ActiveRain MeetUp San Antionio: Effective Real Estate Marketing

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Services for Real Estate Pros with Trulia

Learn about Effective Real Estate Marketing from the ActiveRain MeetUp at the Texas Realtors Conference in San Antonio, TX in September 2012.

On a September Sunday morning, we had a GREAT ActiveRain MeetUp at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio during the Texas Realtors Conference.  We had a great group of active 'Rainers like Jerry Newman, Cathy Bureau, Brenda Mullen, and Sheila Moran.  In addition, we had some newer members of ActiveRain - David Goldwasser, John King, Scott Jauregui, and Patrick Hamann.  We had a GREAT time and discussed what is actually working for  everyone.

ActiveRain San AntonioBlogging, Blogging and More Blogging on ActiveRain:  Jerry, Brendan, Cathy and Sheila espoused the value of blogging to drive their business.  Brenda put it very well that, yes, blogging on ActiveRain can be work and you need to be consistent, BUT when you receive a lead or contact, that person is ready to work with you.  Chances are that the consumer has been reading your blog for some time and they have already researched you online.  Brenda had a hilarious story about getting a listing for a goat ranch that she is about to sell.  

Sheila actually had a different take on blogging.  Sheila is really focusing on B2B blogging, meaning she is spending more time blogging to speak to real estate agents and other local associations from whom she can get referrals.  Sheila is also using blogging about industry best practices as a way to RECRUIT real estate agents who want to learn or like her style.

Lead Generation: John started off the conversation.  John has increased his business 10x from 2011 to 2012 by advertising on Zillow, Trulia and RealEstate.com.   Everyone was amazed by John's results and happy for him.  We had a heated discussion on listing syndication where most felt it was not fair for Zillow and Trulia to sell leads off agent listings.   At the same, no one had a strong rationale for keeping listings off of Zillow, Trulia or any other site.  In the end, the group seemed to agree that more exposure is generally good for the home seller.  Several others at the table had used Zillow or Trulia and canceled their subscriptions.  The issues seemed to be centered around low lead quality, unrealistic buyer expectations, and the fact that most of the agents wanted to move their business from buyer focused to seller focused.  Neither Zillow or Trulia have a good product on the sell side.

Text to Lead:  Scott Jauregui said that he is having great results with a text-to-lead product from ePropertysites which is provided by his lender/mortgage broker.  Scott is getting 4-5 leads a day from people walking by the house and then texting for more information.  The home buyer receives a link to a mobile web site on the house.   (Market Leader has a similar product Text to Lead product as well.)   Scott gets a text message with the consumer's phone number which he can then forward on to a buyer's agent on his team.

Re-Targeting:  Patrick Hamann is working with ReachLocal on a Re-Targeting program.  Re-Targeting is a process where you can advertise to people that have already been on your web site.  Basically, your web site "cookies" the consumer and then ReachLocal or another advertiser serves up your banner ad when that consumer is searching elsewhere on the Internet.  Patrick is spending more than $250 per month on re-targeting and he says it is working.

Personal Cards / Mail:  In her wisdom, Cathy reminded us all that real estate is a "belly to belly" business where in-person networking is critical to success.  Cathy is using a service called SendOutCards.com to send birthday cards.  Basically she can pre-pay an account and then give her assistant some limited authority to send out personalized birthday cards to her past clients and sphere.  Less agents seem to be sending direct mail these days, so when you get a card in the mail, clients seem to appreciate it.

SmartZip: David Schneider of Goldwasser Real Estate in Austin recently started a campaign with SmartZip.  SmartZip is a California company that has identified the homes in an area that are more likely to move.  Based on what David says, the homes identified by SmartZip are 2x as likely to move than the other homes.  Seems like SmartZip executes direct mail campaign on your behalf driving the consumer back to a web site where you can capture the customer's email address.

Great stuff!  Great sharing.  Blogging, lead generation, texting, direct mail oh my! 

Do you have any feedback or experience with the above?

ActiveRain San Antonio

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Nikesh Parekh

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Rainmaker
1,316,820
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

What a great meet - up .  Thanks for sharing this event with the Active Rain Family. 

Sep 11, 2012 12:22 PM #7
Ambassador
632,820
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

This is always so cool to have group shots of ARainers.  Sounds like your effort was well worth it.

Sep 11, 2012 12:32 PM #8
Rainmaker
711,018
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

I love seeing the pictures of the Active Rain Meetups around the country.

Sep 11, 2012 01:05 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,077,478
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Niki, how great that you were able to connect IRL with some ActiveRain memberswhile you were at the TAR convention! Hope we get to meet you at FAR!

Sharon

Sep 11, 2012 01:52 PM #10
Rainmaker
186,601
Nikesh Parekh
Trulia - Bellevue, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

Thanks everyone!  

