BLOODHOUNDBLOG.COM

There’s always something to howl about

Archive for the 'Abusing Twitter' Category

It’s Time To Think About…Money…Brian Brady’s Money

We’re going to take a brief break from the political apocalypse that surrounds us and deal with money.

Your Money.

I’m something of a master at listening on Twitter.  When someone says “After effects”  or “motion graphics” I’m there.  There are a dozen or so other ones that work much better, but you get the picture.  I’m unlikely to share them.

It’s what’s building Simplifilm.com (our work is here, I’ll share some good stuff sometime soon).

I have dozens running on my tweetdeck.  I pitch a few times a day.  It works.

Now, I learned something that Brian Brady better use.

The phrase “New Client,” and “New Buyer,” are tweeted a few hundred times a day.

Over hundred times – 1/3 they are Realtors pandering for Approbation.  ”Look at me, I have a client.”  Most of the time, it’s a buyer.  A buyer that needs a mother frolicking mortgage loan.

What if a great lender, googled, called, and then offered the Realtor approval?  What if that lender played dumb and pretended they didn’t see things on Twitter, but had a polished, refined pitch?

Fish in a barrel.  Takes seconds to skim, minutes to sort, and needy people are forever most easily persuaded.

Also: if you have clients- shut up about them.  Marketers brag about new, unsigned clients.  I appreciate them identifying who is in the market for me, saves me the research.  (Be silent, or be better than silence).

Related posts:
  • Is Brian Brady the Easter Bunny?
  • Ask the Mortgage Broker: How Do I Become A Hard Money Loan Broker
  • Dawgs on the run: Brian Brady in Phoenix

  • 2 comments

    10 Ways To Get UnFollowed On Twitter

    I try to spend 30 minutes a week doing a little housekeeping with my various blogs and social media accounts.

    Whether it’s simply tightening up profile bios, updating links or completely deleting accounts, maintaining an online presence for business purposes is mostly tedious boring work.

    Well, until today….

    Quick background – I’ve started to spend a little more time on my personal Twitter acct actually paying attention to people vs only sharing my favorite links of the day.

    Generally, I’ll spend most of my time in Google Reader browsing about 50 or so articles a day and simply clicking “share” to have a few relevant links syndicated out through Dlvr.it to targeted Twitter or FB Business Pages.

    However, now that I’m physically logging in to Twitter direct or through Hootsuite, I decided it was time to cut the list of people I follow down to a more manageable number.

    While there are probably more efficient ways of reducing the noise by using an “UnFollow” Twitter application, I figured I’d spend a quick 30 min. scrolling through everyone I follow to see if there were any obvious profiles that I could delete based on name, photo or bio.

    Not sure exactly what I was looking for, but I thought it would at least give me an opportunity to see some old faces as I scrolled through a few years of Twitter memories.

    So, here are the top 10 reasons I deleted someone from my “follow” list on Twitter:

    1. No Photo -

    Unless I knew who they were, it didn’t make sense to follow someone who was too lazy to upload some sort of profile photo.

    2. No Bio -

    Really? I think that mastering the art of the one sentence bio should be the first thing people focus on before they worry about trying to “dominate the web” with all of the new secret magic bullet SEO strategies that are being taught by the Gurus.

    Of course, I made a couple of exceptions.

    I’m sure I’ve got some hidden bios online that suck, but I think I’ve always tried to at least mention my city, industry and intentions.

    3. Quote For A Bio -

    I get it, Twitter is a form of self-expression for some people. Cool.

    However, I was searching for “Real Estate” or “Mortgage” terms in bios from people that I didn’t recognize for my first run so that I could at least follow industry related tweets.

    So, since a nifty quote didn’t tell me much about the person at quick glance, I unfollowed them. Sorry.

    4. “Guru” In Bio -

    That’s just funny.

    5. “I Help People Make Money With Social Networking” In Bio -

    Trying to avoid the spam as much as possible.

    6. Multiple Websites In Bio -

    Call me crazy, but I’d rather know who someone is before I click their link.

    7. “I Tweet For ___, ___ and ___” In Bio -

    There is a difference between multiple people tweeting for a brand or company, but I don’t understand how one person can jump in and out of other personalities.

    8. Locked Accounts -

    I guess, if someone’s hiding their tweets…. I don’t know.

    9.  Obvious Bots / Re-Tweeters -

    I’m sure there are some good exceptions to this rule, but I’ll save the auto-tweet engines for a list or Google Reader feed.

    10.  Brands / Companies -

    I took a second look at all brands and companies to make sure there was a real person managing their Twitter feeds.

