STEALTH SITES - ETHICS VIOLATION? OR PROFIT CENTER?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Success Realtors brokered by eXp Realty WI 55262-090

Over the past several weeks I have had several posts and comments on posts referring to my STEALTH SITE.

Including How to handle FAKE leads (and the people that sent them)  and One of the BEST TOOLS - The STEALTH SITE

I can't say I am not surprised at the number of negative comments I have received from people saying that I can't or shouldn't do that. That it is unethical, or forbidden, or whatever other excuse they have.

Jim and GARY were both quick to say I was doing something wrong, and quote the bylaws. First of all, let me say I do appreciate their feedback, I think it's good that we have healthy discussion, that being said, if you have your broker name and state of licensure on the web page, you are good to go.

There are also those who say stealth sites and drip campaigns don't work any more. This simply isn't true. You have to be EXTREMELY POLITE with your follow up, and ask for permission for continued follow up, but if you do, you will create good prospects.

This is nothing new to me, anytime I do anything that gets results, I noticed there is a certain "doughnut eating" element of the real estate industry that likes to put down anybody else's ideas for fear they will have to get up off their chair and actually do something to earn their living. These people are generally resentful of innovators, producers, and of others that have idea's and attempt to put them to use.

I will be the first to admit, that most of my idea's fail. But than again the same can be said about most of EDISON's Ideas. Edison once said (I am paraphrasing and not quoting) "I didn't see the 9999 times that my lightbulb didn't work as failures, but as successes in learning yet another way that would not work"

When I first started working as a loan officer, I was criticized by real estate agents for helping FSBO's. I was told I was making it harder for them to get business by competing with them. The truth was... I was doing the opposite. I was generating and incubating leads for the few agents who were actually loyal to me. I had dozens of ideas and programs that I implemented, many of which I still use today. I was often surprised at how reluctant agents were to learn new ideas, or think outside the box. I became so frustrated that I got my real estate license to implement my ideas, originally thinking I would still generate business and give it to agents, who would in turn give me loans. I now sell more real estate than most of the agents I started out trying to get business from, and still in the real estate community both locally and here on ACTIVE RAIN, the masses look for reasons why idea's won't work.

I have learned that there are NO MAGIC SECRETS in real estate. I can share my idea's with everybody and it won't hurt my business or production at all for two reasons.

REASON #1 - People are LAZY. -  You can tell them step by step how to create a million dollar business, and even if it's a proven successful business plan, they will not put forth the effort to implement it.

REASON #2 - There IS enough business to go around! - Because of reason #1, there are only a few agents that will do what it takes to make it. They will do the same things you are doing whether you share information with them or not, and there is enough business for the good agents to all make a good living. Sharing will only speed up the process for them, and for you, as they also share their ideas.

 My stealth sites are ethical, comply with rules and laws AND are effective.

Here is a screen shot of one:

MY STEALTH SITE

You will notice the disclaimer at the top of the page, giving brokers name and state of licensure.

Here is a bit of advice for any newbie, or anyone wanting to take their business to the next level...

Never take advice from someone who's rear end is the same shape as their chair. It' didn't get that way overnight.

Ingore the NAY SAYERS and the NERVOUS NELLIES and the DONUT EATERS in our business, and go out and make some money!

Posted by

Ralph D. Nudi

CEO

Success Realtors

 

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Rainer
7,238
Tom Rasmussen
RE/MAX Action - Saint Charles, IL

I just attended a Tom Ferry Seminar.  It was awesome.  One of things he discussed that I'm going to implement is a stealth website.  He used losfelizmls.com as an example which was done by successwebsite.com.  I think it's a great idea.  Everything I've been hearing lately is more content.  That's exactly what stealth sites are all about.  They're all about providing the customer information.  We're past all the I'm #1 in the Universe sites.  Comply with the rules and make $$$$$$.

 Great Post. 

Jul 26, 2007 12:37 PM #48
Rainer
8,715
Agent Stealth
Real Estate Lead Generation - White Rock, BC

Thats cool Tom. Once you put your system into play, it does the work for you. It is a must have tool for the internet real estate age.

Jul 26, 2007 05:11 PM #49
Rainer
26,590
Darren Orshoff
Team Orshoff - All things Riverside Real Estate - Riverside, CA
The Key To Your Home™

I am all about doing the unusual to succeed.  I, like you, have never listened to people who said that it can't or shouldn't be done.  Do it.  As long as you are not hurting anyone or violating any law go for it.

Dol or do not there is no try!

Jul 26, 2007 06:07 PM #50
Rainer
8,234
Marcella (Marcy) Hanson
Tracy, CA
Notary
This Stealth site. How does it work? I did not get a chance to read your first blog regarding it. I have to agreed with you on lazy realtors.
Jul 26, 2007 07:47 PM #51
Rainer
301,220
Vicente A. Martinez
Prudential Douglas Elliman Licensed Real Estate Salesperson - Woodhaven, NY
Realtor, Brooklyn - Long Island - Queens Homes
I have buyer and seller stealth sites and they work great for me. I really don't spend much money advertising them either, I just make sure I include a UPS (Unique Seller Proposition) to all my current advertising, outgoing emails, blog posts, voicemail recording, etc., I  just make sure that it gets seen by prospective buyers and sellers. I also make sure they are provided with the information they request and I see it as a win win situation.
Aug 22, 2007 06:23 AM #52
Rainer
45,511
Stephen Joos & Chris Brubaker- HouseFront
HouseFront - Denver, CO
Great idea, stealth sites can really work well if done right.  I really like your two reasons why you share your advice with everyone, makes so much sense, thanks.
Aug 22, 2007 08:41 AM #53
Rainmaker
316,151
James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move

I dont see anything wrong with them.  In my market, we must disclose the name of the broker, address and phone number at the bottom - but who cares?  The cost is minimal and if done correctly - why not?

