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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!

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Do Loan Originators “See” The Opportunity?

If you thought REALTORs were behind the learning curve in Web 2.0, you should see the lenders

If you’re a loan originator, reading this article, congratulations.  There are some 300,000 working loan originators today and I’m guessing that about 1% of us are actively using social media.  Certainly, the REALTORs are way ahead of us but even they have room for growth.  If the participatory web is the future of commercial communication, this gives loan originators a tremendous opportunity to “stop buying donuts” and start teaching the close to 900,000 real estate agents, who don’t get it, how to succeed.

Remember when you started in the business?  The most successful loan originator told you to “beat the streets and talk to agents”.  Today, beating the streets requires nimble fingers rather than worn-out shoe leather because…

YOU CAN BRING VALUE TO THE AGENTS FROM YOUR COMPUTER

Here’s the idea; teach the unwired agents how to get connected.  They’ll love you for it.  In the past four months, I’ve:

If I market to 100 real estate agents, consistently, I close 100 purchase loans annually.  In California, that’s a pretty good living (even after I pay out my team members).  See where I’m going with this?

TEACH THE UNWIRED AGENTS HOW TO GET CONNECTED– They’ll love you for it.

What’s the matter?  You don’t feel confident enough to instruct the unwired agents about how to use social media?  Forget the folks here; they get it.  Certainly you’ll want to establish and nourish relationships here but the REAL opportunity lies in the other 90%- the unwired agents.  You already know more than they do…BUT…

I’ll tell you how to learn even MORE so that you’re potent; an expert of sorts.

Come to the BloodhoundBlog Unchained University of Online Marketing, in Phoenix, at the end of April:

Who should come to BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix? If it’s part of your job to attract and convert new business, we have what you need. On BloodhoundBlog, we talk a lot about Social Media Marketing, but in our own businesses, we work with Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Direct Marketing and good old-fashioned belly-to-belly sales. We also work directly with internet-based tools from PHP to RSS to CSS — acronym soup.

Three days of intensive learning about the world of online marketing in real estate- that will make you an experts of sorts.  Spend the rest of the year giving talks, webinars, and office meetings, and you’ll have your 100 agents by Labor Day.  Oh!  You might learn a thing or two to help your business, too.

Ask Scott Schang, of Porchlight Mortgage about the value of this conference:

I consistently utilize online webinars, youtube videos and constant contact which creates a perpetual cycle of automated action items that convert contact into clients.

My product is really education and expertise. Through my internet “presence” I am perceived (rightfully so I would hope) as an expert in my field. I think there’s also a familiarity you develop by being so easily accessible on SM sites.

I have also met many professionals like yourself that have helped me to grow and become more innovative and creative through these on-line relationships.

I have built working referral relationships with many other professionals and I believe that my social media reputation helps to facilitate these relationships.

Bloodhound Unchained in Phoenix last year was really the launching point for my confidence to take more chances with my commitment to social media and I realized that I was far from alone in my search for enlightenment.

Scott attended the first ever BloodhoundBlog Unchained.  Since then, you can find him in the SERPS for “California Teachers Loans“; Google considers him more relevant than CalSTRS itself.  Scott doesn’t stop with the SERPS, though.  He usues webinars, video, and classes to ge the word out and meet agents.  He started implementing his plan within weeks of attending Unchained.

Look at what Kevin Sandridge learned at Unchained.  Using scenius.net, he’s able to include his content on two Florida REALTORs weblogs and benefits from multiple backlinks.  He learned more than just the “geeky” stuff, too:

I had the pleasure of sitting with Brian, Sean Purcell, Teri Lussier, and Chris Brown for lunch at Denny’s during the recent Bloodhound Unchained Orlando 2008 Extravaganza.  As I munched on my Club Sandwich (and it was oh so tasty), Brian relayed the importance of putting yourself out there when you write a blog post – to stand for something – have a something to say – and let it rip!  I have to say, I’m still trying to find that “voice” in my own posts – but Brian did hit here, folks.  Love it or hate it, you’re forced to do one or the other.  In fact, I dare you to read the post in its entirety and not have a firm opinion one way or the other.

These two guys are connecting with potential referral partners and ADDING VALUE.  They learned a lot of what they’re teaching at BloodhoundBlog Unchained…now, you can, too!