    I actually kept most of them, but the few industry names that simply follow every agent or loan officer are probably better for a list or something… if I ever get to that point.

    _________________

    My next step will be to casually monitor the actual updates as they start to flow through and just start unfollowing people that show a pattern of posting things that are useless to me.

    I’m sure I’ll have another “Top 10″ list once I get in and start examining people’s activity, links and number of followers / following ratios. But, we’ll save that for another post.

    Maybe one day I can figure out how to apply Twitter more effectively to my listings on a separate feed for our new Las Vegas Real Estate company, or even use some of the tools to make my time more efficient.

    But for now, I’m content approaching each connection on Twitter one at a time as thought there are real people who have something to say that might benefit me in 140 characters or less.

    Photo Credit

    Related posts:
  • Twitter: The high school musical
  • Follow Mortgage Rate Movements On Twitter
  • Twitter Inks Deals with Microsoft and Google

  • 15 comments

    Greg Swann is Just a Twit-Head and Other Common Knowledge

    Greg Swann is dead wrong:

    I say that trying to sell real estate via Twitter/Facebook is a waste of time — and it is anti-marketing even if it seems to produce some results. Why?

    I’ve said it, in public.  And I’m only being mildly gratuitous.  Because it’s fun.

    It is productive to be on Twitter all day long.

    It’s also productive to be on Facebook all day long.

    Especially in comparison to the selling behavior of the average Bullpen Agent(tm).  That’s being on facebook and twitter bitching about their lack of business and appraisal issues.

    Now, listen also to what I’m not saying: I’m not saying that it’s the most productive possible use of time. I’m not saying that the ambient, distracted entitled connectivity lifestyle is something to be. I’m not saying that the way the practitioners teach it is sensible.  It’s not prudent to crow-plain about every bit of work that they do as if each ordinary real estate transaction is this death struggle that only you can close because you are $(array_honest,kind,connected,smart).

    I’m not saying that I’d follow an example of any of the Twit-Lumin-ati.

    I’m saying that in damn near any market, a smart agent should be getting 12-14 deals a year via twitter.

    They are there, daily.

    And you can snatch them out from under the entitled noses of those folks that are “pillars of the twit-munity,” with ease.   With ease.

    How?

    1.) Search.Twitter.Com:  This is a godsend.  This is amazing.  ”House hunting” in your area “realtor” in your area.  Say hi, send ‘em to a squeeze page.

    2.) MarketMeSuite.Com (disclosure: they are a paying client of ours). Geotarget local people.  Autofollow and autoengage.  Make contacts and add to your sphere.  They have an auto tool that lets you quickly add and kill it.

    3.) TwitterFeed.com when I used TweetSpinner to build up my account (and the ratio of bots/humans is about 4:1) I noticed that my bit.ly links got more clicks.  Others had similar results, and if you happen to be blogging and cataloguing your city brute force style, you do it.

    4.) DMs.  These are where Twitter rocks.  Build relationships, make sales.  Don’t hesitate, go balls out.

    5.) Upgrade the relationship.  In my online course, we use a meme called S.S.E.T.H.  Seach/Social/Email/Telephone Human.  That is the upgrade path.   You always want to meet the people you want to meet.  So, coffee once is better than 10,000 @ messages.  Coffee with 4 guys and a once-a-month “hiya” @ is fine.

    Now, look, the fun thing about twitter is the asynchronous nature. Twitter will wait, and the customer will respond to the smartest answer.  Hint: it ain’t likely to be from an agent wanting to buy–or sell–you a home today.

    So, in 10-15 focused minutes, 3 times a week you can have better results than the Twitterati will get while dissipating themselves on ambient connectivity. The people that tweeted about their twitty landlord?  They haven’t heard anything smart yet from all the Twealtors®.  Be different and smarter.

    (I google phone numbers and call people, and that works, but you all may be stuck with the do not call registry–since you aren’t usually B-T-B).

    Now, is it smart if you’re a realtor in PHX to talk to a Realtor in LAX?  Maybe on occasion.  But really, the point isn’t to hang out.  Ride the wave that is made and be smarter.

    I’ll leave y’all with this point:

    Is it productive for a fisherman to be at a lake with lots of fish?  Sure.

    What about for the fish?  is it productive for the fish to be in the pond?

    Who outnumbers whom?  What are there more of and which are you acting like?

    The “tweeting” I do is largely self indulgent pablum.  It has very, very little to do with the work I do on twitter.

