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Who moved my cheese?

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I am sure that as Genius Buddies, you have been asked to talk about blogging at local offices. Only 4% of real estate agents are blogging!! I find that absolutely bizarre and at the same time awesome…..more for us.Trick Question

Now, without sounding conceited or cocky (there is not a single ounce of that in my body…..although I have absolutely no lack of self-esteem), we have something here that a lot of others don’t. Some of us have not been blogging long but are taking full advantage of it for as long as it lasts and as my fellow genius Teresa Boardman said “There are marketing techniques that were never even dreamt of in the 80’s and I do my best to exploit them.”

So what am I getting at here? We use blogging to show what value we bring to the table, by blogging and sharing with each other we have become blogging experts. Our industry is looking to us to help them out and teach them to blog. Here’s the kicker…….if most agents are not even taking the time to read blogs, why would they even start blogging?

When I was asked 6 months ago to give a blogging class in the same market area I was honored but at the same time thought “what’s in it for me?”. Just last week I was asked by another broker to give a blogging class in my direct competing market.

……I’ll repeat that sentence to make a point…….

I was asked by another broker to give a blogging class in my direct competing market.

So I was supposed to jump for joy and share all my blood and tears with those same agents that stab me in the back share my farm area (not all are bad by the way…..just a couple). I politely declined.

Then I had a conversation with dear blogging friends and we discussed how we now have an added value to our services. This added value is that we blog, we are doing it and successfully. We COULD give it away (heck we do it at AG all day long), or we can actually get paid for it. Hmmmmm…..now that’s a concept.

So the purpose of this drawn out post was to make you think. Next time your local board, or another broker asks you to share your thoughts on blogging……will you say No, yes or how much?

***BONUS – whoever counts the correct number of times the word “blog, blogging or blogger” was written in the above post will get that delicious piece of Swiss Cheese***

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Ricardo Bueno

    November 27, 2007 at 4:13 am

    Ines,

    I’d count the words to win the bonus but I’m afraid that by the time you mail the cheese it will have spoiled 🙁

    Speaking of blogging, Kathy McGraw and I held a class in Banning, CA. I suppose it was easier for me to host it given that I’m a Lender and not a Realtor so I wasn’t amongst competition. However, other Brokers in the local area were upset that we were giving away the “trade secrets.”

    In any case, to those that ARE blogging…blog on! Relationships are all about conversations. And a blog is after all just that, a conversation. One that we can use 24/7 to manage and generate new relationships!

    Great to see you here Ines.

  2. Jim Duncan

    November 27, 2007 at 8:42 am

    I actually do these infrequently in my market, but don’t look at it necessarily as competition.

    Eventually, they’re going to do it anyway, and I’d rather they do it right (or more right) from the start.

    Helping others set the bar higher from the start benefits us all – bloggers and Realtors. And hopefully, I’ll be able to dissuade some from even starting (it’s a lot of work!)

  3. ines

    November 27, 2007 at 8:47 am

    Ricardo – glad to see YOU here as well. I think for the lending industry is a bit different because you are not only targeting the consumer but other real estate agents as well. Look at what Brian Brady is doing….he’s all over the place and we love him for it.

    Jim – I wrote this post to spark conversation because I agree with you. I don’t mind sharing at all and I constantly give it away and go out of my way to teach.
    My question though, since we have been doing it longer and have learned a great deal along the way, is whether our “blogging knowledge” is worth something, monetarily speaking.

  4. ines

    November 27, 2007 at 8:47 am

    Ricardo – it’s virtual cheese….never goes bad! : )

  5. Jonathan Dalton

    November 27, 2007 at 9:25 am

    The same thought’s been on my mind for a bit … I have a title company who’d like me to teach a short version. I’m debating putting together a credit-hour version of a blogging class.

    But for that, CTC will be in play.

  6. Ines

    November 27, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Jonathan – a credit-hour version sounds like a great idea without a doubt. What’s CTC?

  7. Benn Rosales

    November 27, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    agentgenius lends to your cred. which is why you’re here- you’re in the top tier. I’m so glad to read that you’re getting it.

  8. Ines

    November 27, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    Benn – I appreciate that – I think more of us are getting it every day.

  9. Jay Thompson

    November 27, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    One of the sadder facts of life is you can stand in front of 100 agents, GIVING AWAY the “secrets” and you’ll be lucky if 3 of them do anything with it.

