There’s always something to howl about

React to this idea, if you would: “BloodhoundBlog Unchained and Unwired in Las Vegas: The Return of the Sales Monster.”

I was talking to Scott Cowan this morning, and he asked me about future Unchained events. It happens that I’ve been thinking about doing something, and Scott and I explored a few ideas.

Here’s one I really like: BloodhoundBlog Unchained and Unwired in Las Vegas: The Return of the Sales Monster.

I’m thinking Friday, November 26th, 2010, the day after Thanksgiving. One day, one big room like we did in Orlando, 9 am to 9 pm, bop ’til you drop. You could fly in Thursday night after the family stuff or early Friday morning. Arrive when you can, leave when you have to, and maybe we do streaming video and a webinar all day as well.

For content, I think I want to focus on selling, rather than marketing. We can be counted on to cover a lot of wired marketing just in passing, but, as I have been writing, there’s is a lot of ground on the sales side of our business that we’re leaving uncovered.

I also want this to be a Stone Soup project, if we can get that done. I want to keep it cheap, so you can afford to come, and I want to keep it simple, so that I can coordinate things without going up in flames.

So tell me: Is this a good idea? Would you come?

Also: Hit me with ideas. Content ideas in particular, but I’m game for anything you have to say. We might set up the room in “rounds” so that we can structure the day half as formal group sessions and half as mini-kennels, self-coalescing unconference sessions.

I’ll listen to a sponsor if you’ll pay for the room and two rounds of snacks-‘n’-beverages, and I’ll give you banner space, a meet-and-greet table and a 30 minute speaking slot in exchange. Conference space should be cheap in Vegas right now, so we might not be talking about a very big check.

I truly don’t know if this is worth doing. I think Realtors need to get back to selling basics, but the great mass of wired agents seem to be so infatuated with selling small talk to each other that they may have no interest in what we have to say. If we can’t fill a lot of seats, I can stay home and take a nap that day, instead.

So: Are you in? Where should our minds be focused? And: Can you take 12 straight hours of a Bloodhounds baying out their sales techniques?


39 Comments so far

  1. Brian Kinkade August 24th, 2010 12:48 pm

    Sounds like a great idea! If you hold the event, I’ll be there.

  2. Mimi August 24th, 2010 1:06 pm

    My personal feeling is that the biggest problem would be the timing that you suggested. Too often it is the only time of year that families get together. While I would be inclined to participate, I certainly know that I couldn’t do it then.

  3. Mark Madsen August 24th, 2010 1:09 pm

    I love it. Unchained last year had a significant impact on my life with the way I approach the web, referral partner relationships, education and establishing true equity in my business.

    We’ve held three mortgage conferences so far this year that were inspired by our experience at Unchained, which also helped raise over $50k for charity.

    Regarding content – maybe half scheduled presenters, and half volunteer break-out sessions decided on that day.

    You could also stream the event live for the people who can’t make it due to the time of year.

  4. Greg Swann August 24th, 2010 1:15 pm

    I was hoping you would chime in. I have an RFP in with Harrah’s, ideally for the Flamingo, but I was wondering if there is a free room to be had in Sin City — maybe GLVAR?

    > Regarding content – maybe half scheduled presenters, and half volunteer break-out sessions decided on that day.

    That as my thinking — formal sessions in the morning and just after lunch, mini-kennels after. I thought about putting blank tent cards on each table so you could name your own break-out and then see who salutes.

  5. Cheryl Johnson August 24th, 2010 1:50 pm

    I like it. I also like the date.

  6. Genuine Chris Johnson August 24th, 2010 2:56 pm

    I’d give it a whirl.

  7. Brian Brady August 24th, 2010 3:43 pm

    Perfect topic. I spend 5-6 hours a week telling agents how to get more business; the message is usually “You’re not spending enough time on dollar productive activities like prospecting”

    Now, more than ever, agents with less than 7 years in the biz need basic selling and prospecting skills

  8. Scott Cowan August 24th, 2010 5:30 pm

    I’m in….

    It might be easier for some of us if it was on Saturday though. That way we could travel on Friday and be alert for the event. In any case if it is going to happen I am going to be there!

  9. Cheryl Johnson August 24th, 2010 6:46 pm

    >agents with less than 7 years in the biz

    And agents with upwards of 30 years in the biz are ready to reinvent whole systems and strategies….

