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Web 2.0 Is Overwhelming

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Where do You Even Begin?

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Are you lost in the sea that is Google in your online real estate business? How about I demonstrate how to get specific and win? Target your Micro-Market!


Building Real Estate Online Micro-Markets – the primer

I’ve had many conversations on and offline about the overwhelming nature of entering a real estate practice into main social media streams- looking at everything as a whole could give one a small heart attack, so I propose a different approach. Close your web browser, and close your eyes (after reading this post) and do the following:

  • Picture in your mind your target area you wish to promote
  • Narrow that down to streets
  • Narrow that down to a neighborhood name
  • Narrow down folks in that neighborhood that know you personally

Got it? Good. Hang on to that, let’s move forward.

Now Lets Get Googleized

Competing for ‘search ____ homes’ as keywords in Google will be next to impossible, so let’s micro-focus to beat your competition in Google. I’m going to use 6th and Broadway as my example and I’ll call the neighborhood ‘Soco.’ My next steps will break down for you how to make micro-communities very easily without the fear of the ‘big picture.’

  • I’ll create a blog called ‘6thandbroadway,’ purchase the domain, load wordpress, and pick a nice easy theme
  • Next, I’ll add blog categories beginning with ‘Soco’, and create others such as restaurants, etc…
  • I will drive the neighborhood and make a list of everything in and around the neighborhood
  • I will begin writing up featured articles on the local businesses (small business preferred)
  • I will create (using vista prints) inexpensive cards with my website address and have them delivered door-to-door
  • I will contact the schools and gather calendars, report the daily lunches, school closings, PTA
  • Don’t forget to get snapshots of the neighborhood beauty, and featured spots for later

Now, you’ve done the physical work, here is the easy part:

  • You can blog into the future using the time stamp feature in wordpress
  • Blog the information you know will not change, do this daily, and weekly
  • Set up a Twitter account, install it into your sidebar, also facebook, and linkedin
  • Update your status daily, especially those moments when you’re ‘not busy’
  • Post your article titles to your readers via Facebook & Twitter
  • Linkedin gives site readers instant access to your qualifications

In Summary

Now, I’m sure I may have missed a thing or two, but it isn’t the end of the world, nor the point. The bottom line is that in a Google world, folks doing anything and everything in and around this neighborhood will probably stumble across this site. Imagine a mom who Googles ‘name of school lunches this week’ and you appear. Imagine a person looking for a great restaurant at ‘corner of 6th and broadway’ and you appear. Imagine a buyer searching ‘homes 6th and broadway’ and they find your site with updated homes just listed and just solds? You are 6th and Broadway (indexed in one minute)! Multiply the information and see what happens. There are just less folks competing for a Micro-Brand, why not exploit it?

Socially, you’re making yourself available to be found on Twitter & Facebook, and available to talk. Especially because you’ve thought enough in advance to say you’re just reading an article, or relaxing with coffee at the Starbucks- all can be done over the SMS function of your phone. This is just one basic function of using social networking, but it is one that is easy, and does not require you to be social in a million places at once.

I hope this simple format helps give you some ideas on where to begin and hope you’ll share your social micro-blog with us! I’ll be taking this further in the coming days, but for now, start simple, let it grow, and then take the next step…

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Jeff Brown

    January 28, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Since I’ve been screaming this would work for over a year, I’m glad someone with your web savvy has laid it all out. I could only conceptualize it. I guess that’s why the word ‘genius’ is part of your name, right?

    Brilliant stuff — thanks.

  2. Brad Coy

    January 28, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Great post! thanks for a simple and thoughtful how-to idea re: micro-markets. I am always trying to keep focus. Sounds like the beginnings of a killer game plan.

  3. Benn Rosales

    January 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Well, illustrating your idea and just how damn simple it really is may just create a new generation of micro-farmers. hat tip to you for someone who knows little about online practices, you do have a savvy way of relating a 1.0 world to a 2.0 maze…

  4. Benn Rosales

    January 28, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Brad, I think that is what is missing in the blog arena of people in the know, we’re so broad in approach, I thought how neat would it be to boil down some simple practice…

  5. Jim Duncan

    January 28, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Benn – Making the complex seem simple is brilliance. Well done.

  6. Larry Yatkowsky

    January 28, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    thanks for the water can. off to the garden.

  7. shortsales

    July 5, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Nowadays real estate business fully depend on real estate web 2.0.

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Business Marketing

Cooler temps mean restaurants have to get creative to survive

(BUSINESS MARKETING) In the midst of a pandemic and with winter approaching, restaurants are starting to find creative and sustainable ways to keep customers coming in… and warm.

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Outdoor eating at restaurants grows in popularity.

Over the last decade we have seen a change in the approach to clientele experiences in the restaurant business. It’s no longer just about how good your food is, although that is still key. Now you have to give your customers an experience to remember. There are now restaurants that feed you in the dark, and others who require you to check all your clothes at the door. Each of these provides an experience to remember alongside food that ranges from good to exquisite, depending on your taste.

Now, however, the global pandemic has rearranged how we think about dining. We can no longer just shove people into a building and create a delectable meal. If you’ve relied mostly on people coming into your restaurant, you may struggle to survive now.

The new rules of keeping clients safe means setting things up outside is the easiest means of keeping large numbers of them from crowding inside. Because of this, weather has become a key influence in a company’s daily income. Tents that were a gimmick before, only needed by presumptuous millennials, are now a requirement to keep afloat. People are rushing to make their yards into lawns that bring some in some fancy feeling.

