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Different Strokes for Different Folks

Below are three emails from three different people this week.  Now some reading this post will pick out one email and say, “Yes, you should never ask folks to register to see the houses, someone else will read this and say, “Yes, you should have folks register on your site.

I am seeing many sites now that show the buyers a few houses, so they see what they will get before they submit who they are.


Thanks for assisting me with how to deal with Internet leads. Calling on the phone (if they give a valid number) has proven highly successful.


I just wanted to look at the listings on your Web Site.  I’m just window-shopping. Please don’t call me but thanks for the nice response.  It seems everyone wants your information before you look.  Not sure I will do this again.


I have been working with Betty on your team and reading your blog. Just wanted you to know how much I am enjoying receiving the listings you are sending us.

My Thoughts

A home buyer can look anywhere without registering,, Trulia, Zillow and the majority of Broker Web-sites. I have 5 sites that buyers can look at without registering and one where they register after they see what they are going to see.

Guess which one brings our Team the most business and closed sales?

Different Strokes

One of the best ways I have found to get more business is:

  • have a quality, visually appealing web site that attracts buyers
  • is sticky so they  come back
  • follow up folks who register
  • create a relationship with them
  • sell them a home


Photo Credit

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

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  1. John Kalinowski

    February 9, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Missy- could you post links to the different sites so I can take a look? Thanks!

  2. Missy Caulk

    February 9, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Yes, I will email you but I am out the door to an appointment. Be back in about 2 hours.

  3. Jim Gatos

    February 10, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Mee too, Missy, please send me the links.. I’ll bet one of the sites is a KW microsite that you may use. I have one too..


  4. Mark Eckenrode

    February 10, 2009 at 10:31 am

    @missy: short, simple, and on-point 🙂

    requiring registrations to get access to a commodity is not wise lead gen. relationships are key in conversions and asking visitors to give up personal info before they know you is not the way to start a profitable relationship.

    you want good leads? move the free-line (give away more value), and offer something of bigger value in order to get the registrations.

  5. Missy Caulk

    February 10, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Jim, I will be glad to send you the sites and yes one is KW.

    Hi Mark, I appreciate your comments as I said in my post some would agree and others wouldn’t. With 58% of all my closings this past year from the internet and those from my registering site with gross commissions over 177 K just on the internet closings I believe it is the most profitable way to go.

    I know there are many folks who agree with you, but the numbers don’t lie.

    “0” closings from NON Registering sites.

  6. Mark Eckenrode

    February 10, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    @missy: great numbers. i can’t argue with you there 🙂

    are the sites that are working best for you ones where folks get a taste of what they can receive by registering? seeing a few houses before forcing registration?

  7. Missy Caulk

    February 10, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Yes they are. They see one home, all the photos,maps, satellite images and then we show them how many homes are available in that price point. Then they must register to see the rest.

    I get why agents don’t require it for the reason you mentioned. But, I really don’t care about the casual searcher, I want to attract the buyers closest to being ready. IMO the casual surfer will not give up their information. The serious one’s will.

  8. Mark Eckenrode

    February 10, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    @missy: gotcha. and i do see that as being effective (obviously, it is). you also touched on a critical element – not all visitor’s are in the same stage of buying. while a search oriented site can do well capturing those who are ready to pay and play, a blog is more apt to capture the prospect in researching phase. it’s important to know who you’re going after and where their head’s at.

  9. Missy Caulk

    February 10, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Mark, in Michigan we have no move up buyers or down size buyers so we have to go after those moving in here for the U of M. (physicians, residents, professors)

    I do have sales from my blog but not enough to feed my family on yet.

    Before our one state recession that started in 2001, 85% if my business was referral, I saw that number change downward every year and the internet buyers go up, to the numbers I shared before. In 2006 I saw a huge shift at that time and the numbers have gone the other way.

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Business Marketing

Canva is catching on to content trends, launches in-app video editor

(MARKETING) Canva launches an in-platform video editor, allowing access to their extensive library of assets and animations to create high-quality videos



African American woman working on Canva Video Editor Desktop in office setting.

Video content consumption is on the rise, and the graphic design platform, Canva, took note of it. The $40 billion Australian startup has entered the video business and announced the launch of its video editor, Canva Video Suite.

The end-to-end video editor is an easy-to-use platform that anyone, no matter the skill level, can create, edit, and record high-quality videos. Best of all, it’s free, and it’s available on both desktop and mobile platforms.

The tool has hundreds of editable templates that you can use to create videos for several online platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Some templates can be used to create workplace and business videos, while other templates are perfect for personal videos. There are playful themes you can use to create that spooky video just in time for Halloween or make a laugh-out-loud video to send to your best friend! With a wide range of selections, in no time you’ll start creating your very own video masterpiece with Canva.

Caucasian man holding iPhone showing Canva video editor on mobile.

What else does the video software offer and what can you do with it? Well, let me tell you:

Collaborate in real-time

Having everyone on the same page is important and Canva’s video suite takes that into account. To collaborate with others, you simply send them an invite, and together you can edit videos, manage assets, and leave comments to give your input.

Video timeline editing and in-app recording

Similar to building presentation slides, Canva’s scene-based editor simplifies video editing by using a timeline approach. With it, you can quickly reorder, crop, trim, and splice your videos. Also, users don’t need to leave the platform to record that last-minute shot; within the app, you can shoot and record yourself from a camera or a screen.