    Related posts:
  • Follow Mortgage Rate Movements On Twitter
  • Engenu Webinar w/ Greg Swann TONIGHT @ 8:30 EST/ 5:30 PST
  • Twittering on a wing and a prayer

  • 9 comments

    It’s 4:15 pm. Do you know where your Realtor is? A consumer’s guide to using social media to supervise your goof-off employee.

    Your mortgage lender just called. The appraiser is standing outside the home you’re hoping to buy, but there is no key in the lockbox. The lender called you so that you could call your Realtor. Your Realtor in turn can call the listing agent, and then someone can get over to the house — pronto! — to let the appraiser in.

    There’s just one problem: You can’t seem to get your Realtor on the phone.

    Stuff happens. Your Realtor could be tied up with another client or stuck in traffic in a cell-phone dead zone. Heaven forbid, he might have been in a car accident.

    But… There is another possibility…

    Do you remember when you first made contact with your Realtor? Do you recall him telling you all about how hi-tech his business is, detailing his presence on all the biggest social media sites?

    So: If you’re not getting your calls to your Realtor returned, where might be a good place to look for him?

    How about Twitter, for a start? How about Facebook? Foursquare? Tumblr? Posterous? You might have to look in a few places, but there are only two kinds of hi-tech Realtors: The kind who work a lot and the kind who play a lot.

    How can you tell if your Realtor is the kind who plays a lot? It’s easy. He’ll be leaving tracks all over the place, Retweeting jokes and commenting on Facebook photos and writing detailed reviews of burger joints and doing — and documenting — just about any activity on the face of the earth — except attending to your real estate transaction.

    Here’s the sad part: Even if you’re seeing dozens of Tweets and Facebook comments from your Realtor, you’re probably just seeing the tip of the iceberg. You’re not seeing the direct Twitter posts or the private conversations being carried out on Facebook or in email.

    But: If your Realtor seems to be wasting his entire day on social media sites, there’s a reason for that:

    It’s because he’s wasting his entire day on social media sites.

    I’ve tried pointing out to Realtors that schmoozing on Twitter or Facebook is bad marketing, so far to no avail:

    I say that trying to sell real estate via Twitter/Facebook is a waste of time — and it is anti-marketing even if it seems to produce some results. Why? Because the bulk of your chatter is going to look like… chatter. Your clients might like it when you schmooze with them, but your public schmoozing with every other time-wasting Realtor and vendor in the RE.net is going to look to your clients like just what it is: Time-wasting laziness.

    Here’s the good news: You have the power to do something about this. Once you’ve discovered that your Realtor is ignoring your needs in order to goof-off online, put him on notice: “You will either service my transaction or I will fire you with dispatch.” You’re the boss. Act like it.

    Even better, when you’re shopping for a Realtor, shop his or her online presence. Is your prospective Realtor a big-time Twitter kibitzer? This will come back to bite you in the butt. Is she an all-day Facebook schmoozer? Be prepared to handle your own transaction; your Realtor has another job she likes better than the one you’re offering her.

    Why can’t you get your Realtor on the phone? Why don’t your repair issues get dealt with? Why is your lender calling the title company for you? Why is there an appraiser stranded outside your new home?

    Part your problem is that you have a lazy Realtor.

    The other part is that you have been a lax supervisor.

    Whether your are a home seller or a buyer, you’re paying a lot of money for real estate representation. If you’re not getting it, you must either demand better performance immediately or take your business elsewhere.

    The beautiful thing about capitalism is that you can always put the bums out of work. That’ll give them something to chat about online…

    Related posts:
  • #RTB (raising the bar) is #ROT (restraint of trade). If you want to do something that will actually benefit consumers and will run the bums out of the real estate business, #STFU (stop being a tweetard) and #DTFG (deliver the frolicking goods) already!
  • If you are a working Realtor — if you list and sell residential real estate for a living — the time you spend on social media sites is almost certainly anti-marketing, doing you more financial harm than good.
  • It’s Raining Soup. Why Are You Starving?

  • 18 comments

    If you can’t sell, teach. And if you can’t teach? Teach e-Pro!

    I don’t pay close attention to this crap, because — well — it’s crap. But you may have heard that the NAR’s most-idiotic designation, e-Pro, has been taken over by a confederacy of dunces super-nice people from Agent Shortbus (where they “pour” over everything, especially maple syrup over waffles) called SMMI.

    You have to read between the lines in this press release, but my take is that the swamis from SMMI are going to teach you how to waste your days on TwitBook just like the cool kids. You might think that this is a suicidal strategy for working Realtors to pursue, but as has been discussed here lately, apparently the notion of working is one the cool kids are trying to get away from altogether.