Cathy, great to see you too.  Good luck with SendOutCards.  Let me know how it goes!

Sep 11, 2012 01:53 PM #11
Rainmaker
2,573,579
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Great recap and sounds like there were some great ideas discussed.  I can see different methods working.

Like Cathy, we use SendoutCards.com and it has been great.  We send a thanks for meeting w/ me card the next day if the job hasn't closed and it tends to improve our close rate as it is another touch pt (and makes sure the customer has our contact info).  We also send a Happy Birthday to their floor at 1 yr anniversary and this tends to lead to more repeat & referral.  Occasionally, we send out other card campaigns (e.g. spring carpet cleaning coupon).  My asst manages this.  We should start collecting birthdays too.  Thx for the idea, Cathy.

Our franchise used to retargeting on the website saying it wasn't expensive. They did it nationwide, but they stopped this year as I guess it wasn't paying out for us.

Sep 11, 2012 08:26 PM #12
Rainer
407,684
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Nikesh,

Everyone is tackling their business a little differently, which means there is room for co-competitors, because not each approach will appeal to all potential clients.

Sep 11, 2012 10:56 PM #13
Ambassador
3,444,485
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Sounds like you had a Fantastic meet up with lots of learning involved, thanks for sharing what was learned!

Sep 11, 2012 11:03 PM #14
Ambassador
848,337
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Hi Niki-Great write up about a terrific time!  Meeting with you and the others gave me some great ideas for future lead generation and it's always nice to get together with other AR members and collaborate on things that are or are not working for our business.

Thank you so much for the T-Shirt and taking the time out to visit with us.  And my Giggling Goat Ranch is under contract...blog post soon to come lol :)!

I'm with Cathy...where's the video lol :)?

Sep 12, 2012 12:12 AM #15
Rainmaker
186,601
Nikesh Parekh
Trulia - Bellevue, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

Hey Brenda, Cathy, 

I watched most of the video.  The issue with the video is that there is a lot of background noise and you can't really see anyone clearly talking on the video.  Next time, we should "film" it and have people talk into the iPad versus having an iPad recording at the end of the table.

Live & learn!

Niki 

Sep 12, 2012 02:16 AM #16
Ambassador
1,069,911
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi Niki. This past weekend was indeed a "Big Highlight" in my business and personal relationship with other AR members. The TAR Conference was great, and so was your presentation at the TAR Explode on Monday morning. I was truly fortunate to have been able to join you again for lunch on Monday before you left San Antonio. Loved the T-Shirts, and will be posting something later.

It's always interesting to hear what others a doing to improve their businesses. Blogging has certainly been the biggest addition to my business this year. Now, to get into Video Blogging to increase my online presence in the area is Next.

I only wished now that I had shot a video during both of our meetings at the TAR Conference.

Sep 12, 2012 02:20 AM #17
Rainer
41,857
Joe LaVallie
HomeStreet Bank - Mountlake Terrace, WA
111363

Wow, good post.

Sep 12, 2012 03:09 AM #18
Rainmaker
186,601
Nikesh Parekh
Trulia - Bellevue, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

Jerry - you are too kind.  It was a really pleasure meeting you.  Stay consistent with your blogging and keep paying it forward on ActiveRain and in San Antonio.  Great things will come!!!

Sep 12, 2012 04:45 AM #19
Rainmaker
796,152
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team
Hi Nikesh Active Rain is creating a great networking function through these meetups. Thanks
Sep 12, 2012 08:55 AM #20
Ambassador
1,270,266
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

Oh, my!!!   How do we get Niki to come to our CT Meet ups?    How cool is that?   And, to spend the time discussing such worthwhile methods of prospecting!    

Join us next time, Niki!   We would love to see you, Bob, and Kerrie out here!

Sep 12, 2012 12:14 PM #21
Rainer
288,725
Nan Jester
Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery

Awesome suggestions. Glad you were willing to share them with us.

Sep 13, 2012 01:08 AM #22
Rainmaker
498,736
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

I love ActiveRain meetups!! This looks like a great turn out and a huge success, you can't go wrong when you get a bunch of smart, creative people together!!

Sep 13, 2012 02:37 AM #23
Rainer
3,194
Anthony Keeling
G R Bill Business Brokers - Lake Carmel, NY

You have shared some really wonderful marketing tips...

Sep 17, 2012 01:29 PM #24
Ambassador
2,714,715
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

There is nothing better than meeting the friends who live in our computers. Love the way everyone shared what works!

Margaret

Oct 26, 2012 01:29 PM #25
Rainmaker
530,621
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

Niki ~ Thanks again for sharing what looked like a very productive time for all who attended ... Planning to visit North or South Carolina in the near future??

Oct 27, 2012 04:54 AM #26
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Nikesh Parekh

Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor
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