  10. Teri Lussier August 24th, 2010 6:56 pm

    This is definitely the year for me to do something like this, but, while the timing might be good for Realtors, not so good for air travelers. Airports are a zoo around Thanksgiving.

  11. Greg Swann August 24th, 2010 6:59 pm

    > Airports are a zoo around Thanksgiving.

    They’re bad Wednesday and Sunday. Thursday through Saturday, they’re dead. Very fun days to fly. Vegas will be ours, too.

  12. Jim Whatley August 24th, 2010 8:07 pm

    sometime what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas.

  13. Greg Swann August 24th, 2010 8:17 pm

    > sometime what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas.

    That would be the real estate conferences run by the vendorslut mafia. The Bloodhounds just work you to exhaustion.

  14. Jim Whatley August 24th, 2010 8:36 pm

    I meant that some really good ideas and practices will spread. Honest hard work for the customer. Real market reports. Not NAR speak. competent representation. I don’t just want to out work the computation, I want to out think them and out position them.

  15. Greg Swann August 24th, 2010 8:41 pm

    > I don’t just want to out work the computation, I want to out think them and out position them.

    Damn straight. I was just playing with you.

  16. Brad Coy August 24th, 2010 9:00 pm

    Hate Vegas. Love Bloodhounds. Count me as a maybe 🙂


    * Time management.
    * Client communication and when to email, phone, text, etc…
    * Like attracts Like. Negative merging and how to avoid a bad client. Or when/how to say no.
    * CRM and what the hell that means. Best practices.
    * Working with assistants.
    * Working with partners.
    * The most successful open house.
    * How to keep a deal alive.
    * Tips on negotiating.
    * Developing a ’33 touch System’. Mark Green did a nice post on this a while back.

  17. Greg Swann August 24th, 2010 10:02 pm

    You are a stud, Brad Coy. Which of those do you want to cover? They’re all great ideas, and the kind of stuff we’ve never done before. And it all ties back to the wired life, too. That is, this is all stuff we can and should engineer to a much higher state of productivity, because we have this emergent god-like command of computers and software. That’s where our style of marketing and the age-old art of salesmanship meet and merge. That’s the show. That totally rocks.

    Weigh in on this, y’all, if you would. Figure four 30-minute time-slots each for the morning and afternoon sessions. That’s eight formal presentations. Come up with a presentation and you’re comped, at a minimum. I don’t know if there will be money for anything else — we’ve never sold a lot of tickets for any show, and I want to keep this very cheap, if I can. This is content we should be teaching to hundreds of people at a time, but that kind of crowd seems unlikely.

    Still: I love that way of thinking about what we do. Archimedes and the art of selling…

  18. Chris Johnson August 24th, 2010 10:34 pm

    (threaded comments, please, only one level deep is fine)

    Anyway, this could work–perhaps Saturday would be more appropriate? A thought, a thought. Rushing out thursday/friday deprives us of the reason we’re working.

  19. Greg Swann August 24th, 2010 11:17 pm

    > (threaded comments, please, only one level deep is fine)

    Urf. Do you want to look at the settings and tell me what to fix? I may have to tweak the theme files, too. This theme is an antique, but I have way too much invested in it to abandon it.

    > Saturday would be more appropriate?

    My thinking is that the day after Thanksgiving is one day most Realtors can count on to be free of pressing duties: Sellers don’t want showings, buyers are at grandma’s house or returning therefrom and banks and title companies are closed. But that Saturday is often a real estate day. What I’m proposing is inconvenient in many ways, I know, but it is the least financially-intrusive way of getting working Realtors together.

    But: There are plenty of other days we might pick — and other locations, for that matter. I would bet I could get the Phoenix Association of Realtors to give us their whole building on that Friday or Saturday for free, just for the social PR. Does anyone have other suggestions? I’m open to anything that seems likely to get these ideas in front of the greatest attainable number of minds. A pure webinar might be best, or a streamed Scenius from a rented house, as we talked about last summer. What else should we be thinking about?

  20. Mark Madsen August 24th, 2010 11:38 pm

    House Party. We could always do thanksgiving at my house.

  21. Chris Johnson August 25th, 2010 12:52 am

    I’ll have a peep at the settings, also: don’t make the Krupps sunk cost mistake. Andrew carnegie will beat you down.

  22. Brad Coy August 25th, 2010 2:19 am

    > Which of those do you want to cover?

    There’s only a couple of those I coud cover personally, the other’s I’d like to workshop or listen and learn.