We often expose bad vendors on BloodhoundBlog and catch a helluva lot of heat for it.  The cream always rises to the top, though.  Top of Mind Networks, President, Mark Green hosted me for a 45 minute social media marketing webinar.  When I was finished he said:

I am attending Unchained Phoenix and am paying full price for my education.  In other words, there’s no good buddy discount at work here and I’m going because I want to take my business to the next level.  There are only 75 total seats available – that’s it (minus mine, so make that 74).  If you thought this 45 minute webinar was compelling, try immersing yourself in this stuff for 2 straight days.  Think you’ll be able to blow away a realtor with this knowledge?  You bet your sweet bippy you will.

You bet your sweet bippy you will…pretty cool.  So, what’s the plan?

First, come read about the three-day event.  We’re only offering 75 seats MAX and close to 50 are already gone.  The tuition is only $697 for the full three day event.

That’s about one third of a loan commission.  Reserve your spot today.

PS:  Still unconvinced that attending BloodhoundBlog Unchained won’t  help you learn how to teach the unwired REALTOR to get connected and snag you a referral partner for life?  Call me at (858)-777-9751 and let me tell you a few war stories.  Actually, I’ll knock off 100 bucks, right here, right now…just for reading this

RESERVE YOUR SPOT AT THE REDUCED PRICE NOW

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Making a Scenius scene to make an impact on your target market

Lender Bob says, “Hey, I’m a lender. I want to get Realtors to notice me. Hell, I want to get in front of them so often they can’t forget me. What can I do?”

Realtor Beth chimes in with, “He’s got the right idea. I’m a Realtor. I’ve got a blog and all, but I don’t feel like I’m talking to the people in my farm. How can I get my name and my ideas in front of them ever day?”

Vendor Bill adds, “I’ve got things once worse. I need to sell marketing ideas to Beth and Bob, both, but how can I break through the clutter?”

These are problems that can be solved by Scenius scenes. With the right scene, you can aggregate content and share it with people you want to do business with.

Watch:

Lender Bob can link to financial news and stories on factors that influence interest rates. He can make this scene available to Realtors in his market, who will have Bob’s free content available to share with their own readers. Florida Lender Kevin Sandridge is getting ready to do just this in his market.

Realtor Beth can link to local news stories and then echo that content to other weblogs in her market area. I’m doing this with Phoenix Area Headlines, but Beth could do other things as well. For example, she could do a “best of local blogs” scene to spread the link love around. Or, like Chicago Realtor Thomas Hall, she could do a scene on green real estate.

Vendor Bill has the easiest job of all, if he learns to think Scenius: He doesn’t need to cut through the clutter, he needs to slice it and dice it and serve it up in his own scene. I’m playing with this idea with Switched-On Marketing.

There’s more. Eric Blackwell is using a scene as a way of getting his 100+ agents to get on-board the social media marketing train. Cheryl Johnson and I are both using Scenius scenes to manage our listings on-line — but that’s an advanced-class topic.

The point of this: If you’re in the business of self-promotion, we’ve got a better mouse trap. We’re still only playing with stout hearts, but, if you want in, here’s the background:

I’ll be teaching everything there is to know about the Scenius praxis at Unchained. What we’re doing now is a subset of those ideas, but it’s the subset that is most appropriate to building your business — or simply to building up your weblog. if you want to learn how to do this, say so.

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BloodhoundBlog Unchained has a home in Orlando for a twelve-hour event — and the price for tickets just went up to $199

We have a place to howl in Orlando at last. We wanted something very sexy, very cool, but the constrictions on time and space were killing us. We finally settled on a hotel conference facility to get a room big enough to accommodate all the people who want to join us for BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Orlando. As a bonus, we get to go back to our original plan of a twelve-hour event. This will give us time to explore some mastermind ideas that we would have had to leave out of a shorter presentation.

The flip side of this is this: The Earlybird price is gone. If you go to BloodhoundBlogUnchained.com, the levy for tickets is $199 — full price.

But don’t take out a second mortgage — whatever that is. We’ve made arrangements with some good friends of the kinds of ideas we teach. If you keep your eyes open, you’ll spy opportunities on other web sites to snag Unchained tickets at a discount. If you want to pay us full price, feel free. But you will have plenty of chances to save yourself some money.

For example, lender Kevin Sandridge can get you into Unchained in Orlando for half-price. Be sure to thank him when you meet him in November.

There will be other offers out there — but don’t dilly-dally. We only have a limited number of seats available, and there will be 20,000 Realtors in Orlando for the NAR Convention. When the music stops, they won’t be seats available at any price.

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