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Archive for the 'Interview' Category

Why We Should Rename It SMP (Social Media Prospecting)

I asked if SMM were dead as a precursor to our session with the Phoenix Association of REALTORs.   A few of y’all mentioned that social media was helpful as a lead generation tool.  I suggested this yesterday and  I want to be perfectly clear about the utility of social sites as lead generation pools.

Serially creating overly commercial, spammy messages on your Facebook status bar is never going to be effective.  Kelley Koelher once said in my Unchained session that you’re supposed to be SOCIAL on social media.

I don’t disagree.  I often liken your behavior on social media like a party, wedding, or community event.  If you showed up to cousin Fred’s wedding and handed out your business card, you should be tossed out on your ear.  If  bride Wilma’s sister asks you “What’s the market doing ?”, it makes sense for you to get her number and reconnect with her a week later.

Now, more than ever, prospecting is paramount to success as a REALTOR.  Consider this video of Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, discussing the shift from marketing to prospecting.

Here are my takeaways:

  1. the 8 X 8 is about cementing a relationship.  These can be phone calls, interactive comments on social media sites, e-mails, and postcards.  I think 3-4 different forms of media touches hardens the relationship cement quickly
  2. the 33 touch is about saturation.  I can’t stress enough that you must have permission to continue this saturation strategy on a prospective client
  3. The monthly newsletter is a non-threatening way to buy brain cells.  My yellow postcard might only be read for the 8 seconds it takes to go from the mailbox to the wastepaper basket but it does get read.  I get calls from it.
  4. The principles of direct marketing are more important now than ever. This means that you should ask people questions…directly (eg- do you know any teachers looking to buy their first home?)

How do social media play into this strategy? Here’s a Facebook tactic:

  1. Call everyone on your “friends list”
  2. Ask them who their REALTOR is in (your town)
  3. If they have one, politely move on.  If they don’t, ask if you can adopt them.  If they don’t live in (your town), inform them that you know they’ll refer someone to you one day and want to be know as their (your town) REALTOR
  4. Look at their “friends” list for someone whom you find interesting; ask for an introduction

Does that sound creepy? Well, that’s sales, folks.  Lead generation is the MOST important part of your job.  Keller and Papasan suggest that 3 hours of your day be dedicated to lead generation daily.  Can you imagine how supercharged your business would be if you took their advice and optimized the social media contacts you spent years developing?


The Wannabe Cosmopolite

I choose to live in a big American city because frankly, I stick out like a sore sport in most rural settings and my accountant says we can’t afford London. One of my earliest pre-school memories was a Trenton to New York City train ride with my mother on a blustery Saturday morning.  How much of  that early 1960s day trip I accurately recall and how much is anecdotal family filler (pulled, kneaded and peppered over the redolent decades around my parents’ kitchen table) I’m not quite sure.  Still, certain sepia frames have been imprinted in my mind for life— gazing up at the sky scrapers whose dizzying heights give me vertigo to this day; creeping like a mouse through the bowels of  The Museum of Natural History, terrified of the mummies and the smell of all that marble; seeing  a man get his arm tore off by a taxi cab while standing at a busy Broadway corner…I’m pretty sure; sitting on a New York City phone book for a child’s eternity at  Mamma Leone’s, waiting for the dessert course to arrive.  Feeding the ducks in Central Park.  Observing  the landscape artists with easels and tams, their turpentined pigments slathered on thumb-holed palettes, probably all long dead by now but  full of  abstract perspective on that day.  Not peeing my pants for the entire afternoon.

A similar ferment churned in my gut when I first strolled the arrondissements of Paris; same thing along the canals of Rome; and Gaudi’s Barcelona.  And while I can easily inhale the woodsy fragrance of say, a Walden Pond (or even Dyer, Tennessee) without much complaint, I am clearly no Thoreau.  Once you think you see a guy get his arm torn off in Times Square, you can never really go back to the suburbs.  Not entirely.

As each year strikes like lightning, I find myself  being both drawn to, and repelled from, the urban twist of what once was Sandburg’s Chicago with its animal sense of outcome and yellow inner eye… ‘ hog butcher for the world.’  Liebling’s Second City.  On a calm evening the whispers can still be heard beneath the newer, vertical townhouses that just 40 years ago were stockyards.  On the hottest of days, the mephitis still rises from the soil. I had a listing down there once (before the market downturn) for over 500 days. At the very end, everyone involved got slaughtered.