    Like this: I am told that the e-Pro trainer-training event held by the smarmies at NARdigras drew a thick slice of the most-prominent twitwits. I don’t know if they’re going to stop officially selling real estate — how would one know the difference? — in order to become full-time carriers of the TwitBook virus. The one thing we can hope is that the long-standing stench of e-Pro will arouse working agents from their TwitBook-induced stupor before they go completely broke.

    And if they don’t? Crush them like bugs. This business isn’t for everyone. TwitBook is just the new bullpen, the new water-cooler around which losers can gather as they gripe themselves out of the real estate business.

    Looked at that way, the e-Pro trainers in training could be doing all of us a favor: Isolating the people who won’t make it and teaching them How To Succeed At Failure.

    I’ll leave you with two thoughts:

    First, if you are deeply offended at seeing pompous, blustering, sputtering, know-nothing jackasses being skewered in public, please just go away. I don’t care, and I cannot imagine how anyone over the mental age of nine even could care.

    Second, if you don’t want to go down the toilet in a very amusing public display of TwitBooked indolence, get your nose to the grindstone, your shoulder to the wheel and stop pretending that schmoozing with losers and vendorsluts is somehow work.

    Work leads to paychecks. Wasting time on TwitBook leads to bankruptcy. And if you can’t tell the difference… you just might make a good e-Pro trainer!

    Related posts:
  • Hi. I’m Teri…And I’m aghast.
  • Celebrating Praxis: “And my heaven will be a big heaven. And I will walk through the front door.”
  • Introducing Teri Lussier, my Project Blogger protege

  • 15 comments

    Unchained melodies: How can you afford your TwitBook lifestyle?

    Related posts:
  • Unchained Interstitials: Join in all the Unchained games?
  • Unchained melodies: Another brick in the wall
  • Unchained melodies: Fight the power

  • 2 comments

    If you are a working Realtor — if you list and sell residential real estate for a living — the time you spend on social media sites is almost certainly anti-marketing, doing you more financial harm than good.

    Chris Johnson pulled this out of our phone conversation the other night, quoting me on Twitter:

    People don’t want a relationship with you. They just want your damn services.

    We were talking about real estate weblogging, but the principle applies even more firmly to the world of social media — Twitter, Facebook, etc.

    The notion that strangers are seeking out Realtors in order to befriend them is absurd. For a Realtor to get invited on a getaway weekend with three people who are not old school chums would require that all the undertakers and life insurance salespeople they know are already engaged. We all know what to expect from Realtors in any sort of social setting — which is why there is an entire mini-industry of RE(education)Camps to train Realtors to resist their smarmy, deal-probing impulses on-line.

    That’s point number one, neatly Tweeted by Chris — who is, don’t forget, a vendor: You are the means to your clients’ ends, not an end in yourself. Even though you might sometimes hit it off just right with a client and forge a serious friendship, in virtually all cases — including those where you make a friend — it’s the mission-critical job that matters, not your sweet personality.

    And that friendship? It will seem serious to you alone. If you are any good as a Realtor, your deep, deep friendship will be invisible to everyone else. You should be much too busy to be anyone’s friend. If you make a stout effort, you can hold up your end with your spouse and kids, but, beyond that, you should expect to hear this from the people you think of as being your friends: “The only time we ever get to see you is when we’re buying or selling a house!” That is real estate in real life.

    Here’s point number two: “Marketing” by social media is a huge waste of time. Selling is one-on-one, focused, time-consuming and goal-directed. Marketing, done properly, is broadcast, diffuse, time-efficient and passive and long-term in its goal-pursuit. Even if you are really doing your best to market your services on-line, if you are doing it by engaging people one-on-one in fleeting media like Twitter or Facebook, you are almost certainly wasting your time.

    In other words, if you spent that same time preparing a broadcast direct marketing piece or writing an enduring, canonical weblog post, your efforts would almost certainly produce better cash returns in the long run. Selling is harvesting the crop that you brought to fruition by marketing. If you spend all your time trying to do the sales job — one-on-one direct contact — you will never have a crop to harvest.

    But, of course, this is not what you’re doing on Twitter and Facebook, anyway. What you are doing with the irreplaceable hours of your day is schmoozing with other Realtors and with vendors. Yes, I’m sure you’re also sharing cute jokes with potential clients, but we all know what you’re really doing on-line: Wasting time, in order to argue to yourself that you are working when you know you are not.

    Want to prove my point? Get all huffy about it. Serious Realtors don’t have time to grumble to the world about how unfair it is to be called on their vices.

    But this brings us to my third point: Even if you are actually engaging your clients productively on-line, and even if you can point to some actual paychecks that resulted from your having wasted your precious time on TwitBook, nevertheless, your Tweeting and Facebooking is almost certainly anti-marketing.