    What I can do…

    * Time management.
    * Client communication and when to email, phone, text, etc…
    * Like attracts Like. Negative merging and how to avoid a bad client. Or when/how to say no.
    * Working with partners.

    With that said. I still need to confirm that the holiday works for me. I could have plans the put me in Memphis.

    As far as alternatives. Vegas probably works as good as most for airfare and access, right?

    If I’m in SF, I can accommodate a group of maybe 50 in a meeting space for free. Access to a larger spaces at decent rates.

  23. Teri Lussier August 25th, 2010 3:16 am

    No time is a perfect time for everyone, but some locations are better than others: SF in particular and CA in general is too far away for a day trip or a cheap flight from anywhere east of the Mississippi- and too expensive hotel-wise, may not be a problem for anyone else, and I can’t confirm I’ll be there anyway- just something you might want to consider. Vegas is created for not sleeping. If this is going to happen in one day, Vegas is a much better in and out location for attracting the country. Although, seems like most people who have weighed in are west…

    * Time management.
    * Client communication and when to email, phone, text, etc…
    * CRM and what the hell that means. Best practices.
    * How to keep a deal alive.
    * Tips on negotiating.
    * Developing a ’33 touch System’.

    Amen to all that.

    *Back to basics or a refresher course:
    Buying signals, productive listening, turning internet leads into clients- making the most of that first contact: Phone and email, but if Jeff Brown shows up, f2f.

    >You are a stud, Brad Coy.

    He kills in Vegas. 😉

  24. Cheryl Johnson August 25th, 2010 4:16 am

    You know what I’d like to see at a workshop someday: *Tips on improving your speaking voice.

    From speaking on the phone to narrating videos, a clear, pleasant easy-to-understand voice is essential … and no one in real estate seems to ever talk about it.

    I know Greg can turn on a beautiful narrator/D.J. voice when he wants. 🙂

  25. Jim Whatley August 25th, 2010 4:44 am

    I do like the idea of doing it on the net. If we could do that, we could do it more often and choose one topic at a time a really focus. “If you build it they will come.” Unless, it’s a new subdivision with over priced homes.

  26. Mark Green August 25th, 2010 5:47 am

    I’m in the home hunting process right now and have some sad stories to share with the Bloodhounds about what I see as some serious deficiencies in selling skills. One particular Realtor passed up the easiest commission check of her life this month because she didn’t follow up properly.

    BHB Unchained 2008 inspired Madsen and I to start Mortgage Revolution and if you guys are throwing another party I’ll be the first one there.

    Happy to share some CRM best practices.
    Happy to share what I see as some killer deficiencies in the “traditional (ie: non-Bloodhound)” Realtor sales process and business model.

    I remember 44 of us in Phoenix. The room cost too much for that size group… one single day in Vegas… shouldn’t exceed $1,000. Greg, please let me know what you’re finding out there and I might be able to chip in toward the room.


  27. Rob Thiessen August 25th, 2010 5:53 am

    Vegas works for me. I would be happy to learn anything mentioned.

  28. Brian Miller August 25th, 2010 6:06 am

    As I attempt to define what my future real estate business looks like, this would be something very, very valuable and timely. I attended Unchained-Orlando, drove ten hours to get there, ten hours back and worth every minute, and then practically grieved because I could not attend the next Unchained.

    For sure this proposed event would equally valuable.
    The topics proposed so far are perfect.

    As an east-coaster(N. Carolina), the specific days are tough, though. I just looked at flights – I would need to travel Thanksgiving evening, and probably return Sat. morning. Cost (today) for tickets ~$450-$500. The combination of holiday/cost would likely keep me out.

    But an on-line event? I’d be there. I’ve attend a couple virtual bar camps, and they were not bad. Streaming video of the conference would be significantly better. Still not as good as being there..but better than not attending…my two cents (sorry this became fairly lengthy)

  29. Cheryl Johnson August 25th, 2010 7:41 am

    Even though a day trip to Vegas would be fun, I, too, would really prefer the online video-conference.

    And November 26 would be a great date for it. Business would be holiday-light; everyone could basically just login in their bathrobe.

    No packing, no rushing to the airport in the predawn hours, no TSA security checks, no snarky cab drivers….

  30. Greg Swann August 25th, 2010 7:55 am

    > I, too, would really prefer the online video-conference.