I read each morning, with curious attention, as my real estate compatriots post their streaming routines on Twitter, Facebook, and the Blogosphere du monde. I imagine what it would be like to mentally attend a ‘Four Day Foreclosure Conference in Fresno’ or physically prepare ‘REO Listing  Paperwork til Midnight’  in Raleigh or hobnob with @townsquare.  I find myself, instead, cherry picking the downtown Chicago buyers I wish to work with from our own brokerage website registration and passing along the rest. I attend to only one listing these days; a favor to a friend.  I’ve become an Accidental Realtor of sorts, sitting on a virtual phone book in my iPhone, waiting for the big hogs to fatten.  The Entree. I sell metropolitan real estate because (aside from luxury yachts and illegal drugs) it’s the biggest ticket item around here that pays a commission large enough for my wife and I to live comfortably in our empty nest, still do some social good, and travel the world—or at least the country. (We’ll be in Phoenix this April for Unchained.)

At the end of  Henry James’s life the historians say he finally realized that no matter how much a man loved his adopted foreign city or how long he claimed residence to a particular Transatlantic society— unless he was actually born there, he never quite belonged.  Again, not entirely.  I’m not sure where I’ll wind up at the very end.  I can’t really recall where I came from, come to think of it.   I suppose for now I’ll just stay put here in the Midwest and wait for this house I sold myself to at least reclaim some of its original value. As long as I’m paying the property taxes on time, the City of Chicago promises not to tear off my arm. Not entirely.


This Unchained Seattle Lender Built A Huge Following, By Quoting Rates

Rhonda Porter, of Mortgage Master Service Corp. in Seattle, is speaking at BloodhoundBlog Unchained Seattle, on February 12, 2009.  BloodhoundBlog readers see Rhonda commenting here and Rain City Guide readers know her as the resident mortgage guru.  I know her to be one of the most savvy Loan2.0 practitioners; that’s why I chased her to speak at Unchained Seattle.

I interviewed Rhonda about what she does that WORKS, not what she does that’s cute.  At BloodhoundBlog Unchained we talk about things that are as practical as a jackhammer on a construction site.  When you hear Rhonda, you’ll learn that she ‘s a lunch-pail carrying, hard-hatted foreman, building relationships through her social media efforts.

Listen to my fifteen minute discussion, with Rhonda, here.

If you haven’t reserved your spot for Unchained Seattle, you just might be shut out.  Over 75 people have raised their hands and seats are going quickly.  Contact Scott Cowan if you’d like to see us on February 12.

The fun doesn’t end after BloodhoundBlog Unchained Seattle!  We jumped on the chance to be a sponsor of Seattle REBarCamp, the next day.  Todd Carpenter describes the ad-hocratic learning experience that is REBarCamp:

RE Bar Camp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees

BloodhoundBlogUnchained is proud to be a sponsor of this effort in the Emerald City.  Greg and I will be there to join in all the fun!


BloodhoundBlog Radio: About Success With Jason Blackburn

Jason Blackburn of Laser Focus For Life was our guest on BloodhoundBlog Radio last week.  I “met” Jason on Facebook two months ago, when preparing for the “Power Of Twelve” seminar.  Jason wrote a referral script for my seminar and asked nothing in return.  That connection led to a number of telephone calls which made me realize that Jason had a lot to offer.

Jason points out that many of our actions are incongruent with our mission.  He explains that our actions need to be inspired by the “buy-in” from both our hearts and our minds.  Jason is not a “touchy-feely” success trainer. He’s a nuts and bolts sales pro with over twenty years experience.

I expect we’ll be hearing a lot from Jason.  You can hear our 40-minute interview with him here.

PS:  If you click only one link, click “referral script“.  Jason lays out a simple way to generate referral business in about 800 words.

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Mortgages Under Management

“Managing loans” is the tail that wags the dog today.  When I was a rookie stockbroker, the good folks at Mother Merrill taught us to “gather assets”.  Essentially, the firm encouraged us to pitch clients to have their assets transferred to a Merrill Lynch account.  The strategy was that assets “in-house” would result in a commission when they had to be sold.

Is it any wonder that the mortgage sales gurus who brought that strategy to the mortgage business were former stockbrokers?  Rich Katz, former President of Loan Toolbox, spent his early career with both Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney.  Dave Savage of Mortgage Coach perfected that strategy with his software offering.  Todd Ballenger developed a business model that partnered with financial planners; it’s cornerstone was actively managing mortgages for customers.

Simply put, a new mortgage originator could track current homeowners’ mortgages, by rate (and/or term).  The lowest-tech system would be in file folders, indexed by note rate.  Vendors like Mortgage Coach, Top of Mind, and offer automated solutions to managing mortgages.  Whether you spend the money for automation or not, “managing mortgages” can be fruitful, especially in a low mortgage rate environment like today.

