There’s always something to howl about

I fear the Geeks, especially when bearing gifts.

I’m not sure if it was Greg’s post welcoming me to Bloodhound Blog or if it is last name “H” week for the Hi-Tech cold callers…but my phone has been ringing off the hook with people trying to sell (give) me stuff to enhance my web 2.0 career.

The pitch, has been very simplistic in nature: The vendor is willing to give me their product/service for free or at a drastically reduced rate. IF, I will recommend it to the agents in my office and the ones that read my blog.

The close, “Isn’t this a great deal! What do you have to lose?”

What do I have to lose? Let me shuffle my feet and look down at them with my hands in my pockets. Ummmmm. Geee. I don’t know. How about my reputation with the people that I work for and depend on me to make sound decisions? How about the respect of people who read me and trust me to make reputable endorsements? If those aren’t good enough reasons how about all the money that I could lose? Money lost when agents figure out that I’m willing to sell my soul for free products/services on their dime. Referrals that might not come in if I recommend based off personal gain instead of success.

Do you really want my business? Do you really want me to recommend you? Would you really like me to write about how your product/service is the greatest thing since IMAP on my iPhone? Do you really want to improve my web 2.0 career?

First, I’m not looking for a handout. Times are hard but I’m not offering to give away my services. You shouldn’t either. People pay me a lot of money to sell their homes. I’m good at what I do. Why should I expect any less from you?

Second, interact with me on BHB, Active Rain, My Space or any of the other online communities that I frequent. Comment on my posts. Ask questions. Disagree. Challenge the way that I think and do business. Show me something different. Something exciting! Knock my socks off with what you know. Blow my mind with what you offer.

Add value and build a relationship with me. That is the whole underlying purpose of this web 2.0 thing. Lead by example, not by trying to give me a Trojan horse to gain entry inside my heavily fortified walls. The people inside my inner concrete circle are very important to me. I won’t hesitate to recommend you and interact with you in your web 2.0 world…if you exceed my expectations.

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    24 Comments so far

    1. Tom Vanderwell August 14th, 2008 4:16 pm

      To use Bawldguy’s baseball analogy….

      Jessica’s up to bat for the first time for the season. The first pitch….

      It’s out of here! A Home Run!

      Seriously, Jessica, you described exactly what every one needs to know. Whether lender, Realtor, or vendor, we all need to live and lead by example.

      Well done.

      Tom Vanderwell

    2. Eric Blackwell August 14th, 2008 4:34 pm


      Spot on! (For the record, it was “B” week…according to my phone log!)…

      Everytime I hear the words “no risk proposition” or “what do you have to lose?”, I picture them coming from a person who has less to lose than I (or they wouldn’t be asking that question).

      I got propositioned this week by a guy claiming to have “read my blog” and wanting to ‘talk to me about SEO” and “how I could help him with his start up.” I returned his call only to find that he was pitching some whiz bang crap out of a start up company that he had formed and he wanted me to “try it out on my agents” (his words, not mine). His asking me about SEO was just to get me to call him back.

      My first (and last) words to him..”You started our relationship off with a lie…it can only go downhill from here.”

      Great post and thanks for it, Jessica.



    3. Jessica Wynn Horton August 14th, 2008 5:31 pm

      @ Tom Thank you! I was nervous. I won’t lie. This can be a tough crowd. Interact with me. Build the relationship. Isn’t that the purpose?

      @ Eric That dude called you too? Sounds very much like a phone call that I had. I like that line about only going down hill from here. So true, so true.

    4. Louis Cammarosano August 14th, 2008 7:50 pm

      The unincentivized testimonial or recommendation is the best.

      I’ve given away HomeGain products on one condition-that they tell ME what they think of the products.

    5. Brian Brady August 14th, 2008 7:52 pm

      Great start, Jessica.

      BHB is a vendor critical zone. I was chatting with someone today who wondered if we criticize ALL third-party vendors here and that isn’t the case. We are critical of the vendors who take money and don’t deliver the goods. We also criticize those that give it for “free” but don’t add any value.

      Those that show up, build their value proposition, contribute, and EARN their money get lauded here.

      PS- to quote the late Milton Friedman, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”

    6. Jessica Wynn Horton August 14th, 2008 10:21 pm

      @ Louis I agree and can respect that approach. There isn’t anything wrong with samples. I get them at Costco all the time. :)

      @ Brian Thanks! I don’t think we are critical of 3rd party vendors but I have found many of their approaches lacking. They may have a great offering but I don’t like the free but nudge your agents into using it.

      P.S. To quote Gordon Gecko, “Lunch is for wimps!”

    7. louis cammarosano August 15th, 2008 3:52 am

      and coffee is for closers….

    8. James Boyer Morristown NJ August 15th, 2008 11:40 am

      I think they go by area or something. Last week was my week to get all the calls. Just love those calls from supposedly SEO companies telling me my website is not doing so good and they can fix that. Especially love that called me 3 times last week as well. No thanks I am not buying what your selling.

    9. Jessica Wynn Horton August 15th, 2008 12:48 pm

      @ Louis Yes, it is! It’s also good to the last drop.

