There’s always something to howl about

Internet savvy Phoenix real estate broker seeks a buyer, a partner, an investor or a job.

A note to the Bloodhounds: I want to come in from the cold. If you know of a biggish Phoenix brokerage that could use my skills and assets, I’d appreciate the referral. –GSS

I own a very small boutique real estate brokerage — good reputation, strong good will, clean books, and colossal internet power — but I am ready to move on to something else. Stripped to the essence, this is what I have to offer:

  • A very strong internet presence consisting of several hundred-thousand web pages on a number of domains. I have several custom-built automated IDX sites, and I can throw 300,000+ backlinks at any web page, raising any web site’s standings in the Search Engine Results Pages virtually overnight.
  • A FlexMLS-based IDX real estate search site that scores on the first page of Google for a number of very-high-value search terms.
  • Me: A sales professional with a deep background in print and internet marketing and strong systems, applications and API programming skills. I built all of the web sites discussed below, and I have a lot of experience building workable IDX/VOW RETS solutions from the FlexMLS database. I have high-level relationships with real estate industry technical professionals and vendors, and I can present comfortably to groups from 50 to 50,000 people.

In short, I have a freight train’s worth of internet power being pulled by a mule-powered real estate business. The interent presence I bring to the table would be of substantially greater benefit to a much larger brokerage. Here is a summary of my internet assets:

  • — Main brokerage lead-generation site. It’s built as a WordPress weblog at the top level, but it subsumes thousands of pages, including separate web pages for every community and subdivision in Metropolitan Phoenix. The idea is to capture long-tail searches and upstream them into qualified leads. I have technology, so far not implemented, to effect the same kind of long-tail search-capture for every street address in Metropolitan Phoenix, taking those searches back from the national sites like, and
  • — The most robust MLS search in Metropolitan Phoenix, and one of the strongest MLS sites in SEO performance. This site is a consistent source of motivated buyer leads. The IDX-driven sites discussed below drive click-traffic back to this site to keep potential buyers engaged as they refine their searches.
  • — Pictured above, this is an iPad-optimized IDX-driven luxury homes catalog. This site can be repurposed to support subdivision listing farms for individual agents. This is the future of internet real estate marketing to both buyers and sellers and no one has it but me.
  • — A weblog built to rhapsodize Paradise Valley luxury properties.
  • — A site devoted to marketing to equity sellers, a demographic category we may soon see more of.
  • — A site focused on marketing to short sale sellers.
  • Re-brandable lead-generation sites — These are running as automated IDX-driven sites now, capturing and upstreaming long-tail searches.
  • Real estate weblogging sites — Real estate industry-specific weblogging.

I’m open to just about any idea, but I’m initiating this discussion in pursuit of compensation. I can help you maintain and build upon these internet investments as well as maximizing and building upon the value of your existing net presence, but my immediate objective is to transfer my business assets to a broker better equipped to manage them. I have skills that are in very short supply, and I want to maximize the value of my intellectual capital. As it says in the headline, I’m looking for a buyer, a partner, an investor or a job. If you want to push your business to a higher level on the internet, I want to hear from you.


26 Comments so far

  1. Sean Purcell June 13th, 2012 1:03 pm

    Just like you Greg, bringing a Howitzer to a knife fight. Whoever is smart enough, and lucky enough, and envisioned enough, to realize the benefit of your intelligence (along with your already extensive body of work), will take one GIANT leap forward in real estate success (Or should that read “domination”?) I’d wish you luck my friend, but can’t see how it would be needed, so instead I’ll wish you a smooth transition.

  2. Greg Swann June 13th, 2012 3:59 pm

    Thanks, y’all. I’ll let you know what turns up.

  3. Doug Quance June 13th, 2012 1:34 pm

    I, too, will wish you a smooth transition. You are one seriously talented dude, Greg… and I am sure someone will have the piece of the puzzle you need – and vice versa.

  4. Joshua Dorkin June 13th, 2012 3:04 pm

    I’ll be interested to hear the opportunities and offers that present themselves to you, Greg. Good luck to you in this transition.

  5. jeffrey gordon June 13th, 2012 6:38 pm

    Greg, you are simply the best online real estate talent I have come across. Someone will tie you up just so they don’t have to compete with you!

    I can only imagine what will come out of the kitchen when you can focus all your energy on marketing!

