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Real Estate 1.0

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…is Kicking 2.0’s Butt

real estate 2.0


Real estate 1.0 seems to be kicking real estate 2.0’s butt these days in California’s East Bay area. Keller Williams Realty in Danville, CA (the office I work out of) has about 200 agents; on average about 75 – 100 Realtors attend each week’s meeting of the Realtors Marketing Association (Alamo, Danville, San Ramon) and the Valley Marketing Association (Pleasanton, Dublin).In the last month, I haven’t heard from a single Realtor about any new business arriving via their website. Houses are still be bought and sold in this part of the East Bay. Here’s what is working:

  • Working Expired Listings
  • Door Knocking
  • Working the Database

I don’t claim this to be 100% accurate, but it seems that the majority of new listings and new buyer agreements are arriving the old fashion way in this slow market.

Writer for national real estate opinion column AgentGenius.com, focusing on the improvement of the real estate industry by educating peers about technology, real estate legislation, ethics, practices and brokerage with the end result being that consumers have a better experience.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Danilo Bogdanovic

    January 27, 2008 at 10:18 am

    John,

    Glad to hear that the agents in your office are busy with clients, whichever way they may be getting them. But don’t count out real estate 2.0 and web 2.0. Here’s why:

    My business partner and I run three blogs – one is agent-centric and the other two are consumer centric. The two that are agent-centric are pulling in 2 to 3 ready, willing and able buyers/investors with lender letters in hand per week. An example of their email or phone call to us is, “We like and read your blog and want to buy a house. Can you help?”

    The blogs are also pulling in an average of one listing every 2 weeks. The same type of email or phone call listed above applies.

    Btw, we don’t do any of the action items you described in your post whatsoever and we don’t pay to advertise in print media. The way we get into print media is for free through quotes and articles on us by local newspapers as well as the Washington Post, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, etc. This is because the media reads and follows our blogs. And this happens with regular frequency. Consumers read this and then elevate the level of credibility they give us, which helps pull in buyers and sellers.

    This is not to say that the items you described don’t work. It just means that your claim that real estate 1.0 is kicking real estate 2.0’s butt may not be accurate.

    Btw, (static) web sites are real estate 1.0, not 2.0. You can’t clump blogs and social media sites into static web sites.

  2. Benjamin Bach

    January 27, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Interesting John… interesting

    I would agree that at my KW Market Centre (Kitchener-571) most everyone is getting business the old fashioned way – but most of my ‘new’ business (every sale so far in 2008) is now coming from people I’m initially meeting via my blog and other internet presence (facebook, among others)

    John what are you finding in your own business ?

  3. Lani Anglin

    January 27, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    John, I can’t say the same about our market (or at least our company). As always, out approach has been a consistent, delicate balance of 1.0 and 2.0. If you omit either, you may miss the business boat.

  4. Candy Lynn

    January 27, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    There were a few months that I was beginning to think my website was broken. The last 4-6 weeks both hits & info requests have been going crazy!
    Offers & listings produced from internet in last week.

    I use print to PUSH to website, I do not doorknock nor work expired listings. I do have a very personal high touch relationship with my clients. I work a niche market of horse properties so there is a great deal of common interest that results in clients not becoming just clients for life but friends for life.

    Is my marketing Web.1 or Web.2? I tend to think of it as just plain old fashioned professional service that just happens to use the tech tools of the day.

  5. Cyndee Haydon

    January 27, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    John,
    Maybe it depends on where your buyers are coming from – we find most of the people buying here are from somewhere else so we are seeing almost 100% of buyers coming from the web – now the listings are a different story – they seem to come more from the 1.0 way for us.

  6. Jonathan Dalton

    January 28, 2008 at 1:20 am

    I’m seeing some business from hitting expireds, though I’m not as consistent as I ought to be.

    But given I’ve pulled in a solid lead a day off the various websites this past week (and going back for some time), 2.0 has its place.

    Actually, forget I said that. If you’re an agent in the Phoenix market, please do not bother with the web. it’s a fad and will go away. Knock on doors. Much better.

  7. Benjamin Bach

    January 28, 2008 at 5:46 am

    This may be what we call tunnel vision – it seems all of us commenting on blogs (i.e. and are ‘in the web 2.0 know’) are getting business from blogs, while ‘old school’ realtors may not be generating leads online.

