There’s always something to howl about

How Bloodhoundblog’s Innovators Have Inspired My Business

In response to Greg’s request for innovative ideas from BHB, I thought that would list a few real life examples of how the contributors here have impacted my personal evolution in mortgage marketing and Web 2.0 world domination.

While I believe success is merely a component of innovation, I also agree with the people who need to see proof of results in order to determine a true measure of value.

Since it is too difficult for me to pick one or two innovative or game changing ideas for Greg’s contest, I’ve embedded links to some of the BHB articles that have inspired me over the past few years.

Where did BHB begin for me?

I have been an avid reader of BHB for a couple of years.  This place use to scare me (still does), but I eventually gained the confidence in expanding my own online presence as a result of the education that I gained from reading and participating in the conversations on this blog.

As a loan officer back in the boom days, I only cared about the web because one of my Las Vegas real estate agents was feeding me with leads that he generated from his site.

I basically just helped contribute content and pay some of the expenses in our joint marketing venture.

When I did find time to pay attention to what others were saying online, I’d read about bubbleheads and doom pundits, real estate agents blogging about blogging, how the housing slowdown was only going to last for another 6 months, and how Zillow didn’t have accurate estimates.

However, when the market really did shift as Brian predicted, I was faced with the options of either becoming more involved in our online marketing agenda or walking away and getting a new job.

I kind of did a little bit of all three by developing a game plan for the industry that focused on a more sustainable purpose and different priorities.

The early innovation:

One of my first successful web projects was a FSBO campaign that combined single property web sites, highly visible yard signs, Craigslist, Call Capture, and a solid listing presentation.

My pricing model was based on Greg’s listing fee, and I was even able to get my real estate agents to do the dirty work of selling and marketing my program.

We had over 40 FSBO listings in a matter of months that generated about .25 loans, 3 real estate buyers,  and almost .5 full listing contracts per property.

It was a complete win win for everyone until the market was overrun with REO inventory.

Lesson learned – don’t take listings that won’t sell.

The evolution:

I either own, participate in or am in the process of developing over 17 real estate and mortgage blogs.  My purpose is to build perpetual equity in an online presence that will create residual wealth for my family and friends.  Its a call to arms, but I’m keeping my mind on my mission.

Am I rich yet?  No, but I’ve got a sense of peace and security knowing that I no longer have a publishing problem.

Innovation from Bloodhoundblog:

My biggest challenge is finding the time to execute all of my ideas.

1)  We’re working on Ryan Hartman’s 404 genius for our Las Vegas property management web site.  Combine strategic landing pages with targeted online comments, and I think we’ll be able to connect with the right audience at precisely the moment they need us.

2)  Brian Brady’s Twitter Media Mogul works well with the help of Domus Consulting Group’s Breaking News project.  I’ve already built three of those sites, including a Twitter Mortgage Rate feed.  All I have to do is customize Chris Johnson’s Twitter prospecting and sales program, and I should have an easy system built for my agents and loan officers to thrive from.

3)  After reading Mark Green’s article on creating warm leads through GoToWebinar, I’ve implemented a permission marketing system into my short sale posts.  Brian’s articles about his experience on Wall Street has helped me research and write valuable content for my readers.  As long as we watch what we say and how we say it, the message is always well received.

4)  Eric Blackwell’s advice about SEO and social media was right on, which is why we created a real estate social network.  However, we should have paid more attention to his advice about the business model and need to produce income.  Either way, even if Inman’s News didn’t find our innovation exciting this year, WordPress and BuddyPress did.

5)  How about taking this social media talk to the street?  Not sure if this is considered innovation or common sense, but there are thousands of Las Vegas real estate agents that would probably love to learn how to integrate a little more Web2.0 into their weekly business routines.  I could also create a group blog for them all to participate and learn on.  Maybe I’ll have time to start putting together monthly social media classes beginning in Aug.

6)  I’d like to take it a step further though and help these agents get their own Google profiles, blogs, maps and single property web sites up and running.  At that point, it is as easy as streaming my mortgage blog content to special pages on their sites like Kevin Sandridge is doing with the Scenius strategy he learned at the Orlando Unchained.

7)  While video and podcasts are great ways to build trust, I’m working on a first-time home buyer e-book that easily articulates and organizes all of the valuable information that my real estate partners and I have put on the web.  The printable version will also have a co-branding area and be useful folder filler content for new clients.