  6. Greg Swann June 14th, 2012 9:36 am

    > Someone will tie you up just so they don’t have to compete with you!

    Watch this: generated 70,326 hard clicks over the last year. Those are actual mouse clicks — no robots, genuine live bodies.

    I don’t force registration on that site, not alone because I can’t begin to service the leads it would produce. (I only work with the people who leap much higher hurdles, normally converting around 50% of those inquiries.)

    If you assume a 90% decline rate on forced registration, the site could yield ~7,000 new contacts in a year.

    If only 5% of those convert — which I think is a dismal conversion rate — that’s 350 additional closings a year.

    At $5,000 GCI each, on average, that’s $1.75 million in GCI for the year.

    At a 20% referral rate on those leads, that one site could conservatively produce $350,000 in essentially effort-free income for the brokerage.

    I have not added agents because I don’t have the capital investment to support them. But my take is like yours: Someone should make a deal with me to reap the yields I can bring in. In pure ROI terms, I’m a smokin’ deal as a 1040 employee.

    > I can only imagine what will come out of the kitchen when you can focus all your energy on marketing!

    It makes sense to me. We’ll see if anyone salutes.

  7. Greg Swann June 14th, 2012 10:18 am

    Further notice: Those numbers are amazing to me, but there is a lot I can think of to do to improve the conversion rates.

    An example: Adding optional fields to the required information on a forced-registration form will isolate for highly-motivated prospects.

    Another: Using cookies to count searches will, too, as well as helping the agent set up real searches.

    Another: The lead can be delivered to the agent with shallow data-base mining links built in — Google, Facebook, LinkedIn — to give them that fully-prepared feeling that a lot of salespeople need.

    Another: Given a filled-out registration form, the brokerage can start the 88 touches process before the agent has time to scratch his nose. The idea would be to retain the contact as the broker’s customer even if the agent drops the ball.

  8. Greg Swann June 14th, 2012 12:00 pm

    And don’t even get me started on what can be done with a VOW feed. 😉 If I know your street address, I can build a weekly or monthly email newsletter with recent sales in your vicinity or subdivision. This is a way of to sellers in a fully-automated way.

  9. Scott Cowan June 13th, 2012 8:08 pm


    Ever thought of moving to the great Pacific Northwest? =) I bet some of us up here could come up with some creative ways to keep you busy!

  10. Greg Swann June 14th, 2012 7:39 am

    > Ever thought of moving to the great Pacific Northwest?

    I’ll talk to anyone, but y’all have rain and snow, two of my least favorite things. But you also have more bazillionaires than bears…

  11. jeffrey gordon June 14th, 2012 1:09 pm

    Greg, I have looked a little bit at VOW, do individual MLS systems have to adopt the VOW technology in order to implement the solution you are proposing?


  12. Greg Swann June 14th, 2012 1:40 pm

    > do individual MLS systems have to adopt the VOW technology in order to implement the solution you are proposing?

    I’m not talking about the full VOW policy, just a RETS VOW feed from an MLS system, which we have in Phoenix, thanks to FlexMLS. The VOW feed is the full MLS feed, and brokers can share all the “secret” fields — like details on sold listings — with clients (not mere customers). If I establish agency with a registration form, I can use the VOW feed to tailor MLS information for my clients.

    I have a zillion ideas for a VOW feed — true software-driven comps, as one example. We have two sets of players in online real estate right now: Brokers who don’t get technology and geeks who don’t get real estate. In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man — that would be me — is either king or he is unemployable. We’ll find out which.

  13. Bianca June 14th, 2012 3:57 pm

    Gregg, those are some crazy numbers and I never thought I would hear, “I can throw 300,000+ backlinks at any web page.” That is just insane but we both know it didn’t happen overnight. Best of luck to you.

  14. Greg Swann June 14th, 2012 11:25 pm

    > I would hear, “I can throw 300,000+ backlinks at any web page.” That is just insane but we both know it didn’t happen overnight.

    We add about 250 new web pages a day, all of it done by software. I could do many more than that, and I have code that can quadruple my backlinks in a few hours of server time, but it’s overkill from where I am now. I talked about some of this stuff when we did BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Anaheim last fall. Mark Madsen and Eric Blackwell, among others, do SEO by finesse and guile. I do it mostly by brute force — the TruZillia way. There’s a lot more that I can do, to the point that I think I can take long-tail search back from the Realty.bots and return it to a local brokerage. I’m very strong on a lot of granular stuff even without pulling out the big guns. And the difference is, when a customer finds one of my pages with a long-tail search, I’m in a position to actually sell the house.