Library of assets

The video editor is filled with an array of watermark-free stock footage, icons, images, illustrations, and even audio tracks that you can choose from – but if you really need something that is not on their platform – you can upload your own image, video, or audio track.

Animate with ease

Although still in the process of being released, soon you will be able to add animations of both text and visual elements in just a few simple clicks. Among others, animation presets that fade, pan, and tumble will help you transform your video and take it to a whole other level.

Overall, Canva Video Suite is very intuitive and has all the essential things you need to create a video. And by streamlining the video creation process, Canva is ensuring it enters the video marketplace with a bang.

“One of Canva’s guiding principles is to make complex things simple, and our new Video Suite will allow everyone to unlock the power of video, whether that’s to market their business, make engaging social posts, or express their creativity,” said Rob Kawalsky, Head of Product at Canva.

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Business Marketing

Amazon attracts advertisers from Facebook after Apple privacy alterations

(MARKETING) After Apple’s privacy features unveil, Amazon adapts by taking a unique approach to targeting, disrupting revenue for the ad giant Facebook.



Two African American women work at their desks, one viewing Amazon's advertising landing page.

As a de facto search engine of its own persuasion, Amazon has been poaching ad revenue from Google for some time. However, disrupting the revenue stream from their most recent victim – Facebook – is going to turn some heads.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s recent privacy additions to products such as iPhones are largely responsible for the shift in ad spending. While platforms like Facebook and Instagram were originally goldmines for advertisers, these privacy features prevent tracking for targeting – a crucial aspect in any marketing campaign.

Internet privacy has been featured heavily in tech conversations for the last several years, and with Chrome phasing out third-party cookies, along with Safari and Firefox introducing roughly analogous policies, social media advertising is bound to become less useful as tracking strategies struggle to keep up with the aforementioned changes.

However, Amazon’s wide user base and separate categorization from social media companies makes it a clear alternative to the Facebook family, which is perhaps why Facebook advertisers are starting to jump ship in an effort to preserve their profits.

This is the premise behind the decision to reduce the Facebook ad spending of Vanity Planet by 22%, a home spa vendor, while facilitating a transition to Amazon. “We have inventory…and the biggest place we are growing is Amazon,” says Alex Dastmalchi, the entrepreneur who runs Vanity Planet.

That gap will only widen with Apple’s new privacy features. Bloomberg reports that when asked in June if they would consent to having their internet activity tracked, only one in four iPhone users did so; this makes it substantially harder for the ad campaigns unique to Facebook to target prospective buyers.

It also means that Amazon, having demonstrated a profound effectiveness in targeting individuals both pre- and post-purchase, stands to gain more than its fair share of sellers flocking to promote their products.

Jens Nicolaysen, co-founder of Shinesty (an eccentric underwear company), affirms the value that Amazon holds for sellers while acknowledging that it isn’t a perfect substitute for social media. While Nicolaysen laments the loss of the somewhat random introduction charm inherent on Instagram, he also believes in the power of brand loyalty, especially on a platform as high-profile as Amazon. “The bigger you are, the more you lose by not having any presence on Amazon,” he explains.

As privacy restrictions continue to ramp up in the coming months, it will be interesting to see how social media advertising evolves to keep up with this trend; it seems naive to assume that Amazon will replace Facebook’s ads entirely, tracking or no tracking.

Apple's privacy landing page showing iPhone users ability to shut off location services and a desktop image of a user's ability to control how their data is managed.

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Business Marketing

How many hours of the work week are actually efficient?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Working more for that paycheck, more hours each week, on the weekends, on holidays can actually hurt productivity. So don’t do that, stay efficient.



Clock pointed to 5:50 on a plain white wall, well tracked during the week.

Social media is always flooded with promises to get in shape, eat healthier and… hustle?

In hustle culture, it seems as though there’s no such thing as too much work. Nights, weekends and holidays are really just more time to be pushing towards your dreams and hobbies are just side hustles waiting to be monetized. Plus, with freelancing on the rise, there really is nothing stopping someone from making the most out of their 24 hours.

Hustle culture will have you believe that a full-time job isn’t enough. Is that true?

Although it’s a bit outdated, Gallup’s 2014 report on full-time US workers gives us an alarming glimpse into the effects of the hustle. For starters, 50% of full-time workers reported working over 40 hours a week – in fact, the average weekly hours for salaried employees was up to 49 hours.

So, what’s the deal with 40 hours anyway? The 40 hour work-week actually started with labor rights activists in the 1800s pushing for an 8 hour workday. In 1817, Robert Owen, a Welsh activist, reasoned this workday provided: “eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”

If you do the math, that’s a whopping 66% of the day devoted to personal needs, rather than labor!

Of course, it’s only natural to be skeptical of logic from two centuries ago coloring the way we do business in the 21st century. For starters, there’s plenty of labor to be done outside of the labor you’re paid to do. Meal prep, house cleaning, child care… that’s all work that needs to be done. It’s also all work that some of your favorite influencers are paying to get done while they pursue the “hustle.” For the average human, that would all be additional work to fall in the ‘recreation’ category.

But I digress. Is 40 hours a week really enough in the modern age? After all, average hours in the United States have increased.

Well… probably not. In fact, when hours are reduced (France, for instance, limited maximum hours to 35 hours a week, instead of 40), workers are not only more likely to be healthier and happier, but more efficient and less likely to miss work!

So, instead of following through with the goal to work more this year, maybe consider slowing the hustle. It might actually be more effective in the long run!

This story was first published in January 2020.

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