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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

Snapchat’s study reveals our growing reliance on video

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Snapchat released a report that shows some useful insights for future video content creation.

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Snapchat is taking a break from restoring people’s streaks to publish a report on mobile video access; according to Social Media Today, the report holds potentially vital information about how customers use their mobile devices to view content.

And–surprise, surprise–it turns out we’re using our phones to consume a lot more media than we did six years ago.

The obvious takeaways from this study are listed all over the place, and not even necessarily courtesy of Snapchat. People are using their phones substantially more often than they have in the past five years, and with everyone staying home, it’s reasonable to expect more engagement and more overall screen time.

However, there are a couple of insights that stand out from Snapchat’s study.

Firstly, the “Stories” feature that you see just about everywhere now is considered one of the most popular–and, thus, most lucrative–forms of video content. 82 percent of Snapchat users in the study said that they watched at least one Snapchat Story every day, with the majority of stories being under ten minutes.

This is a stark contrast to the 52 percent of those polled who said they watched a TV show each day and the 49 percent who said they consumed some “premium” style of short-form video (e.g., YouTube). You’ll notice that this flies in the face of some schools of thought regarding content creation on larger platforms like YouTube or Instagram.

Equally as important is Snapchat’s “personal” factor, which is the intimate, one-on-one-ish atmosphere cultivated by Snapchat features. Per Snapchat’s report, this is the prime component in helping an engaging video achieve the other two pillars of success: making it relatable and worthy of sharing.

Those three pillars–being personal, relatable, and share-worthy–are the components of any successful “short-form” video, Snapchat says.

Snapchat also reported that of the users polled, the majority claimed Snapchat made them feel more connected to their fellow users than comparable social media sites (e.g., Instagram or Facebook). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the next-closest social media platform vis-a-vis interpersonal connection was TikTok–something for which you can probably see the nexus to Snapchat.

We know phone use is increasing, and we know that distanced forms of social expression were popular even before a pandemic floored the world; however, this report demonstrates a paradigm shift in content creation that you’d have to be nuts not to check out for yourself.

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Business Marketing

Technology is helping small businesses adapt and stay afloat

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Small businesses need to utilize digital platforms to adapt their businesses during COVID-19, or else they may be left behind.

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While many may not have imagined our present day back in March, and to what extreme we would be doing things “remotely” and via “hands-free contact”, we have to give some credit to small business owners who remain flexible and have pivoted to stay afloat. They deserve major credit on adaptations they have made (and possibly investments) in new technology (ordering online, online payments) especially at a time when their in-person revenues have taken a hit.

There are various marketing buzz words being used lately to say “let’s keep our distance”, including: curbside, to-go, hands-free, no contact, delivery only, order via app, social distancing and #wearamask.

The thing is, if you really think about it, small businesses are always in evolution mode – they have to pay attention to consumer consumption and behaviors that can shift quickly in order to stay relevant and utilize their marketing and advertising budgets wisely. They heavily rely on positive customer reviews and word of mouth recommendations because they may not have the budget for large scale efforts.

For example, we use Lyft or Uber vs calling an individual cab owner; we order on Amazon vs shopping at a local mom-and-pop shop; we download and make playlists of music vs going to a record or music store. Small business owners are constantly fighting to keep up with the big guys and have to take into account how their product/service has relevance, and if it’s easy for people to attain. In current times, they’ve had to place major efforts into contactless experiences that often require utilizing a digital platform.

If stores or restaurants didn’t already have an online ordering platform, they had to implement one. Many may have already had a way to order online but once they were forced to close their dining areas, they had to figure out how to collect payments safely upon pickup; this may have required them to implement a new system. Many restaurants also had to restructure pick up and to-go orders, whether it was adding additional signage or reconfiguring their pick up space to make sure people were able to easily practice social distancing.

According to this article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Studies have shown that 73% of small businesses are not aware of digital resources, such as online payment processing tools, online productivity tools, e-commerce websites, online marketing and other tools, that can help them reach customers around the world. If small businesses had better access to global markets, it could increase the GDP of the United States by $81 billion and add 900,000 new jobs. During the pandemic, this could also mean the difference between thriving and closing for good.”

There are some larger corporate technology companies offering ways to support small businesses whether it’s through small business grants from Google, resources and grants from Facebook or Verizon giving them a break on their telecom bill. The challenge with this may be whether or not small business owners are able to find time from their intense focus on surviving to applying for these grants and managing all that admin time. Many business owners may be focusing on what technology they have and can upgrade, or what they need to implement – most likely while seeing a loss in revenue. So, it can be a tough decision to make new technology investments.

It does seem like many have made incredible strides, and quickly (which is impressive), to still offer their products and services to customers – whether it’s a contactless pay method, free delivery, or even reservations to ensure limited capacity and socially distanced visits. There are still some that just haven’t able to do that yet, and may be looking at other ways to take their business to a wider audience online.

We would encourage, if you can, to support small businesses in your community as often as you can. Understandably there are times that it’s easier to order on Amazon, but if there is a way you can pick up something from a local brewery or family-owned business, this may be the lifeline they need to survive and/or to invest in new technology to help them adapt.

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Business Marketing

There’s a shortage of skilled workers, so get learning

(BUSINESS MARKETING) COVID-19 may end up justifying training funds for lower-class workers to learn new skills. Skilled workers are desperately needed right now.

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skilled worker

The COVID-19 pandemic (yes, that one) has ushered in a lot of unexpected changes, one of the which is most surprising: An increased call for skilled workers — a call that, unfortunately, requires a massive retraining of the existing workforce.

According to the New York Times, nearly 50 percent of Americans were working from home by May; this was, reportedly, a 15 percent increase in remote work. The problems with this model are expansive, but one of the greatest issues stems from the lack of training: As employees of lower-class employment transitioned to working online, it became increasingly evident that there was a shortage of skilled workers in this country.

The Times traces this phenomenon back to the Great Recession; Harvard University’s Lawrence Katz points to some parallels and insinuates that this is an opportunity to elevate the lower class rather than regressing, and it seems fair to put the onus of such elevation on lawmakers and senators.

Indeed, Congress has even addressed the issue of skill equality via “bipartisan support” of a $4000 credit for non-skilled workers to use toward skill training. For Congress to come together on something like this is relatively noteworthy, and it’s hard to disagree with the premise that, given the invariable automation wave, many of our “non-skilled” workers will face unemployment without substantial aid.

COVID-19 has accelerated many trends and processes that should have taken years to propagate, and this is clearly one of them.

Supporting laborers in developing skills that help them work within the technology bubble isn’t just a good idea–it’s imperative, both morally and economically speaking. Even middle-class “skilled” workers have had trouble keeping up with the sheer amount of automation and technology-based skillsets required to stay competent; when one considers how lower-class employees will be impacted by this wave, the outcome is too dark to entertain.

It should be noted that non-skilled workers don’t necessarily have to scale up their training in their current fields; the Times references a truck driver who pivoted hard into software development, and while it may be easier for some to focus on their existing areas of expertise, the option to make a career change does exist.

If we take nothing else away from the time we’ve spent in quarantine, we should remember that skilled labor is integral to our success as a society, and we have a moral obligation to help those who missed the opportunity to develop such skills fulfill that need.

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