  15. Mark Madsen June 14th, 2012 6:08 pm

    Bianca – I can say from experience that Greg’s hard earned authority online has made a significant impact in the strength of a few of my sites.

    Greg – I’m confident you’ve already been flooded with offers, wish I had a business in AZ to take you up on your offer. Keep us in the loop, but I’m sure the deal you make will allow you to run as a stealth operation at a healthy monthly consulting fee. Good luck.

  16. jeffrey gordon June 14th, 2012 10:39 pm

    Okay one-eyed man, now i have learn more about VOW and RETS VOW :(.

    my Brother in law is top man in the local Realtors association so I have emailed them to see what MLS system they are currently using, I guess I am hoping it is FLEXMls?


  17. Greg Swann June 14th, 2012 11:14 pm

    > I guess I am hoping it is FLEXMls

    It doesn’t have to be. It would be nice if it’s a RETS feed, since there is decent code support for RETS, but VOW feeds may come in other formats — I don’t know. The coding necessary to do anything with an IDX or VOW feed is non-trivial, though. Even with third-party support, RETS is to a data standard as a junk drawer is to a filing system. It takes a while to makes sense of things. But when you talk to your MLS about the VOW feed, they will probably have a list of vendors they can hook you up with, at least to get started.

    Here’s pure sex appeal, if you want it: With a VOW feed, it would be possible to give investors an instant estimated cap rate on any property they select. You can comp for purchase price, comp for rents, use an API into the tax system to get the property taxes, plug in PITI and all the other expenses and create an on-the-fly cap rate, cash-on-cash and cash-flow analysis all with nothing but the investor’s input and software. It’s a Zestimate, as it were, but one based on much better data than Zillow has available to it.

  18. Jim Klein June 17th, 2012 12:42 am

    “A note to the Bloodhounds: I want to come in from the cold.”

    So often, I just can’t resist giving advice. And so often, just stating the obvious is all that needs to be done. If this ain’t a quintessential example, I don’t know what is.

    “A note to the Bloodhounds: I want to come in from the cold.”

    Too easy. I can’t even bring myself to write it.

  19. Al Lorenz June 18th, 2012 11:10 am

    Greg, this got me considering moving to Phoenix! You are that much of a talent and draw. I’m happy to explain why in great deal if that is of any help. You are going to be an amazing asset to whoever is wise enough to get you on board.

  20. Greg Swann June 18th, 2012 1:55 pm

    > You are going to be an amazing asset to whoever is wise enough to get you on board.

    The brokers don’t get it, but the agents all understand…

    My pitch in slide-show format, with a link to a video from the first BloodhoundBlog Unchained:

    Inlookers: That’s an easy link to share if you know of a broker who wants to make money by helping his agents make money.

  21. jeffrey gordon June 18th, 2012 1:36 pm

    Greg, turns out the MLS is using LPS’s Paragon 5. I will see about the list of vendors for working on a VOW feed,thanks again for the guidance.

  22. Greg Swann June 18th, 2012 1:51 pm

    Paragon looks to be a RETS-friendly MLS solution:

    There are 200 MLS systems running their software, so there should be a decent after-market.

  23. Tony Sena June 19th, 2012 7:45 pm


    I have been considering opening an office in the Greater Phoenix area and in doing so, I would need a broker I could trust to oversee the operations. Of course this would be a salary position 🙂

    This has been more of a conversation at the moment but your post has me thinking this could be more of a reality if you’re interested.

    If interested, shoot me an email and we can discuss.


  24. Jeff Brown June 21st, 2012 8:03 pm

    I think you may’ve found your sweet spot, Greg. I never have any idea what you’re talking about when it comes to any sorta hi-tech, but this looks like it has a very solid real world chance of kickin’ some serious ass.

  25. Greg Swann June 22nd, 2012 9:18 am

    I have an idea for a lucrative internet business, something that could grow big enough to throw off Zuckerbucks. If you’re interested — Jeff and anyone else following this tread — shoot me an email.

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