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Want great tools to maximize SEO? Here you go! - 09/30/10 06:43 PM
I was inspired by an article that I reblogged yesterday written by Pinnace Residential Properties about a website grader called Hubspot. It's a great tool and one I highly recommend using. However, after looking into other tools I found a broader collection of resources that are also useful.
Website Analysis urlTrends - This site is similar to Hubspot but offers less information. I like it because it's a little less overwhelming for novice users and highlights the areas you're website is weakest on. SEOworkers Analysis Tool - With this tool you'll get a great, easy to read summary of what (9 comments)
Hot New Properties in Los Altos Hills 9/29 - 09/29/10 04:55 PM
12000 SOUTH EL MONTE ROAD, Los Altos Hills 94022 MLS# 81047765 Listing Agent: Jackie Schoelerman, Alain Pinel Realtors List Price: $1,625,000 Days On Market: 0 Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 3 1/2 Living space: 3,113 Lot size: 42,000 SqFt Age: 47 Bryan's Opinion: This home was listed earlier in February 2010 for $980,000 and sold for $1.1 million. I was asked to give a pricing opinion on the property before it was listed is it eventually sold for almost exactly what I estimated. The location is very close to Foothill College and the house itself is situated in such as way that (0 comments)
Can weird home pricing be part of a bigger strategy? - 09/29/10 01:59 PM
Home prices in Los Altos generally follow the same pattern. A market analysis will generally show where a home should be priced and the listing agent will price is 1-5% of where it will actually sell. For example, if the market analysis shows a recommended price of $1,429,000 the agent may price it at $1,450,000 or $1,395,000 depending on market conditions at the time, time of year, and amount of competition.Optimal Pricing is Set By The MarketI'm of the opinion that pricing spot on is the best way to go, especially in Los Altos. You'll get more offers and a better (0 comments)
How is your website rated? - 09/29/10 01:36 PM
I ran across this post this morning and immediately tried the site to see what results I would get. They're extremely useful. But, as with all free services, I did some research to see what else I could find. Here are a few more sites to help grade your website:
Grade My SEO This site is more basic than the Hubspot site which is good to get started. You won't get overwhelmed by starting here.
Smart PageRank This site checks to see where you rank in the broad scheme of things.
Via Pinnacle Residential Properties: HubSpot's Website Grader is (5 comments)
CRM: Unlock your inner top producer! - 09/26/10 07:31 PM
I read an article a few days about and the concept of CRM was mentioned along with contact management software. I had to cringe a little because unfortunately in this business, that's what many view CRM as - contact management and managing your sphere.
CRM IS NOT CONTACT MANAGEMENT CRM (Customer Relationship Management) goes way beyond that. It's actually a set of business processes to attract, manage, and retain clients. Too often the focus is on one of those three, but not all three at once. What's often also left out are the elements of customer service and marketing. The (2 comments)
Squatters in mansions? Say it isn't so! - 09/24/10 05:47 PM
I read an article on MSNBC about squatters living in mansions in high-end areas of cities such as Seattle, St. Louis, Chicago and Los Angeles. The focus of the article was Randy Quaid (of National Lampoons Vacation fame) who was "squatting" in a home he used to own in Montecito, California.Normally, the issue of squatting is the domain of low-end homes and areas where there are so many vacant homes it's hard to keep track of who owns what. The problem still exists and in some cases the occupants are quite open about it, even being interviewed in local news stories (2 comments)
This is just a quick tip for those folks out there that have smartphones of varying types. If you're like me, you're often at open houses, client meetings, etc where wi-fi may not be available for your laptop. Some companies will recommend getting a wireless broadband card for your laptop supplied by Verizon, AT&T, etc. DON'T!! You'll pay $40/mo for a 250MB plan on Verizon or $35/mo for a 200MB plan on AT&T. Why spend hundreds of dollars per year on wireless broadband for your laptop when you alreay have a (3 comments)
Hot New Properties in Los Altos 9/21 - 09/21/10 02:45 PM
1450 MONTCLAIRE PLACE, Los Altos 94024 MLS# 81046289 Listing Agent: Kathy Bridgman, Alain Pinel Realtors List Price: $2,749,000 Days On Market: 1 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 4 1/2 Living space: 4,957 Lot size: 10,170 SqFt Age: 5 Bryan's Opinion: This home was listed last year for $2,895,000 (started at $3,185,000) and didn't sell. It was a difficult market in this price range last year. Located in the Highlands Neighborhood, this home is large for the area and at the top end of the price range. It's larger than homes on similar sized lots in the Country Club area which makes it a (1 comments)
Mythbuster! How much does a Realtor really make? - 09/19/10 10:28 PM
After reading about the agent who wanted to know if she should quit the business after 9 months, as well as the myriad other articles on how to succeed in this business, I thought I'd write about the image problem we seem to face in this industry.