  10. Lani Anglin

    November 27, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    15 references to the word blog, 18 if you count the bonus instructions, now where’s my chiiz? 🙂

  11. Ines

    November 27, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    [SIGH] @ Jay! you are right…but like I said….more for us!

    Lani – the CHEESE QUEEN!! (I can’t believe you actually counted them)

  12. mariana

    November 27, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Ugh. I go back and forth with this.
    First and foremost I agree w/ Jay. I train for our local offices and it is a rare time that I teach something and anything I say goes past, “Wow. Great idea.” which leads me to believe that I could pull money out of my armpit with the word “BLOG” all over it and I would not have anymore competition than I do now.

  13. Ines

    November 27, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Mariana – then why waste your time teaching?
    I think we wear our hearts on our sleeves when we blog and anyone interested needs to at least start reading.

  14. Benn Rosales

    November 27, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    … and commenting.

  15. Mariana

    November 28, 2007 at 9:43 am

    I *heart* teaching. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy – even if no one listens (or almost no one). I feel like at least I have made an attempt to educate the agents of today … but I have yet to discuss blogging at any length. …still on teh fence…

  16. Ines

    November 28, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    didn’t mean to ignore you Mariana – as long as you are teaching for you own reasons……although you SHOULD be getting paid IMHO.

  17. Mariana

    November 28, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    I DO get paid, so it is all good!

  18. Ines

    November 28, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    AHA!! So you make my point! It’s ALL Good!

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Business Marketing

Use nostalgia as a marketing niche for your business today

(MARKETING) A market that is making waves is found in the form of entertainment nostalgia. Everyone has memories and attachments, why not speak to them?

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nostalgia

Is it just me or does it seem like there is something for everything nowadays? Let me clarify, as that is a rather broad question…

With the way communicating through technology has advanced, it’s become much easier to connect with those who have shared interests. This has become especially evident with interests in the entertainment community.

Entertainment nostalgia

It now seems like there is an event for every bit of nostalgia you can imagine. Autograph shows, meet and greets, and memorabilia collections of all kinds are held in convention halls all around the world. (To give you an idea of how deep this thing goes, there was a “Grease 2” reunion convention sometime within the last five years. Being that I’m the only person I’ve ever met who likes that movie, it’s amazing that it found an audience.)

This idea of marketing by use of nostalgia is something that is becoming smartly tapped and there are a variety of directions it can go in.

For example, the new Domino’s ads feature dead-on tributes to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

What’s your niche?

If you’re a fan of anything, it’s likely that you can find an event to suit your needs.

And, if you want to take it a step further, you can think outside the box and use nostalgia as a marketing tool.

I recently began dabbling in social media gigs that have brought me to a few different fan conventions. One was a throwback 80s and 90s convention that featured everyone from Alan Thicke to the members of N*SYNC. Another is a recurring convention that brings together fans of sci-fi, horror, and everything under that umbrella.

I was amazed by the number of people that came out to these events and the amount of money that was spent on the day’s activities (autographs, photo ops, etc.). I was energized by the fact that you can take something you have a great appreciation for and bring together others who share that feeling. Watching people meet some of their favorite celebrities is something that is priceless.

Hop onboard the nostalgia train

If you’re a fan of something, you don’t have to look too far to find what you’d enjoy – going back to the aforementioned “Ferris Bueller” example, there is a first-ever John Hughes fan event taking place in Chicago next month that will bring fans to their favorite Brat Pack members.

In the same thought, if you have an idea, now is the time to find others who share that interest and execute your vision.

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Business Marketing

5 tips to help you craft consistently high-converting email marketing

(MARKETING) Email may seem too old to be effective but surprisingly it’s not, so how can you get the most out of your email marketing? Try these tips.

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Email marketing

Email marketing might seem archaic in comparison to modern mediums like social media, blogging, and podcasting; however, it actually remains one of the highest converting options marketers and small businesses have at their disposal.

But Why Email?

Hopefully, you believe in email as an effective marketing channel, but in case you have doubts, let’s hit the reset button. Here’s why email marketing is worth investing in:

  • Email is one of the few marketing channels that you have total control over. Unlike a social media audience, which can disappear if the platform decides you violate their terms, you own your email list.
  • Email is considered very personal. When someone gives you access to their inbox, they’re telling you that you can send them messages.
  • From a pure analytics perspective, email gives you the ability to track behaviors, study what works, and get familiar with the techniques that don’t.
  • The ROI of email marketing is incredibly high. It can deliver as much as $44 in value for every $1 spent.

5 Tips for High-Converting Emails

If you’ve been using email, but haven’t gotten the results you’d like to, it’s probably because you’re using it ineffectively.