    Why? Because you are an employee of your clients, that’s why. Even if your client is a high-I who likes the way you kiss his ass in public, he does not want to see you wasting time kissing anyone else’s ass.

    Even if your client is a high-S who thinks it’s sweet that you have been so warm-and-fuzzy, so touchy-feely — even that client will start to wonder about your priorities when she sees you reTweeting your twentieth bad joke of the day.

    What about the high-Cs? They are unlikely to admire your continuous exhibitionism.

    The high-Ds? You’re screwed.

    We are lucky as Realtors that our clients — our employers — supervise us so lightly. But if one of your clients is subscribed to your Tweetstream, expect to discover, sooner or later, that he is selling his home with a Realtor who works all day in the real estate business, not in the small-talk trade.

    This is me from the Todd Carpenter is the NAR Social Media Piñata thread on ActiveRain:

    I say that trying to sell real estate via Twitter/Facebook is a waste of time — and it is anti-marketing even if it seems to produce some results. Why? Because the bulk of your chatter is going to look like… chatter. Your clients might like it when you schmooze with them, but your public schmoozing with every other time-wasting Realtor and vendor in the RE.net is going to look to your clients like just what it is: Time-wasting laziness. God help you if they see you talking behind other people’s backs — as is going on in the Tweetstream that led to this post. If you plan to dispute any part of this argument, I will want to see real numbers. If you won’t produce the numbers, I’m going to assume you are rationalizing failure — a skill at which Realtors excel.

    Just to ward off specious objections, vendors like Chris Johnson, lenders like Brian Brady and Realtors like Jeff Brown all have good reasons for marketing on Twitter or Facebook: Their objective is to sell to you — and they know where you can be found. Your potential clients aren’t looking for you on social media sites, and they’re not looking to make you their best-buddy in any case.

    To the extent that anyone is paying attention to you as a Realtor, they are looking for reasons to reject you, not to embrace you. If you fool around all day on line, talking trash and ganging up and generally acting like a jackass teenager, people will see right through you. And that’s not the good kind of transparency. Many people like a hail-fellow-well-met when they’re out to have some fun. But when their financial lives are at stake…?

    This is reality, deny it at your financial peril: If your front-line, every day job is listing and selling real estate, goofing around on sites like Twitter or Facebook is a huge waste of your time — and a wide-open invitation for everyone in your sphere of influence to turn to a serious Realtor when they have a serious real estate need to fulfill. On the other hand, if your objective is to convince everyone who sees you on-line that you’re a clown, you could not have picked a better marketing strategy.

    Related posts:
  • It’s 4:15 pm. Do you know where your Realtor is? A consumer’s guide to using social media to supervise your goof-off employee.
  • Why We Should Rename It SMP (Social Media Prospecting)
  • Lil’ ol’ social me: my name is mike and i like you

  • 48 comments

    Bored with merely wasting time on Twitter, Realtors discover an even better way to fritter away their days: Ganging up on each other.

    Wonderful

    Related posts:
  • If you are a working Realtor — if you list and sell residential real estate for a living — the time you spend on social media sites is almost certainly anti-marketing, doing you more financial harm than good.
  • It’s 4:15 pm. Do you know where your Realtor is? A consumer’s guide to using social media to supervise your goof-off employee.
  • Follow Mortgage Rate Movements On Twitter

  • 18 comments

    Blood, sweat, and fears

    Once upon a time, maps were marked HIC SVNT LEONES to denote unknown territory. Hic Svnt Leones means “Here are lions”. Scary. Uncharted territory is scary.

    I’ve been paying very close attention to how I accomplish things: What I do and what I don’t do. Why some things are easy and I embrace them and why are somethings harder and I avoid them. I’m trying to improve my business and my productivity so it’s kind of nice useful critical to understand what makes me tick. Or tock. I need to figure out the internal roadblocks that keep me from achieving my goals. I want to recognize them immediately so I can overcome them as quickly as possible rather than letting them pile up to barricade levels.

    There is stuff, for lack of better word, that I dislike doing, but when it’s up to me to do everything, and in real estate it often is up to me to do everything, I have to learn to just get on with it. I know this but still, there are things that I don’t like doing so I begin to waste my own precious time, using procrastination as motivation. An epiphany: It recently occurred to me that I would be furious with anyone else who wasted my time the way I so carelessly waste my own time.