MYTH #1 - I'm rich (AKA "I made $20,000 commission on that house and kept it ALL!") Otherwise known to clients as "You make a lot of commissions" and other similar fantasies TRUTH: While there are some rich Realtors, most are not. Worse yet, rich is relative. Making $100,000 in gross commissions may (7 comments)
A first-hand look at the real Realtors Property Resource - 09/18/10 04:12 PM
The First Major MLS with RPR I am a member/user of MLS Listings which is the first large-scale MLS to roll out the Realtor Property Resource (RPR) database. As many of you know, this has been a huge project by undertaken by the NAR. The database will include all the information we have now via the MLS as well and details on tax records, property history, schools, demographics and more. The potential use of this data includes comparing different areas based on the search requirements of our clients. As a tool, this goes above and beyond what is available in end-user (4 comments)
The surprising people you'll see at an open house - 09/16/10 12:54 PM
An article on MSNBC yesterday said over half of New York City open house shoppers weren't in the market for a home at all. In fact, they were out looking for free food, decorating tips, and looking on their neighbors closets. That got me thinking about the sorts of people agents in Silicon Valley see. As it turns out, we have quite the cast of characters including thieves, spies, amateur remodelers and decorators, moochers, dreamers, and more. It's even more fun when law enforcement gets involved as has been the case with a few open house visitors. The scariest visitor we (6 comments)
Hot New Properties in Los Altos 9/15 - 09/15/10 06:09 PM
252 FRANCES DRIVE, Los Altos 94022MLS# 81045081Listing Agent: Lynn North, Alain Pinel RealtorsList Price: $3,099,000Days On Market: 2Bedrooms: 4Bathrooms: 3 (plus 2 more 1/2 baths)Living space: 3,342Lot size: 12,600 SqFtAge: 4
Bryan's Opinion: This last sold in 2006 for $3.07 million so the current price shows how well Los Altos is holding up compared to other markets. This neighborhood is great with lots of new/newer construction, walking distance to town, and a quiet street. Since this is relatively new, it commands a premium over similarly sized properties priced lower. This is very close to my where I used to live (0 comments)
Stronger markets, better banks, fewer foreclosures - 09/15/10 01:00 PM
Negative Media SpinThe local media is back in the habit of negative spin with the SJ Mercury News publishing a headline entitled "Silicon Valley foreclosure data: signs of stress, but some improvement". The first line states that hundreds of homeowners fell behind but foreclosures increased. Nice start to a story guys. Knowing that most people just read the first couple of lines in a story, it's no wonder people think we're in trouble.Positive RealityHowever, in reading the article we find that default notices were down a whopping 36.7% in August as compared to August 2009. That's a huge reduction! In addition, (0 comments)
Hot New Properties in Los Altos Hills 9/14 - 09/14/10 05:51 PM
14176 Stanford Court, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022MLS# 81045160Listing Agent: Ellen Barton, Coldwell BankerList Price: $3,288,000Days On Market: 3Bedrooms: 5Bathrooms: 4 1/2Living space: 4,280Lot size: 61,419 SqFtAge: 22
Bryan's Opinion: This home offers Palo Alto schools which is a popular option for buyers in Los Altos Hills. This is very close to another recent listing on Mir Mirou in Los Altos Hills and a relative bargain compared to that one. While the area and location are good I'd like to see a more contemporary kitchen at this price. (2 comments)
Local schools even better, home values up? - 09/14/10 05:02 PM
We all know that school scores boost property values and reduce inventory. Guess what, the Los Altos School District is #1 in the area with a new district-wide API score of 965! Within our district, Bullis Charter School in Los Altos is the 9th highest scoring elementary school in the state with a score of 988. To get the latest scores I highly recommend visiting www.greatschools.org.Los Altos is #1With the Los Altos School District the best in the local luxury home markets (in particular, better than Las Lomitas or Palo Alto Unified), how will this drive sales and pricing of homes (0 comments)
Los Altos Open House Report: Patterns and Trends - 09/13/10 05:05 PM
I held open two homes this weekend; one priced at $2.7 million in Cupertino and the other at $2.5 million in Los Altos. Both were very nice homes, comfortable and casual living, and priced reasonably for their respective markets and locations.Patterns: Who Are The BuyersThe traffic was average on both days but the types of buyers was similar across the board. Here are the types of buyers I see:- Upgrade buyers moving from a slightly lower priced neighborhood, even within Los Altos, who are considering upgrading from the $1.5 million range to about the $2.5 million.- Relocation buyers who have been (0 comments)
