I remember my first week or so as a Realtor like it was yesterday. I was affiliated with one of those huge real estate companies. I arrived at my new office with my laptop computer. I had to walk down a long hall and past several offices before I got to my own. There were agents working in the office but none of the office had computers in them.
Things have changed a bit since then. It seems like most real estate practitioners use computers in their businesses. I remember my first manager telling me that I should spend less time in front of the computer and more time in front of people.
I heard a similar comment from a colleague just last week. She said that agents shouldn’t spend their time in front of a computer they should be out meeting people. She runs her own business the same way real estate practitioners did twenty years ago and she is good at it too. She is a little uncomfortable with a class that I teach about web 2.0 and marketing.
What she doesn’t get is that we do meet people on the internet. We need to go where the home buyers are and more than 80% of them are surfing the net, looking for agents and looking for a home. If we want to meet the people who live inside of our computers we need to first spend some time on the internet.
Here is another way of looking at it. I could spend two hours at an open house and meet three people face-to-face. I could also take that same two hours and write a couple of blog posts that will be read by a couple of thousand home buyers.
If you have a manager who is telling you to go out and meet people and stop spending so much time on the computer, tell your manager about Teresa Boardman of St. Paul, MN who has 6 closing in the month of May, and that four of those closings are with people that she met on the internet. The other two are because of a relationship with some neighbors.
I currently have two sellers that I have never met in person and that I may never meet. I have met most of my clients in person but I don’t have to get in front of someone to sell a home for them or to find them one. I do most of that through the internet without ever leaving my home. I would truly enjoy meeting all of my clients but would be so expensive and time consuming that it just isn’t practicle.
If I were training new agents I would tell them to stop wasting their time at open houses and get in front of a computer. They will be able to sell the house faster and will meet more motivated buyers in a shorter period of time. I guess I am some what thankful that new agents are not being taught to work that way because there is plenty of competition in my market already. New agents should be taught how to compete with me. Right now I am the only one in my market teaching that class.
Much of my time is spent in front of a computer screen and a significant portion of it is spent behind a camera. I met a young man that I know about through Flickr, a social networking web site for sharing photos. I would not know him at all if I had not been on the internet. He introduced me to two other people. I call that networking.
The way I run my business is not for everyone but it really is possible to make a decent living as a REALTOR by spending more time in front of the computer than in front of people. My blog and the social networks I belong to serve as an introduction and make it possible for me to meet the right people in a fun and almost effortless way. I could spend my Sunday afternoons at open houses but I would much rather be out with my camera or sitting in the local coffee shop writing blog posts.
There is still a lot of skepticism about using the internet for meeting potential clients. Real estate is a people business. What some practitioners and managers are missing is that there are millions of people on the internet right now. The internet is for people and about people. Don’t tell me to step away from the computer and go out and sell, it isn’t going to happen, save it for someone who doesn’t know any better.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Try searching some potential irrelevant keywords – are your ads showing up in these searches?
- 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.
- 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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