Greg Frost of LoanToolbox tells us that “first in wins”.  When a dramatic move in rates occurs, the first originator to call the homeowner with an attractive loan solution usually has the best chance of earning the new loan business.  Regardless of rate movements, approximately 9% of all loans outstanding are refinanced each year.  Another 11% of all loans outstanding are paid off due to sales.  This means that one out of five loans will be retired (and new loans will replace them) annually.  A mortgage originator who wants to close 100 loans each year would do well to “gather” data for at least 500 homeowners then.

The strategy works whether you use a computer or a drawer-full of files. Here are some real life examples from practicing originators:

Dan Green talking to Dave Savage about how he used this strategy to excel in a down market.

Khai McBride discusses his quarterly credit review for clients

Jim Sahnger talks about how to properly manage your database.

We’re all pretty busy with the refinance boom due to the sub-5% mortgage rates available.  Soon, that will be over.  Will you take the time to “gather more mortgages” to position yourself for the one out of five who will need a new loan next year?


Bloodhound Blog Radio Hosts Matthew Padilla

Have you been listening to Mortgage Mondays on Bloodhound Blog Radio?  Each Monday afternoon, at 4PM, we invite  REALTORs to listen to and participate in our 40-60 minute “radio broadcast”.

Our guest this Monday (September 22) is Matt Padilla.  Matt is a regular business and finance columnist with OC Register.  He co-authored a book about the mortgage crisis, Chain of Blame- How Wall Street Caused the Mortgage Crisis.  Needless to say, Matt’s appearance on Radio Mortgage is timely.

California REALTORs do NOT want to miss this broadcast.  Matt’s knowledge and experience is unparalleled in the media.  He’s interviewed Angelo Mozilo among other industry leaders.  We’ll spend 20-30 minutes with Matt and open the show for questions.

To participate or listen to the teleconference:

Scheduled Time:

Date: Mon, September 22, 2008
Time: 4:00 PM PDT

How to participate:

Call in:

  1. Dial: (724) 444-7444
  2. Enter: 81328 # (Call ID)
  3. Enter: 1 # or your PIN

Join from your computer:

  1. Click here to join the call or just listen along
  2. (Optional) Become a TalkShoe member

Facebook user? You can join this Call directly through the TalkShoe Community Calling Facebook application.

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Bloodhound Blog Radio: Nehemiah Down Payment Assistance Program

Our guest on Bloodhound Blog Radio, this week, was Ronda Green, area manager with the Nehemiah Down Payment Assistance Program.

Listen to the full episode here.

We opened up the program announcing that we can be found on iTunes as “Radio Mortgage” .  All episodes will be available here, on Bloodhound Blog Radio.  We discussed the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy filing and the Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch merger.  After our brief commentary, we introduced Ronda who discussed the political battle seller-contributed, down payment assistance programs face.  Assuming a successful reintroduction , we had Ronda walk through the process of the program.  Ronda asked folks to support the program by writing their Senators at

Our stated purpose of Mortgage Mondays on Bloodhound Blog Radio is to educate REALTORs about mortgage programs and offer marketing ideas to them.  The Nehemiah Down Payment Assistance Program offers benefits to both listing and selling agents.  We suggest that REALTORS visit to find free marketing pieces (and ideas) for both buyers’ agents and listing agents.

The call was attended by about 8-10 agents including William Johnson, Carole Cohen, Marlene Bridges, and Bill Collins.  Oh, the BawldGuy snuck in to announce that he has a listing in San Diego and was looking for unique ways to market it.  Successful agents, attending Mortgage Mondays on Bloodhound Blog, is proof positive that you’re never too smart to learn something.

Visit for next Monday’s schedule.

Listen to the full episode here.


Open sourcing and spiking the punchbowl with anarchism. REBarCamp is birthed as a user generated unconference and it absolutely rocks!

There’s no question that I felt a lot of anxiety in having possibly two hundred people show up for a BarCamp event without a “well structured agenda”. Nearly the entire event was created by using a variety of social media tools, our fearless unorganizer, Andy Kaufman led the charge into creating an unprecedented event for Real Estate professionals.   The black pearl from REBarCamp is letting go of control and operating without hierarchy can work to generate progressive brainstorming.   The many volunteers and attendees should be real proud of themselves for putting on what was probably the most unique event Real Estate Technology has ever seen.  I wished I had more time to parse some of the data I know that’s being posted to the web right now, but I’m working on transacting 3 of the most challenging deals I’ve had in two years.