    Some of the habits I have fallen into are now clear even to me as red flags that I’m avoiding something. Twitter of course, is one example. What? Is it that obvious? Okay, so I use social networking to avoid doing some things that I find difficult. I recognize it now so I can overcome it, and that’s the thing. I once thought this was pain avoidance, but now I see it as fear. Of the unknown. As in Hic Svnt Leones. What is going to happen if I do this thing? What unseen beasties lie in wait to pounce on my soft under belly? I have a very fertile imagination and sometimes it grows weeds in the garden of the mind, but the only way to pull the weeds is if you can recognize them. You have to know which plants are the flowers and veggies, and which plants are like kudzu in Georgia. I’ve been paying attention. Now that I can recognize a red flag going up, I only have to ask myself- what am I afraid of? The answer is typically, no- it’s always something minor, or it’s easily handled, or it’s easily overcome. I may have to break it down into bite size pieces but, quite honestly? There’s nothing I can’t do. You neither if you think about it.

    Humans are productive by nature. It’s in our DNA to be working, accomplishing, solving problems, setting goals and achieving them. The best part of learning about what I’m afraid of is that it gives me more opportunities to be productive, to make and meet bigger goals, and accomplish those whispers of dreams that I sometimes barely dare to recognize. Those explorers who ignored the warnings and those intrepid travelers who step into uncharted territory today are the only people who get to stand on the top of the mountain and roar. I want to be one of those people and I’m on my way. See you in that uncharted territory where Hic Svnt Leones.

    Related posts:
  • Mortgage Market Week in Review
  • Memorial Day – A Time To Give Thanks
  • Door knocking my way to walking the walk

  • 12 comments

    TweetSpinner: Making some damn sense out of Twitter

    Alright kids, a quick damn screenvid.

    I didn’t think I needed followers till I started seriously seeing my bit.ly links had more clicks.   That was cool.

    Then I learned that those clicks opt in at the same damn rate as PPC/SEO clicks.  Even cooler.

    Now…you can get LOCAL followers en masse with very little work.  Takes 2-3 months but you can build to 2,000-3000 or more.

    Here’s the rapid fire video, where I just do it, share the (LEN) function thanks to Jesse Petersen.

    I know, most of you won’t give a Twit, but this thing rocks, and if your pages convert can be automated.

    Related posts:
  • “Leading” With Listings, Systematically Getting (A Few Clicks) From Twitter, And Using Some Lazy Math To Justify The Effort…
  • Greg Swann is Just a Twit-Head and Other Common Knowledge
  • Twitter: The high school musical

  • 9 comments

    What’s joy to a Bloodhound? Work, of course. Here’s that hard-working Bloodhound praxis applied to the problem of having fun.

    I built FreePhoenixMLSSearch.com from an API that FBS Systems — creators of the FlexMLS system — made available last year. I may be the only person taking advantage of this interface. I don’t know of anyone else in Phoenix who is, in any case.

    That much is cool, and the API, along with Flex’s general philosophical approach to software openness, enabled me to build a very robust search tool, much more robust than anything you can buy from IDX vendors. Still better, I can extend my search power whenever I want, building “pre-fab” searches that solve problems that might not be intuitively obvious to more-casual users.

    Here’s an example: Doctors relocating to Phoenix — may their names be legion! — can do a radius search from any Phoenix-area hospital. Always on-call? You can live within walking distance. Need to be to the hospital within 30 minutes? You can search within a 15-mile radius.

    My end of this stuff is all written by me, in PHP, with the code running on the SplendorQuest server. I can change the site whenever I want to, in the never-ending quest for better results.

    All that is fun, and this is a big part of Bloodhound life for me, building and refining the tools we use every day — on- and off-line. Everything that I’ve worked on over the past four years is available to me to make new tools, and I’m mixing and matching that stuff all the time. The number of engenu pages on our sites is enormous by now, but the number of engenu-like pages runs to the tens of thousands. Even now I’m working out how to use ScentTrail to auto-generate an engenu-editable cloud-based transaction management site for every client we touch.

    That idea — the equation of software with control — is something that I should write about. But not today. For now, Bloodhounds just want to have fun.

    That image is a screen shot from Twitter. Every time someone runs a search from FreePhoenixMLSSearch.com, a Tweet is auto-posted summarizing that search. There is search-engine juice to be had from Twitter, but this is just dumbass fun for me, a perfect expression of the fundamental witlessness of Twitter: Zippy the Pinhead reporting on the latest real estate search news.

    This is funny: FreePhoenixMLSSearch.com generates between 50 and 150 searches a day, so the Tweet-count for that account — PhoenixBargains — is fast approaching 4,000 (semi-)unique Tweets.

    This is funnier: The PhoenixBargains Twitter account has 54 devoted followers.

