NAR released its 2008 member profile recently. One of the most significant findings, for this crowd anyway, will be the number of agents who are blogging. At 8 percent of 1.2 million REALTORS, we now have 96,000 REALTOR-bloggers pecking away on a keyboard and clicking publish. That’s almost three times as many members as Virginia Association of REALTORS has in total. And there are, on average, more than 300 bloggers for each of the 300 largest US metro areas. This stat leaves me with a bunch of questions.
Q: How significant is 8 percent and 96,000?
What does it mean to REALTOR associations? With a small minority of members authoring real estate blogs, is there any sense at all in expending resources to provide services to just 8 percent of members? Maybe not on the surface. But with that trendline pointing up (last year the same figure stood at six percent), this is clearly a growing concern for REALTORS and their associations.
I’m fond of the business advice implied in a famous statement by Wayne Gretzky, the NHL’s all-time leading scorer. Gretzky said he didn’t skate to the puck. He skated to where the puck would be. It’s a calculated risk that VAR and other associations are making. Just like the Great One, we’re committing to engaging bloggers and social media types now, not knowing exactly where the puck will go, so that when it bounces off the boards or a goal post, we’ll be there to corral it and put it in the net — repeatedly.
On the other side, consider the resources associations expend on other slivers of their memberships. Ten percent of the entire membership is often held up as a target to shoot for when setting attendance goals at association conventions. On average, click through rates on association e-mails hovers around five percent. There are programs for brokers, which overall represent a small minority of the total membership. I could go on and on.
On balance, we know that bloggers have a wider reach than the average member. And just like you, we love when bloggers write about us, so we engage bloggers, no matter where they work, and try to do blogworthy stuff.
Q: Is VAR’s social media effort paying off?
Through VAR’s social media initiatives, such as dedicating an entire magazine issue to the topic, holding events for real estate bloggers, modeling the use of blogs, and undertaking social media research projects, we’re starting to see our members take a greater interest in social media compared to the rest of the country. While only 7 percent of Virginia REALTORS currently have a blog, NAR’s stats show they’re almost 20 percent more likely to start blogging than the national average.
That needle’s heading in the right direction as far as I’m concerned, but we still have a ways to go.
Q: 100,000 voices, yet why so quiet?
If there are really 96,000 real estate bloggers, why are so few engaged in the conversation here and around the REBC? I’ll tell you why: Bloggers in Name Only (BINOs). You catch my drift, don’tcha? I set up a WordPress.com account, therefore I’m a blogger and I answer NAR’s survey that way, never mind the fact that my only entry was the obligatory “Hello world!” post.
Q: What makes a legitimate real estate blogger?
How many posts do you have to make per month to avoid the BINO label? Or is it about posts at all? Maybe it’s links or comments? Or none of the above! How do you become a member of the REBC anyway?
Q: What do AgentGenius readers think of this statistic?
Psst! That’s your cue! (See comment button below)
What entreprenuers can learn about branding from trendy startups
(BUSINESS MARKETING) What’s the secret of focused startup branding, and how can you apply it to large enterprises?
Think of your favorite brand. Is it the product they offer or the branding that you love? Exactly – brand ethos reigns supreme, especially with those trendy, aesthetically-pleasing startups (I never thought Glossier had good makeup, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t visit their website once or twice a month).
So let’s break it down.
Co-founder of Red Antler – a company that assists startups in creating successful branding – Emily Heyward believes in a few branding truths.
Firstly, you have to make sure not to market your brand as a single product or experience. Doing so, she says, will pigeonhole you and thus truncate your ability to expand and offer new products and services (she gives MailChimp, known almost exclusively for email marketing, as an example).
What Heyward does say to do is instead market an idea. For example, the brand Casper (one of Antler’s clients) markets itself as a sleep company instead of a mattress company. By doing this, they kept the door open to eventually offer other products, like pillows and bedding.
Heyward states that this “power of focus” is a way to survive – with countless other startups offering the same product or service, you have to position your company as offering something beyond the product. Provide a problem your customer didn’t know they had and offer an innovative solution through your product.
Ever used Slack, the app-based messenger? There were other messengers out there, so focus of Slack’s branding is that regular messaging is boring and that their app makes it more fun. And customers eat it up.
How can this logic apply to mid-to-large enterprises? How can you focus on one specific thing?
Again, placing emphasis on brand over products is essential – what is it about what you offer that makes your customers’ lives better? It’s more cerebral than material. You’re selling a better life.
Another thing to remember is that customers are intrigued by the idea of new experiences, even if the product or service being offered is itself not new. Try not to use dated language that’s colored by a customers’ preexisting feelings. Instead, find an exciting alternative – chat solutions are desperately trying move away from the word “chat”, which can bring to mind an annoying, tedious process, even though that is in fact what they offer.
Broadening the idea of focused brand ethos to a large company can be difficult. By following these tips and tricks from startups, your company can develop a successful brand ethos that extends beyond your best product or service.
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.
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