    I had a realtor ask me last week how quickly would he get business from a blog if he paid me to start one for him. I chuckled.

  8. Chris Lengquist

    January 28, 2008 at 10:20 am

    I do both…with heavy emphasis on blog/web. And the leads/clients generated reflect that.

    The key is DOING SOMETHING.

  9. Port Orange Homes For Sale

    January 28, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    If it works don’t break it. Seems like that what works in his market and hey he is on this blog so he appears to be on the internet blogging that will bring more business. Good luck to all in these hard times with creativity and doing what ever it takes to sell real estate.

  10. Borino

    January 28, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    John,

    Your information confirms what vast majority of my clients from almost every US market confirm – expireds are plentiful, fairly easy to work, and can be one of the most profitable niches right now.

    Good ol’ fashioned work is back in style, it seems. And it’s profitable. 😉

    Borino
    http://www.ExpiredPlus.com

  11. Nouveau Riche

    June 15, 2008 at 4:59 am

    Very interesting blog you have here. I don’t know much about real estate and I had started to read about this subject a few days ago and I must say that your blog made me understand a lot of things about real estate. Thanks

  12. Pingback: Sacramento Real Estate Market is On a Roll...! | Realty World - Your Property Source

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Business Marketing

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.

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Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.

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Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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Business Marketing

Your business’ Yelp listing may be costing you more than you think

(BUSINESS MARKETING) The pay per click system Yelp uses sounds good in theory, but it may be hurting small businesses more than helping.

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Man browsing Yelp for his business listing in open office environment.

We all know Yelp – we’ve probably all used Yelp’s comment section to decide whether or not that business is worth giving our money to. What you might not know is how they are extorting the small businesses they partner with.

For starters, it’s helpful to understand that Yelp generates revenue through a pay per click (PPC) search model. This means whenever a user clicks on your advertisement, you pay Yelp a small fee. You never pay Yelp a cent if no one clicks on your ad.

In theory, this sounds great – if someone is seeking out your product or service and clicks on your ad, chances are you’re going to see some of that return. This is what makes paying $15, $50, or even $100 a click worth it.

In practice, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. When setting up your Yelp account, you are able to plug in keywords that correspond with your business. For example, owner of San Francisco-based Headshots Inc. Dan St. Louis – former Yelp advertiser turned anti-Yelp advocate – plugged in keywords for his business, such as “corporate photographer” and “professional headshots”. When someone in the Bay Area searches one of those terms, they are likely to see Headshots Inc.’s Yelp ad.

You are also able to plug in keyword searches in which your ad will not appear. That sounds great too – no need to pay for ad clicks that will ultimately not bring in revenue for your business. In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan plugged in terms such as “affordable baby photography” and “affordable studio photography”, as his studio is quite high-end and would very likely turn off a user who is using the word “affordable” in their search.

How Yelp really cheats its small business partners is that it finds loopholes in your keyword input to place your ad in as many non-relevant searches as possible. This ensures that your ad is clicked more and, as a result, you have to pay them more without reaping any of the monetary benefits for your business.

If you plugged in “cheap photography” to your list of searches in which your ad will not appear, Yelp might still feature your ad for the “cheap photos” search. As if a small business owner has the time to enter in every single possible keyword someone might search!

In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan ended up paying $10k in total ad spend to Yelp with very little return. Needless to say, he is pissed.

So what does this mean for you if you use Yelp for your business? If you don’t want to completely opt out of Yelp’s shenanigans, try these 3 tips from Dan:

  1. Try searching some potential irrelevant keywords – are your ads showing up in these searches?
  2. Do your best to block the irrelevant keywords. It’s impossible to get them all, but the more you do the more money you will ultimately save.
  3. Keep an eye on the conversation rate on your profile – does more clicks mean more client inquiries? Make sure Yelp isn’t sending low-quality traffic to your profile.

Ultimately, it’s about protecting your small business. Yelp is the latest in big tech to be outted for manipulating individuals and small businesses to up their margins – a truly despicable act, if you ask me. If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars for ad spend, then either boycott Yelp or try these tips – your company may depend on it.

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