    Related posts:
  • It’s Springtime in Madison, Wisconsin. The trees are in blossom, the students are protesting — and I have a no-fee referral for an investment-savvy agent who works like a Bloodhound…
  • Happy Birthday Bloodhound !
  • Need Big Bear Bloodhound for a Listing

  • 11 comments

    #RTB (raising the bar) is #ROT (restraint of trade). If you want to do something that will actually benefit consumers and will run the bums out of the real estate business, #STFU (stop being a tweetard) and #DTFG (deliver the frolicking goods) already!

    I’d have more to say about this, but everything I have to say is encapsulated in a single URL: BloodhoundBlog.com.

    I was mildly interested in this #RTB (raising the bar) nonsense until I figured out that it’s just more Rotarian Socialism: Make it harder for punters to get a real estate license so that the few who make the cut can make more money with less competition. Nice.

    Meanwhile, an email correspondent sent me to Twitter to search on a particular #hashmark. There were more than 30 tweets in a span of 20 minutes, from perhaps a dozen tweetards — all of them theoretically real estate professionals.

    Why theoretically? Because if you’re pissing away your day on Twitter, you’re not selling real estate, underwriting loans or doing anything else productive.

    And all of those clients you claim to have cultivated via social media? They can see what a goof-off you are, just as much as I can. If I were steaming by the phone, waiting for you to return my call, I would just love to watch you kibitzing with your butt-buddies around the virtual water cooler. Now that’s service!

    Here’s the only standard of value that matters to consumers: #DTFG (deliver the frolicking goods)! Your clients want for you to treat them the same way you yourself would want to be treated, were you in their place.

    It’s easy to figure out what to do, harder to get the job done — harder still to get it done well. But that is all that matters. And if you’re not going to deliver the goods, then you, too, are one of the bums I want to see pushed out of this business.

    Whether you’re a dinosaur pissing and moaning in the bullpen down at the brokerage office or a shiny new dino.bot giggling on-line with all the other shiny new dino.bots — you are the problem.

    Until you are prepared to put your clients first — all the time — you have nothing to say about raising anything. Raise your frolicking standards! And if you don’t — if you won’t — hard-working dogs like me are going to help you find a job you can handle.

    Related posts:
  • The goal of the BloodhoundBlog Unchained training conference is to push the bums out of the real estate business
  • I like dual agency so much that I’m writing a commercial for it — and you can help!
  • So there’s this huge interent scandal at the NAR, except there are no details about why it’s a scandal, and the “researchers” behind the claims are keeping their names secret. Want to know more? All you have to do is cough up twenty bucks a month.

  • 8 comments

    What if Twitter and Facebook go Away – Do you have an Exit Strategy?

    Chris Pearson is a pretty smart dood.  He’s the developer of the Thesis theme that I use on all of my blogs.  It’s a pretty cool premium theme…but I’m not here to pitch WordPress themes.

    Yesterday I received and email announcing some proposed changes in the next version of Thesis and in this email it included a link to a Video interview with Chris Pearson.

    For the first 3 minutes, most of the talk is about changes to the Thesis theme….and then it gets interesting.

    He starts to talk about the future of Twitter and Facebook and poses some very interesting hypotheses.

    Here’s the video (can’t embed the vid for some reason, so check it out and come back) – go ahead and jump to about 3:08 to get to the good stuff.  Then, let’s talk about it.

    Chris Pearson Interview - The future of Twitter and Facebook

    Ok, so Chris brings up some pretty interesting points right?  I mean, think about how massive of a push there is for the RE.net to jump into the almighty Facebook Fan Page and Twitter stream life rafts to float safely to the shores through turbulent real estate seas.

    Do you think that Facebook and Twitter care how or why you contribute content?  No, they could care less.  These are popularity contests to see who can get the most groupies.  Once these communities gain celebrity status, they are finally in a position to execute on their end game…..find an investor.

    What is an investor going to do?  Use the traffic to the community as leverage to sell advertising or sell subscriptions to generate revenue.  Do you think either of these sites will ask you first if it’s ok if they use their platform for this reason?

    Remember when Facebook tried to change their terms of service to say that all of the content on the site was 100% owned by them and could be used any way they see fit?  Do you really think that just by changing the verbiage in the terms of service that it changes the way they view your content?

    I know there are hundreds of Twitter and Facebook snake oil salesmen out there crafting the next great real estate survival tool to sell to the rest of us, and good luck to them – I support the right of anyone brave enough to enter the free market system to sell their goods and services.

    My personal belief is that most of these solutions are only shiny objects catching our eye, our attention, and providing a false sense of security that could be pulled out from under you without notice at the whim of a volatile young internet nerd that has absolutely no sense of how to build a business based on a viable revenue and profit producing model.