Here are a few very practical tips for high-converting emails that generate results:

  1. Write Better Subject Lines: Think about email marketing from the side of the recipient. (Considering that you probably receive hundreds of emails per week, this isn’t hard to do.) What’s going to make you engage with an email? It’s the subject line, right?If you’re going to focus a large portion of your time and energy on one element of email marketing, subject lines should be it.The best subject lines are the ones that convey a sense of urgency or curiosity, present an offer, personalize to the recipient, are relevant and timely, feature name recognition, or reference cool stories.
  2. Nail the Intro”: Never take for granted the fact that someone will open your email, and read to the second paragraph. Some will – but most will scan the first couple of lines, and then make a decision on how to proceed.It’s critically important that you get the intro right. You have maybe five seconds to hook people in, and get them excited. This is not a time to slowly build up. Give your best stuff away first!
  3. Use Video: Email might be personal, but individual emails aren’t necessarily viewed as special. That’s because people get so many of them on a daily basis.According to Blue Water Marketing, “The average person receives more than 84 emails each day! So how do you separate your emails from everyone else? Embed videos in your emails can increase your conversion rates by over 21 percent!”This speaks to a larger trend of making emails visually stimulating. The more you use compelling visuals, the more engaging and memorable the content will be.
  4. Keep Eyes Moving: The goal is to keep people engaging with your email content throughout. While it’ll inevitably happen with a certain percentage of recipients, you want to prevent people from dropping off as they read.One of the best ways to keep sustained engagement is to keep eyes effortlessly moving down the page with short and succinct copy.One-liners, small paragraphs, and lots of spacing signal a degree of approachability and simplicity. Use this style as much as you can.
  5. Don’t Ask Too Much: It can be difficult to convey everything you want to say in a single email, but it’s important that you stay as focused as possible – particularly when it comes to CTAs and requests.Always stick to one CTA per email. Never ask multiple questions or present different offers. (It’ll just overwhelm and confuse.) You can present the same CTA in multiple places – like at the beginning, middle, and end of the email – but it needs to be the same call. That’s how you keep people focused and on-task.

Give Your Email Marketing Strategy a Makeover

Most businesses have some sort of email lists. Few businesses leverage these lists as well as they should. Hopefully, this article has provided you with some practical and actionable tips that can be used to boost engagement and produce more conversions. Give them a try and see what sticks.

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Business Marketing

Here’s how one employer was able beat an age discrimination lawsuit

(MARKETING) Age discrimination is a rare occurrence but still something to be battled. It’s good practice to keep your house in order to be on the right side.

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Jewel age discrimination

In January, the EEOC released its annual accounting for reports of discrimination in the previous year. Allegations of retaliation were the most frequently filed charge, which disability coming in second. Age discrimination cases accounted for 21.4% of filed charges. As we’ve reported before, not all age discrimination complaints rise to the level of illegal discrimination. In Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., the federal court dismissed the claims of age discrimination, even though seven (7) plaintiffs made similar claims against the grocery store.

What Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores was about

In Cesario, all but one of the seven plaintiffs had spent years with Jewel Food building their careers. When Jewel went through some financial troubles, the plaintiffs allege that they began to “experience significant pressure at work… (and) were eventually forced out or terminated because of their age or disability.” Jewel Food requested summary judgment to dismiss the claims.

The seven plaintiffs made the same type of complaints. Beginning in 2014, store directors were under pressure to improve metrics and customer satisfaction. Cesario alleges that the Jewel district manager asked about his age. Another director alleges that younger store directors were transferred to stores with less difficulties. One plaintiff alleged that Jewel Food managers asked him about his retirement. The EEOC complaints began in late 2015. The plaintiffs retired or were fired and subsequently filed a lawsuit against their company.

Age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA). The ADEA prevents disparate treatment based on age for workers over 40 years old. However, plaintiffs who allege disparate treatment must establish that the adverse reactions wouldn’t have occurred but for age. Because none of the plaintiffs could specifically point to age as the only determination of their case, the court dismissed the case.

A word to wise businesses

Jewel Food was able to demonstrate their own actions in the case through careful documentation. Although there was no evidence that age played a factor in any discharge decision, Jewel Food could document their personnel decisions across the board. The plaintiffs also didn’t exhaust all administrative remedies. This led to the case being dropped.

Lesson learned – Make perssonel decisions based on performance and evidence. Don’t use age as a factor. Keep documentation to support your decisions.

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