John L. Scott Real Estate
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Everywhere you turn on the Internet you will find videos. Some are informational, some funny, some of them showcase a product. What is going on behind this phenomenon? Why are there so many videos being produced, or is this my imagination?

I could ask you about a few things you could do on a video and you would immediately tick them off on your fingers. If you are looking for a way to humanize your brand, use a video. How nice would it be to have your clients talking about their wonderful experience on video.

What else could you do? How Tos of the real estate transaction? Interview someone while talking about the economic trend? Meet your vendors?

If these videos are under ten minutes, then you probably won’t lose your viewers. Make sure the lighting is good and the microphone as well. We don’t want the user to have to turn the volume up to 11 just to hear you. They probably won’t and will move on.

Back to the question of the number of new videos being seen. We know that videos are a marketing effort. We know that they provide a human side to your business. We know that they are easily visible on YouTube. Vimeo is also used. Videos deliver a verbal and visual message. And, videos help with SEO (search engine optimization).

Now who is telling me that the making of videos is too difficult?  With all of the new digital toys?

Really.

Posted by Michael Shumway at 11/18/2011 12:15:00 AM
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011

In my last article discussing Arnold, I wanted to discuss the difference between giving away information and selling expert advice. In the first example the value of the informant drops to zero once I know where the gym is located. In the second example, I am wondering if I can survive without the guide's help. The situation is scary, complicated and unpredictable. Even with useful information – "stay low, run like this, talk like this," I still feel I need my guide.

In the first instance, I was given information. In the second, I was "sold" expertise and given situation specific guidance through the "scary" situations.

If you market your expertise, you can give away information without worrying that the client is going to take it and run. You are not selling the "information." You are selling what to do with it, how to handle it, and negotiate it. You shouldn’t be stuck in a circular situation where the client is trying to get information and you are worrying about how much to give.

For example you don't sell, "How to set up a Facebook profile." Instead, you sell, "How to know which of the social media are relevant and how to use them properly."

What about the difference between, "How to conduct a home search," and "What research do I need before making a decision about a new home in this market?"

Or, "Where's the school gym?" and, "How do I make my way through this real estate jungle?"

When you become the expert and you "advise," your struggle about giving away information goes away. Once people see and understand the dangers and how intricate the transaction, the more they come to believe you are the guide to have.

Advice is golden; information can be seen as just a commodity. If you become know for "Come with me if you want to live," the less you’ll struggle and the happier your clients will be in the end.
 

Posted by Michael Shumway at 11/12/2011 2:20:00 AM
Monday, November 7, 2011
When I mention Arnold, you only think of one Arnold, right? You are not thinking of the Arnold the Car guy, or the Arnold advertising and public relations agency, correct?
 
Let’s be more Arnold. Why? Let’s look at two scenarios.
 
#1 Let’s say we are on a trip and we need some information about where our son’s ball game is going to be played. You are using your GPS, but can’t quite find the exact location of the competition. You see a guy sitting in his swing on his porch and as you roll down the window and ask directions, he tells you it is “jist around the corner with a quick left ‘n right, where the old school house used to be.”
 
#2 You are on vacation in the jungle and you become lost. Nothing around, but slithery things, and other things you don’t want to touch. You hear a large something coming through the growth and you can see it has a man shape and as you vision clears, he looks a lot like Arnold, Schwarzenegger, the Terminator, not the guy in Twins. He says, “Come with me if you want to live.” So, I ask you, are these two men offering the same service?
 
You’re lost right? You need to find your way, right? Have you ever thought, "When I meet with prospective clients, I often feel like I'm giving away too much information. How can I prove I have 'the answers' without actually giving them away for free before I'm hired?"

We all think this, right? Maybe we ought to think about “Being more Arnold."
 
More thoughts about this next time.
Posted by Michael Shumway at 11/8/2011 12:49:00 AM
Wednesday, November 2, 2011

When was the last time you sent an email and it . . . disappeared! Did it get lost? Did the recipient receive and it and not respond, delete it, or maybe it is still in their”email-to-be-read-later” folder? Now turn this around and see it from the clients / consumer side. Set a limit for yourself for answering email. Depending on your business anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours should work. If it is an emergency most people will call, not email. The threshold should fit the request. If there will be some time before you can fully answer, send a reply mentioning that you received the email and you are working on the issue. Does your email have an auto respond feature? If you are in an Exchange Server environment, rules can be set to specifically send out different responses based and the sender’s email words. And again, if a phone call would simplify the matter, make the call.

Along with returning emails in a timely manner, there is the matter of making yourself accessible to your clients. This comes down to their style. I am sure some of your clients would rather call you, some might send email, and others might want to see you face-to-face. Be sure to have the appropriate contact information on your website, email signature, business cards, collateral material, and so on. In this world of social media marketing, remember it is heavy on the”social.”

Posted by Michael Shumway at 11/2/2011 8:39:00 PM
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