    What I ask you to consider is this….Who owns your content?  What’s your exit strategy if Facebook and Twitter are no longer “cool” or become a part of some other company’s business model?  Do you still have an internet presence?  Will your business model change?  Will you lose your “black book” of prospects?  Do you lose all of your content?

    I know it’s hard work to build a “community” online, but if you want to be where consumers are, you have to do it.  There are no short cuts or silver bullets.  Marketing is marketing and sales is sales – These fundamental facts will never change.  The only thing that changes is how you reach out to your prospects, how they find you, what they see when they find you.

    If you’re going to put this much work (aka – how much time a day do you spend on Facebook and Twitter) are you investing in your long term marketing, branding and sales strategy or are ya just having fun?

    If you’re not rubbin bellies or skinning cats….my guess is that the latter would probably best describe your social media strategy.

    Related posts:
  • Twitter Inks Deals with Microsoft and Google
  • “Live Chat” Facebook Capture Trap Magic? (or waste of time?)
  • Buzzing about Google Buzz

  • 5 comments

    “Leading” With Listings, Systematically Getting (A Few Clicks) From Twitter, And Using Some Lazy Math To Justify The Effort…

    So, it looks like the Twitter.Com/229RockGlen account is generating 3-7 clicks/day back to the web page linked from the profile. I think I can see how an agent with 10 or more listings might start to see some results employing the 1 Twitter account per property approach.

    I mean, why not multiply the 3-7 clicks daily by 10 and call it a potential extra 50 visitors a day, right? Or maybe 20 such accounts could yield 100 extra visitors a day.

    And lets say 3% of these visitors opt in to some sort of lead capture on your site. Maybe they consent to receive your latest videos… Ok, so if you’ve got 20 listings, each with it’s own twitter account, then you could potentially generate 3 * 30 = 90… I’ve been rough with the numbers here, so let’s just call the 90, 100. :)

    And let’s say most agents with an inventory that large could convert 1 in 100 opts to a commission sometime in the next year….Average Sales Price $200,000 …. GCI 5000?

    Time spent setting up the twitter accounts – 20*15 minutes each = 5 hours….

    I don’t know…

    A System For Using Twitter With Measurable ROI?

    I guess what I’m saying is maybe I’ve figured out a process for configuring twitter to increase sales in an almost measurable way. That is, assuming you’re confident a set percentage of visitors to your site will opt in to something…

    Steps:

    1. Create a Twitter Account for Each Property Listing.

    2. Make sure your website in the twitter profile links back to the property or page on your site.

    3. Drop a few tweets about the property. Beds, baths, square footage, “I am way overpriced..” just a few things to give the twitter account some content.

    4. Use this juicy affiliate link, to fire up a Tweetspinner Account.

    5. Configure Tweetspinner to automatically follow other tweeters who might be interested in your property/area specific twitter account. (For example, anyone who tweets the words “south street” might be interested in your Philly real estate listing.)

    6. Wait for eventual clicks from the twitter account to your blog/lead capture system.

    7. Assuming you’re generating opts from a certain percentage of your blog visitors via a number of different lead capture points, you should eventually have meaningful interactions with people who were automatically followed by the twitter account(s) you’ve set up.

    8. Theory – a few minutes invested as you service each of your listings = more traffic to your site = more glengary leads = more gci.

    9. Put this in your listing presentation, because at least short term, you’ll look cool and maybe you’ll close an extra listing appt this year?

    10. Keep interacting with folks as you normally have on twitter, because you enjoy it, not because you have reason to believe the time you spend tweeting will ever yield measurable gci…

    So what do you think? Shouldn’t brokers everywhere be considering this strategy? Especially huge monstrously sized brokerages with 500 or more agents who in addition to looking for more transactions short term, are also looking to increase brand reach and impress potential recruits with their internets and social medias presence?

    Related posts:
  • While The National Real Estate Market Is Soft – Google Pay-Per-Click Real Estate Advertising Still Going Strong
  • TweetSpinner: Making some damn sense out of Twitter
  • The Case For Twitter, Really Fast

  • 10 comments

    The Day Realtors Figured Out A Practical Use For Twitter

    So…

    If you have a minute, please go follow Twitter.com/229RockGlen.

    Over the next few weeks, this clever little property is going to automatically follow a whole bunch twitterers in the Philly area, systematically inviting lots of local folk to take a little tour inside.

    Go ahead… follow the house to see what I mean….


    picture-117

    Related posts:
  • No related posts

  • 11 comments