The videos below give a post wrap up perspective by a few of the Campers.

Mike price of ML Broadcast chimes in for substance and structure.

Mike Price video

Daniel Rothamel who’s “not big on circles” say’s we hit a home run.

Daniel Rothamel video

Todd Carpenter and BarCamp mastermind Andy Kaufman managed to even get some value despite all the cat herding.

Todd and Andy video

David Gibbons of Zillow, which sponsored Beer for Bloggers downstairs after the event, shares what a vet of social media learned and I think my Greg Swann” sneaks out as I give the Cafe Du Nord a mention. This of course, was recorded after my first celebratory pint of Racer Ale.

David Gibbons video

Many thanks to all of the amazing sponsors, volunteers, and participants for making this happen. I’m looking forward to gathering some more feedback as it comes in.


Mitch Ribak: It’s The Contact, Not The Content

As Jeff Brown would say, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat”.

Mitch Ribak is a Florida real estate broker who purposefully avoids the Web 2.0 world. Well, that’s not really true. Mitch Ribak is a blogger. I met him on Home Gain Blog and I read everything he writes. Why? Because he’s VERY effective at marketing.

Mitch is extremely helpful. In the 3-4 months I’ve known him, he’s answered every single question I’ve asked and gone out of his way to explain the efficacy of his pay per click marketing success. He is extremely open with advice, sharing with whomever asks for it. Mitch designed a CRM called which he’ll release next month. I respect this guy a lot.

Here’s the short version of this 15 minute interview:

1- If a REALTOR is not online, he’s going to lose out.

2- Buyers control this market, not sellers. Ergo, attract buyers with your marketing.

3- Websites should offer less content, not more. The most important tool is a lead capture tool.

4- Give enough content to entice the buyer to call you.

5- The lead capture form should be prominent on every page.

6- Quality lead generation comes from attracting serious buyers; the lead capture form distinguishes their intent.

7- Traffic should be high quality. Mitch uses PPC and affiliate marketing programs.

8- No email= no access to listings. Real estate brokerage is a business and businesses must deal with serious buyers.

9- Conversion is key. It is the contact with not the content provided for the customer that is of paramount importance. Autoresponders work because they automate the marketing process. “Dripped” MLS listings buys customers’ brain cells.

Mitch has “street cred”. His team of 14 agents closed 193 transactions, last year. Last month, they closed 38 transactions. Not a big deal? He sells real estate in Brevard County, Florida; the eye of the hurricane.

I’ll ask you to listen to the interview with Mitch before you comment.


My Real Estate Radio USA debut — and a reminder that the price for BloodhoundBlog Unchained tickets goes up at midnight tonight

You can go to Real Estate Radio USA to hear the MP3 of my appearance today. I went into it expecting to kind of goofy and fun, but we actually ended up covering a lot of nuts-and-bolts real estate techniques.

As Brian Brady announced when he made his own appearance on Real Estate Radio USA, the price for BloodhoundBlog Unchained tickets will be going up at midnight tonight. If you want to get the whole package — a $350 value — for the Guerrilla-only special price of $149, you need to make your purchase now.

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Bloodhound Blog Remains Open. What Would Beth Ask?

Bombastic blogger, Kevin Tomlinson, knows how to rile up the crowds. Most of you met Kevin through the Project Blogger competition, hosted by Kevin never disappoints. He made the dramatic statement that he believed…

Bloodhound Blog would be shut down by Friday.

Kevin’s not mean, he just likes a little controversy.

I thought I’d try to practice the WWDGD principle and attempt to get meaningful input from the crowd. I expected to be baited by the irrelevant but chose to ignore them; this conversation is too important for the practitioners. Scroll through the comment thread and you’ll see where Kevin’s broker, Beth Butler, started to go into a state of curiosity rather than remain in a state of judgment.

WWBA (What would Beth Butler Ask?). Russell Shaw swears by surveys so I thought I’d try that approach. Here’s our first installment of WWBA:

For Glenn Kelmann:

1- I think I would ask how his business model changes if :

A. The offer of compensation in the MLS is substantially changed?

B. If IDX is no longer available

2- If the market turns downward, what plans does Redfin have for longevity in a down market… say where mls data shows an overall decrease in the number sales of 50-60% like it has here in the South Florida market?

For Russell Shaw:

1. How is his team organized?

2. How has he used his internet presence to improve his business? Specifically, has he changed or is he planning to change his website? Who does he rely upon for technical support and direction?