      I loved your take on my God Father post! :)

    10. Louis Cammarosano August 15th, 2008 2:54 pm

      Hi James
      What are your primary lead sources? I would guess blog and referrals.
      I’ve been discussing with lots of realtors, including Eric B, what is the best approach based on time, roi, what your resources (people/technology) are to convert etc.
      We are seeing that the most successful have a multi pronged marketing approach on the front end and a very methodical system on the back end along with good realtor skills

    11. Teri Lussier August 16th, 2008 6:39 am

      I love this:

      >Comment on my posts. Ask questions. Disagree. Challenge the way that I think and do business. Show me something different. Something exciting! Knock my socks off with what you know. Blow my mind with what you offer.

      I have a lot of respect for Louis, DavidG, Glenn Kelman, because they show up, they engage, they are not afraid to challenge us (readers) and they participate. They provide value through conversation, and it does make a difference in my perception of them, and their companies.

    12. Louis Cammarosano August 16th, 2008 7:30 am

      Thanks Teri,
      Helping Realtors become successful is the purpose of the Bloodhound Blog and HomeGain. We may have different approaches but the goal is the same.

    13. Brian Brady August 16th, 2008 11:32 am

      “We may have different approaches but the goal is the same”

      There is no doubt of the latter. All three of the aforementioned add value to BHB daily.

    14. Jessica Wynn Horton August 17th, 2008 9:02 am

      @ Teri doing things like that gets my attention and makes me notice them. They add value and that is what I want. I hope they keep it up. Vendors could learn from them.

    15. Jessica Wynn Horton August 17th, 2008 9:29 am

      @ James it had to be by last name! I got way too many of them! I’ve been getting e-mails from and their prices seem to be affordable. I may look into if the pricing is accurate. My focus is to build up traffic to my sites but I’m not opposed to spending a few bucks to be placed on one either.

    16. Louis Cammarosano August 17th, 2008 10:54 am

      I can give you something from Homegain for free.
      Contact me and we can discuss.

    17. Jessica Wynn Horton August 17th, 2008 7:57 pm

      @ Louis I really appreciate the offer but I recently signed up for one of the services that you guys offer. I haven’t had time to play around with it the way that I want (it’s on my list of things to accomplish before September). Sounds bad…I know. But, I want my proposals to be just right and I won’t send them out until they are.

      Or, did you have something different in mind?

    18. louis cammarosano August 17th, 2008 8:15 pm

      Sounds like you are giving homegain’s Agent evaluator
      Program a try
      Our client services people can help you with your
      I do have something else for you to try too!

    19. Jessica Wynn Horton August 18th, 2008 9:27 am


      That’s the one!

      Something else? Well, like my grandma used to say, “Anything free but a baby!” As long as I don’t have to pimp it off to agents in my office or that I know…then I’m fine with free, as a trial, I don’t expect anything free long term.

      I will give you honest feedback and suggestions in private if I don’t like it and raving reviews in public if I do.

    20. Louis Cammarosano August 18th, 2008 9:41 am

      Email me and we can discuss!

    21. Thomas Johnson August 18th, 2008 10:29 am

      Vendors raise mountains of VC cash then hire out their lead development to a call center. It’s great when you can’t hear the pitch for other boiler room pitchmen in the background. Is this the beginning of the beginning of the beginning, or the beginning of the end for all this VC money funded real estate? I imagine the contrarian pitch to investors to service REALTORS (I mean that in the most crass sense of the word) will last another 6 months or so. When the NAR membership tally comes in 1Q 2009, we will know what the 2008 body count is. That said, I haven’t seen any massive rounds of new capital infusions in the VC funded real estate world recently.

    22. Louis Cammarosano August 18th, 2008 10:37 am


      Regarding HomeGain we have been in business for over 9 years and are not VC funded. I have been at HomeGain for nearly four years and General Manager for about two. My approach has always been to service realtors -its not a fad.

      The last round of significant VC money in the space that I am are aware was Trulia’s $15/16 or so million just a few months back.

      The bulk of the VC capital flowed into real estate in 2006 and 2007.

    23. Thomas Johnson August 18th, 2008 2:10 pm

      The last round of significant VC money in the space that I am are aware was Trulia’s $15/16 or so million just a few months back.

      The bulk of the VC capital flowed into real estate in 2006 and 2007.

      Louis: Present company excluded. Hat tip to you: I have never received a boiler room cold call from Home Gain.

      You make my point. Trulia just beat the collapse of Fannie/Freddie. A damper on investment in the RE space, to say the least. It will be ever harder going forward to make the pitch for VC capital for RE. As the RE recovery stalls, even the contrarian pitch to investors may be played out. If the Realtor body count for 2008 is as great as I anticipate, the numbers of Realtors that can be “serviced” will be less, making the “million Realtors at $29.00/month” pitch less enticing.

    24. Sue August 23rd, 2008 9:56 am

      Jessica, I got the calls too, so probably not by last name (mine begins with a Z) unless their calls went really quick. ;)