Hot New Properties in Los Altos 9/9 - 09/09/10 05:14 PM
623 Benvenue Ave, Los Altos, CA 94024MLS# 81044310Listing Agent: Pam Blackman, InteroList Price: $2,398,000Days On Market: 1Bedrooms: 5Bathrooms: 3 1/2Living space: 3,255Lot size: 11,088 SqFtAge: 59 Bryan's Opinion: This street and area is extremely popular because it's so close to town (walking distance) and there is a lot of new construction. A larger house on a smaller lot 2 doors down the street sold in May for $2.75 million. 900 Madonna Way, Los Altos, CA 94024MLS# 81044456Listing Agent: Charlene Sawe, Sereno GroupList Price: $2,295,000Days On Market: 0Bedrooms: 4Bathrooms: 2 1/2Living space: 2,957Lot size: 9000 SqFt Age: 40
Bryan's (2 comments)
Living in Los Altos: Little known resources you need to know - 09/07/10 02:29 PM
There are a lot of resources available online to learn about everyday life and history in Los Altos. Some are better than others but all should be referenced every so often just to make sure you're not missing anything.Neighborhood InformationLos Altos Neighborhood Network (LANN) - This monthly newsletter offers insights into events and activities around the city. It has been around for about 10 years and offers an online archive of past newletters free of charge. Current newletters require a modest $20 subscription fee.The newsletter offers links to other resources including civic services, utilities, schools, communications, transportation (school routes and bike (0 comments)
301 Redirect: Quick and easy guide to SEO gold - 09/06/10 06:19 PM
I'd like to thank everyone who read my article on using multiple domain names as a method of SEO. As I've gotten more into gobbling up domains and reading posts from other bloggers, I found that something was missing from that last post. So, I offer this follow up.
301 Redirect - What is it? It's a method of taking someone from one URL (e.g. www.losaltoshomesforsale.com) and directing them to another site (e.g. www.bryanrobertsonhomes.com) so that you can capture people doing specific searches and direct them to your site. The site being directed from is usually a vanity site used (14 comments)
Owning a lot of domains: the untold story of SEO and SEM - 09/05/10 06:17 PM
I read two articles recently. The first written by Richard Weisser entitled "My name is Richard and I'm a domain name addict..." and the second written by Renee Burrows entitled "What are the benefits of owning so many domain names" Owning a lot of domains helps but I really wasn't getting a clear idea of why and how. Renee did outline the benefits and some of the why but I wanted more detail. I guess my curiousity is insatiable. So, here's what I found out after doing some research on the topic. Buy domains to drive traffic (duh!) Select domains such (69 comments)
The San Antonio Hills neighborhood in Los Altos, California - 09/04/10 12:52 PM
Los Altos Neighborhood Spotlight - San Antonio HillsWhere Is It?This prime area of Los Altos is actually unincorporated Santa Clara County land. The borders are Foothill Expressway, Magdelena Avenue, Ravensbury Avenue, and Permenente Creek.Types of Homes and LandMost homes in the area are new or newer and in a variety of styles from Mediterranean to contemporary. There are a lot of custom home styles that stand out including Cape Cod, Carmel-cottage, French Provincial. Home sizes start as small as a few hundred square feet to 6000+. Lot sizes tend to be larger than Los Altos standard with many lots in the (0 comments)
Hot New Properties in Los Altos Hills - 09/03/10 05:38 PM
27040 Old Trace Lane, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022MLS# 81042917Listing Agent: Mary and Brent Gullixson, Alain Pinel RealtorsList Price: $24,950,000Days On Market: 4Bedrooms: 6Bathrooms: 6 1/2Living space: 14,855Lot size: 3.394 acresAge: 20
Bryan's Opinion: This is one of the most beautiful estates in Los Altos Hills and among the more expensive ones as well.
13914 Mir Mirou Drive, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022MLS# 81043038Listing Agent: Gary Campi, Campi PropertiesList Price: $6,450,000Days On Market: 4Bedrooms: 5Bathrooms: 4 1/2Living space: 5,524Lot size: 2.37 acresAge: 28
Bryan's Opinion: Close to the Palo Alto Hills Country Club and very private. It's (0 comments)
Hello Los Altos! Can you hear me now? - 09/02/10 03:08 PM
Our poor town is having such a hard time actually embracing the 21st century. Once again, we've got neighbors complaining about someone who wants to install a new Verizon transmission tower in the San Antonio Hills neighborhood. This new 55 foot tower would be placed along with 3 others in a residential neighborhood.I'm sorry, but are all these neighbors using AT&T service? Have they tried to make a call in Los Altos on Verizon? Verizon does not have a strong presence in Los Altos and they need the signal boost. It's ridiculous that I get 1 bar in a town filled (0 comments)
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