The ties to the sun in some areas are so strong that cloudy days have been shown to drop attendance as much as 14% for the day. This will become the more apparent the colder it gets. For me, I always mention hibernation weight in the winter, when all I want to do is curl up and eat at home. Down here in Texas we are already finding cooler weather, drops into the 70s even in August and September. We are all assuming a cold winter ahead. So, a bit of foresight is finding a means of keeping your guests warm for the winter ahead.

San Francisco restaurants have started with heat lamps during their cooler evenings. Fiberglass igloos have also been added to outdoor seating as a means of temperature control. A few places down in the Lonestar state keep roaring fires going for their outdoor activities. While others actually keep you running in between beverages by encouraging volleyball matches. This is the new future ahead of us, and being memorable is the way to go.

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Business Marketing

Healthcare during pandemic goes virtual, looks to stay that way

(BUSINESS NEWS) Employment-based health insurance has already been through the ringer with COVID-19, but company healthcare options are adapting for long term.

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Stethoscope with laptop, showing healthcare going virtual.

Changes in employment-based health insurance may end up costing employers more, but will provide crucial benefits to workers responding to the healthcare challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent survey by the Business Group on Health, a member-driven advocacy organization that helps large employers navigate providing health insurance to their employees, businesses will increase access to telehealth, mental health resources, and on-site clinics in the upcoming year.

Besides the obvious impacts of the coronavirus itself, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have also rippled out to affect other aspects of public health and how we engage with medical care. With so many people staying home to reduce their in-person contacts, there has been a significant increase in the use of telehealth services such as virtual doctor’s visits. According to the survey from Business Group on Health, whose members include 74 Fortune 100 companies, more than half of large employers will offer more options for virtual healthcare in the upcoming year than in the past.

The pandemic, resulting economic fallout, and dramatic changes to our lives have inevitably exacerbated peoples’ anxieties and feelings of hopelessness. As we move into cold weather, with no end in sight to the need to socially distance, this promises to be a particularly dreary, lonely winter. Mental health support will be more necessary than ever. In 2019, 73% of large employers provided virtual mental health services. That number will increase to 91% next year, with 45% of large employers also expanding their mental health care provider networks, making it easier for employees to find the right the therapist or other mental health service provider, and making it easier to access those services from home, virtually.

In addition, there will be a 20% increase in employers offering virtual emotional well-being services. Altogether, 9 out of 10 of the employers surveyed will provide online mental health resources, which, besides virtual appointments, could also include apps, webinars, and educational videos.

There has also been a slight increase the availability of on-site clinics that provide coronavirus testing and other basic health services. This also included an expansion of resources for prenatal care, weight management, and chronic health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

These improvement won’t come free of charge. While deductibles will remain about the same, premiums and out-of-pocket costs will increase about 5%. In most cases, employers will handle these costs, rather than passing them on to employees.

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Business Marketing

Apple sues recycling company for reselling products instead

(MARKETING) Apple sues recycling company it says was “stealing,” refurbishing, and reselling devices it was paid to strip down.

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Apple products stacked together to be sent for recycling.

If you sent an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch to Apple for recycling between 2015 and 2017, you might actually have been part of “reuse” in the “reduce, reuse, recycle” cycle.

That’s good, right? Nope, says Apple. The tech giant had been paying the company GEEP Canada to take apart and salvage materials from its devices sent for recycling. But according to a lawsuit by Apple Canada, GEEP Canada actually refurbished and resold more than 100,000 devices it had been paid to dismantle.

“At least 11,766 pounds of Apple devices left GEEP’s premises without being destroyed – a fact that GEEP itself confirmed,” Apple says in its complaint, as reported by The Verge.

The recycling firm denies wrongdoing and has filed a third-party suit that says “theft happened” but it’s not on them because it was 3 “rogue” employees who stole and sold the devices for themselves, not for the company. They want those employees to pay, alleging that they hurt the company’s business. However, Apple says, those 3 employees were actually senior management.

How did Apple find out? During an audit at GEEP Canada’s Ontario warehouse, Apple found its devices were being stored in an area not covered by security cameras, according to Apple Insider (via The Logic). Of the roughly 575,000 iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches it had sent GEEP between January 2015 and December 2017, 18% were being used on a telecom carrier network. That doesn’t include wi-fi only devices, so the actual number could be much higher.

It’s not just paying for services and materials they did not receive that upset Apple. Resales of refurbished devices hurt demand for new products, created potential safety issues for consumers, and damaged its brand, the suit alleges, according to The Logic. The company is asking for roughly $22.7 million in addition to the money GEEP made from resales. GEEP wants the employees to pay, alleging that they hurt the company’s business. GEEP is now part of Quantum Lifecycle Partners, which says they have nothing to do with all this.

Could/should these devices have been refurbished? “Products sent for recycling are no longer adequate to sell to consumers and if they are rebuilt with counterfeit parts they could cause serious safety issues, including electrical or battery defects,” Apple told The Verge.

Paying a company for recycling services they aren’t, in fact, providing is generally a reasonable basis for a lawsuit. But this case is also likely to draw more attention to the “right-to-repair” movement, which accuses Apple of restricting third-party repair shops. Activists are pushing Apple to focus on reuse over recycling, and the issue has been under review by the US House Judiciary Committee as part of an antitrust investigation of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google-parent Alphabet.

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