3. I understand that Phoenix is having some of the same market challenges as Florida, how has he changed his operations to adjust?

4. With regard to his marketing, what percentage of his marketing budget goes to advertising properties? himself and his brand?

5. Number of listings he expects to carry to obtain 2000 sides? What percentage of his inventory does he sell himself?

6. How does he overcome the objection from sellers with regard to the amount of time he has to devote to their individual listing? or does he deal with institutional sellers?

7. What are his expectations of his brokerage and their part in helping him achieve his goals?

Thanks, Beth, for the first installment of WWBA. It is my hope that Glenn and Russell give you a taste but leave the meat and potatoes for the UNCHAINED conference. I hope all the readers will continue the conversation because we are all Beth Butler, in one way or another.

PS- Beth, if you’re reading, I suggest that you start by clicking the link, about Russell, in the 4th paragraph, to start your journey. Certainly, listen to his podcasts (on the sidebar).

Again, Beth, thank you for the great questions. I expect WWBA to define much of May’s conference.


Second thoughts on real estate video production: Video Verite — what video can and cannot do

This is a piece of the video we shot on Sunday. There’s another segment, on marketing, that I may post, also.

This film is a discussion of the nature of discursive prose as an art form, and why video, for all its strengths, cannot supplant prose in weblogging.

This could easily be the most hirsute real estate video you will ever watch. We trip lightly between art and philosophy, taking a moment to reflect upon the Swan of Avon along the way. I started out thinking that the exercise was a complete waste, but, in the end, I think you’ll find that the content, static thought it may be, repays your time.


Podcast interview with fellow Bloodhound Blog contributor Dan Green

At my home blog, Blown Mortgage, I have the privilege of interviewing some of the best and brightest in the real estate and mortgage world. In this interview I spoke with Dan Green of Bloodhound and As a blogger with over 2 years of posts logged he has a lot of experience and insight in to how blogging can help you business. Dan sources 25-30% of his business from his blog. Chew on that ROI!

This is the second Bloodhound I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and I hopefully get to talk to the rest of the gang in the near future (hint, cough, hint).

Because I don’t want to put Greg through the FTP wringer again I’ll simply provide a link to the 13 minute interview over on Blown.

I hope you enjoy it – I know I did.

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OC Register’s Matt Padilla talks mortgages, blogging, and the main-stream media

On my home blog, Blown Mortgage, I have the honor of talking with some of the best people in our industry about their take on the current market and the forces that are shaping each of our lives in this profession. I’ve interviewed housing bears, loan originators, marketers and more. The level of ability and professionalism in our industry amazes me each time I have the opportunity to talk with someone new.

This week I had an opportunity to speak with Matthew Padilla. Matt is the Real Estate and Mortgage reporter for the Orange County Register. I was looking forward to this interview because it marked the first time I had a chance to speak with a member of the main-stream media about the mortgage and real estate markets. I was interested in hearing him talk to what he has heard from his investigative reporting (since he does get to spend all day chasing down the stories).

While his insight on the market is, in my opinion, spot on and valuable; the reason I wanted to share it here with you is that Matt provides interesting insight in to how blogging has impacted his reporting and coverage. Speaking with him it became very apparent that what we do as bloggers has caused a paradigm shift in how the main-stream media thinks about, generates, and disseminates news. Matt talked at length about how and why he uses a blog, how he designates pieces for the blog versus the paper, how other blogs drive his research, and a wide range of other topics about the interface between the new and old mediums.

I think that all of us that blog each and every day should always remain aware that what we are doing is of extreme importance and consequence. Each blog post, each insight, each story and personal experience shared by experts such as those I have the privilege of writing with here at Bloodhound is shaping the news that is told tomorrow. If you ever wonder if anyone is listening and you wonder if it is worth blogging; remember the comments from this interview and remember the power and responsibility we have in this forum.


Interview With Robert Ashby, CMPS

ashbyI interviewed Robert Ashby, a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist, in this 15 minute podcast. Robert’s background is also in securities sales so he and I have much in common.

Robert was the first CMPS in Florida and is President of Solid Rock Mortgage Corporation. He runs a site called Mortgage Meds and is an airline pilot (he still flies 5 days a month for American). Links to follow the podcast include:

Solid Rock Mortgage Corporation

Certified Mortgage Planning Institute

How to Earn Money Borrowing at 6% and Investing at 4%

Money Merge Acccounts

Home Equity: Risky During Hurricane Season

Mortgage Meds

I appreciate Robert’s participation and encourage you to listen to someone who is practicing the “Strategic Equity Positioning” approach.


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