I’ve got several more examples, but these are the most noteworthy that I could come up with on the fly.

Who should win Bloodhoundblog’s innovation award?

Regardless of who wins Greg’s little contest, I’d like to sincerely thank all of the contributors and participating readers here for making be better.

I could probably spend another 9 hours going through BHB and pulling out all of the great articles that inspired innovation in my own business and life, but I’ll have to settle on the following link as my final decision:

Here is my vote


Happy 3 years of innovation, Bloodhoundblog!


9 Comments so far

  1. Brian Brady June 26th, 2009 8:54 pm

    That’s a well-linked article, filled with nuggets. I like reading about what you’ve read because it often tells me what’s important. I’ve always most admired your ability to implement ideas, Mark. I’ve watched you develop from the owner of a little niche blog to covering a dozen niches with user-generated content.

    If the secret to success is 1000 fans, you’re well on your way.

  2. Greg Swann June 26th, 2009 10:28 pm

    Beautiful, Mark. Bless you. Thank you. This post may be the extent of the contest, the way my time is going, but this is a nice catalog of ideas. I’ll make some time to write something, at least, Sunday night if not before.

  3. Mark Green June 27th, 2009 5:06 am

    Mark, those examples are all fantastic – well all but mine I guess. Here’s the article that did it for me:

    Why? Technology and innovation are fun. Execution is what separates the men from the boys. Greg’s example of putting Engenu to use just clicked with me. If I’m a real estate investor kicking some tires with a few agents, Greg’s presentation surely blows the others away. It made it easy for me to do business with him. It showed effort that went well beyond the call of duty for that point in the sales cycle. Ultimately, Greg’s innovation surely helped him increase his batting average.

    It was this article that turned me from casual reader to BHB junkie.

  4. Don Reedy June 27th, 2009 5:47 am

    Mark, it’s early morning, and I just started picking through the ripe fruit you’ve picked for us. I’m struck by the fact that you’re an “organic farmer” of sorts, utilizing all of your talent and passion to seek out the BHB seeds, plant them, and harvest just as they are beginning to ripen.

    Like Brian, I’m going to sit and sup on your links, ideas and thoughts later today. Thanks for celebrating Greg and all BHB in this very wonderful way.

  5. Scott Schang June 27th, 2009 9:28 am

    Really Mark, how do you find the time?! I guess you Vegas guys are used to running 24 hours.

    Thanks a million for sharing all of these links – it’s going to be like a mini Unchained event reading through all those posts…and, as always, I am confident that it will once again take my creative juices to the next level!

  6. Mark Madsen June 27th, 2009 5:29 pm

    Brian – thanks for all of the encouragement you’ve always given me

    Greg – lol, it may take you until Sunday to read through all of those links

    Mark – I thought that I included that link, good eye. I just went back and updated a few things. Thanks

    Don – Thanks. Yes, I’m a farmer. I’ve got a link to a great article you wrote in there as well.

    Scott – I don’t sleep much. 🙂 You’re right about the mini Unchained, it was nice to spend some time going back through the archives and catching up. I’m also confident that you’ll get your creative juices going – mine are.

  7. Eric Blackwell June 28th, 2009 3:59 am


    Nicely done! (still going back through some of those…)

    “Either way, even if Inman’s News didn’t find our innovation exciting this year, WordPress and BuddyPress did.”

    And deservedly so…if people only knew how far you and Tony expanded the fledging BuddyPress’s horizons. **Eric raises glass for a toast**.

    Inman is looking for innovation that kisses their (ring). (grin) That is different than innovation that moves marketing obstacles. 😉 Well done.

  8. Al Lorenz June 29th, 2009 7:15 pm


    I shouldn’t be surprised you have accomplished so much! As I learned at Phoenix unchained, you really don’t need to sleep!

    Thanks for the reminders of many of the great things that have been covered at BHB. I have to agree, the archives are incredible, but the new posts are the cutting edge.

  9. Kevin Sandridge July 1st, 2009 12:17 pm

    Mark – thanks for the mention. I caught on pretty early to the Scenius blogs, and so far, they’ve been pretty useful in helping spread the word about what good folks out there are writing. Probably my only fault with them is not updating them quite often enough. Something that’s easy to do – it’s just a matter of getting it done! 🙂