families’ roles are complex.

You’ll spend over 2,000 hours with your co-workers every year. It’s human nature to want to belong. But when you think of your job like a family, you may bring dysfunction into the workplace.

What if you never had a mom, or if your dad was abusive? Professional relationships don’t need the added complexity of “family” norms. Seeing your boss as “mom” or “dad” completely skews the roles of boss/employee. When your mom asks you to do more, it’s hard to say no. If your “work mom or dad” wants you to stay late, it’s going to be hard to set boundaries when you buy into the bogus theory that work is family. Stop thinking of work this way.

Check your business culture to make sure that your team has healthy boundaries and teamwork. Having a great work culture doesn’t have to mean you think of your team as family. It means that you appreciate your team, let them have good work-life balance and understand professionalism.

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Business Marketing

Market your side hustle with these 6 tips

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It can be hard to stand out from the crowd when you’re starting a new side hustle. Here are some easy ways to make your marketing efforts more effective.

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Side hustles have become the name of the game, and especially during these turbulent times, we have to get extra creative when it comes to making money. With so many of us making moves and so much noise, it can be hard to get the word out and stand out when sharing your side hustle.

Reuben Jackson of Big Think shared five ways that you can market your side hustle (we added a sixth tip for good measure), and comment with your thoughts and ideas on the subject:

  1. Referrals: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask!
    If you’re going to make a splash, you have to be willing to ask for favors. Reach out to your network and ask them to help spread the word on your new venture. This can be as simple as asking your friends to share a Facebook post with information that refers them to your page or website. Word of mouth is still important and incredibly effective.
  2. Start Where You Are
    Immediately running an expensive ad right out of the gate may not be the most effective use of your (likely) limited funds. Use the resources you do have to your advantage – especially if you’re just testing things out to see how the side hustle goes in the real world. You can do this by creating a simple, informational landing page for a small fee. Or, if you’re not looking to put any money into it right away, create an enticing email signature that explains what you do in a concise and eye-catching way. Check out these tools to create a kickin’ email signature.
  3. Gather Positive Reviews
    If you’ve performed a service or sold a product, ask your customers to write a review on the experience. Never underestimate how many potential customers read reviews before choosing where to spend their money, so this is an incredibly important asset. Once a service is completed or a product is sold, send a thank you note to your customer and kindly ask them to write a review. Be sure to provide them with links to easily drop a line on Yelp or your company’s Facebook page.
  4. Be Strategic With Social
    It’s common to think that you have to have a presence on all channels right away. Start smaller. Think about your demographic and do some research on which platforms reach that demographic most effectively. From there, put your time and energy into building a presence on one or two channels. Post consistently and engage with followers. After you’ve developed a solid following, you can then expand to other platforms.
  5. Give Paid Marketing A Shot
    Once you’ve made a dollar or two, try experimenting with some Facebook or Twitter ads. They’re relatively cheap to run and can attract people you may not have otherwise had a chance to reach out to. Again, the key is to start small and don’t get discouraged if these don’t have people knocking your door down; it may take trial and error to create the perfect ad for your hustle.
  6. Go Local
    Local newspapers and magazines are always looking for news on what local residents are doing. Send an email to your town/city’s journal or local Patch affiliate. Let them know what you’re up to, offer yourself for an interview, and give enticing information. The key is doing this in a way that your hustle is seen as beneficial to the public, and is not just an ad.

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