    This is me in email to Teri this morning:

    I’m wondering if the original idea, maybe ten of us wandering among three rooms, each one streaming video, might be the best way to handle this.

    I like the energy of a live show, but it’s a big job to put one together. Plus which, we would have the video to share with other folks forever.

    I’m out showing all day today. If y’all could resolve all these issues in my absence, I would be deeply grateful. 😉

  31. Al Lorenz August 25th, 2010 7:51 am

    I love the idea, but would prefer a different time. I also want to be there in person. The virtual world is still memorex to me and I don’t get the same benefit as live.

    I really value family time, but in my market there’s not going on that month anyway, so I may not have the financial motivation of others to skip out on a holiday.

  32. Jim Whatley August 25th, 2010 8:10 am

    I will do ether. would pay not to travel. If we do meet up in Vegas, I can be a designated driver.

  33. Scott Cowan August 25th, 2010 8:16 am

    I too would love the live version vs. the online. Having both would be even better.

    Surprisingly airfare to Vegas from Seattle was a lot more than I expected. =( Not terrible but I miss the really cheap flights I used to get going there to visit former family. That being said at least on Alaska there are no early morning or late night flights! so I will have to stay over night. If anyone wants to share a room let me know.

  34. Don Reedy August 25th, 2010 10:25 am

    I want it all, of course.

    Live is always best (Al, I’m with you), and webinars are very efficient.

    The Thanksgiving time period just seems like a bad day, although I do see why Greg hunted it down and carved it up for us. I, for one, could not attend, even though I live just 5 hours away.

    Back to “I want it all, of course.”

    I want face to face, West Coast, another date, AND WITH ALL THE TOPICS we’ve come up with so far.

  35. Brad Coy August 25th, 2010 2:13 pm

    From the post > I want to keep it simple, so that I can coordinate things without going up in flames.

    I’m not a big fan of streaming or what have you when it comes to simplicity. Simply because it’s not that easy to pull off, especially with audio. And it becomes another reason not to come in person.

    Better than making it live, having piece meal DIY videos made ala BHBU PHX would suffice for sharing.

    All IMHO of course. I’ve always been much more interested in having focus be in the room as opposed to sharing with a *live* viewership by appointment.

  36. Sean Purcell August 25th, 2010 5:51 pm

    I imagine most people prefer live, but more people can do online. Best of both worlds is the answer. The more people at the event, the more energy and – if done right – the better the streaming video. Speaking of which… some more ideas:

    -Video Marketing
    -Old School Ideas w/ Hi-Tech Delivery
    -Goals, Business Plans & Sales Purpose
    -Listing Systems
    -DISC Profiling
    -Time & Activity Monetization

    I have some other ideas, but not sure if they’re appropriate to the purpose. In bicycle racing you can spend a lot of money on the bike, but eventually it’s the engine driving the bike that really matters. We can improve a lot of real estate skills, but if we’re not improving ourselves… eg:

    -creating motivating visions
    -understanding nutrition, stress and health
    and my favorite:
    -Writing the Movie of Your Life.

    Friday of Thanksgiving is going to be a family/travel killer for a lot of people. Saturday makes more sense.

  37. Robert Worthington August 25th, 2010 9:09 pm

    I can do online for sure! Bloodhound unchained plus Vegas equals paradise.

  38. Greg Swann August 25th, 2010 11:54 pm

    Well. Now I know nothing. Not the end of the world: I learn a lot when I know I know nothing.

    Brian and I had planned to do Unchained Orlando from a movie theater. We couldn’t make it work, but it’s still a cool notion. A theater as a setting for a conference invites a lot of Ted-like formality, which might be the right way to deal with some of these topics. The more formal — and visual and auditory — the presentation is, the better it would lend itself to video replay, as well.

    Sufficient unto the day — indeed. Knowing nothing or not, I like the thought of thinking about these things. I am surfing a wave of Splendor every whichwhen, and Unchained is a nice chunk of that — but I’ve been up since six, I’m up again at six and I want to go to bed.

    Meanwhile: What we’re waiting for is the perfect idea that makes everything else make sense…

  39. Cheryl Johnson August 28th, 2010 10:05 am

    This conversation gave me an idea: I pulled some old “Sales Strategies” cassette tapes from the 1980s off a dusty shelf. I found an inexpensive cassette tape player on Amazon. I’m really curious to listen to those old tapes and think about how some of those strategies from decades ago might be relevant today.