 

Aug 22, 2007 08:57 AM #54
Rainmaker
393,501
BILL CHERRY
Bill Cherry, Realtor - Dallas, TX
Broker & Wealth Coach

I joined the Agent Stealth site of Scott Sanderson at the first of this month.  I have all of Dallas.

These sites that are owned by a third party, and the lead is provided by them to a broker, I don't see as that is any different than running into someone at the golf course who tells me Joe's getting ready to buy a new home, and perhaps I ought to give him a call.

And the reason I don't is because there isn't any difference.  I identify myself when I make the contact calling Joe's friend.  I would certainly do the same thing with the Agent Stealth lead.  Until then, the whole process so far is moot.

Below Scott has done a great job of rebutting a misunderstanding I had of how long it takes the things to work.  I have edited that stuff out of this comment.

 

Aug 22, 2007 11:08 AM #55
Rainer
8,715
Agent Stealth
Real Estate Lead Generation - White Rock, BC

Hey Bill, I appreciate you referring to me as a nice guy :) With Complete Respect to you, you ordered the system from us and we setup your system only 7 Days ago on the  8/15/07. I'm sure you just had a typo. 

Our systems are built by hand and take time for internet integration.  Just like any website out there, it will take time for natural organic search results. The larger the city you live in, it is most likely that it will take longer for websites to organically rise to the top and be be found by browsing buyers and sellers. Working in a city the size of Dallas Texas can have its advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantage are that it can be hard to get in the spotlight. It can take longer to be seen and possible extensive advertising to be seen by all the buyers and sellers because there are so many people in the same line as you.  The Advantage of being in a big city is that once you are in that light and you have paid the dues of time or marketing or whatever it takes for you to get in the light, you are exposed to a lot more people which means that you have a lot more potential business.

Whatever lead system or methods that anyone uses, make sure you do something active that exposes yourself or your systems to the right audience. It does not have to cost you a lot of money. Try thinking as if you were the buyer or seller. Sure, you could go out and spend heavy amount of money on marketing and advertising but there are other ways as well. If you go on our site, you can find some other ways to advertise to get some exposure in the meantime. Start "Name-Dropping"your stealth websites in public online or offline areas and you will find your way to success.

Scott

 

Aug 22, 2007 11:39 AM #56
Rainmaker
434,606
Adam Brett
The Adam and Eric Group - Fullerton, CA
The Adam and Eric Group, Fullerton's Finest
I feel that misrepresentation or false advertising - even if it is within the law will hurt business more than it helps.
Aug 22, 2007 04:17 PM #57
Anonymous
Undisclosed, Chattanooga Tennessee

I see some of you are using Craig Proctor's branded and unbranded sites. Open up your wallet. (You also were likely sucked into his 12K a year "coaching program.) Proctor's branded site is completely ADD ... you'd think you had a 100 lightbulbs popping off in your face when you hit one of his cloned sites. Too busy is an understatement. His unbranded is better, but again you're going to get hosed for cost. PLUS, there is no ancillary program to drive leads to the site ... you have to do that yourself. In Proctor's antiquated world that means running "small inexpensive classified ads" using .com redirects like chicagohomevalues.com or the like. 

Your BETTER value is to check out Web Agent Solutions. They offer a branded and unbranded combo for $150 per month, and you can also have them run a AdWords/Overture campaign to drive leads to you. Those leads can be set to autoload into Top Producer 7i, and also send you a text notification to your phone. Remember, you need to follow up with incoming leads within 10 minutes or they go stale. You can also run a e mail drip campaign out of the back end of WAS, and you can further  customize the reports that get mailed out.  

 Something missing from many unbranded sites I see you guys using is a place for a phone number so you can call a prospect back and, using a script, get a face to face meeting with them. Otherwise, all you're going to be able to do is a mindless e mail drip campaign. So what about those scripts? Admittedly, Proctor does have a good universal call back script. There are others out there as well. 

The next thing you should consider is signing up for Top Agent Toolbox which is  the brainchild of Jeff Wilheims. Blows Proctor's stuff out of the water ... many of Craig's coaching members on up into Platinum have dumped him for TATB. And at a FRACTION of the cost I might add ... about $100 a month (vs. a cool G with Craig.) PLus, they have TONS of downloadable and customizable marketing materials.

 Good luck to you all. 

  

Mar 05, 2008 09:33 AM #58
Rainmaker
1,712,640
Sam Miller
RE/MAX Stars Realty - Howard, OH
Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist

Ralph - I appreciate your post and I am also an avid stealth user.  I understand a few of the points made by other members but I think deep down they are missing the point of what a stealth site is doing...it is a low pressure way of marketing something without all the agent bling.  You or your company are marketing that you are offering automated listings by e-mail for example...any REALTOR and any real estate brokerage who has a computerized MLS can do this.  If your state or NAR requires your name to appear on the site...big deal, just toss it below your main graphic on the main page. 

The point I am wanting others to see is that your marketing will generate interest and with interest you have the ability to gain leads or inquires.  If you ran an image advertisement saying visit my website because I am the greatest REALTOR in my market you would NEVER get the same level of traffic that this advertisement would "Get The Newest Real Estate Listings By E-Mail" or "Real Estate Listings Instantly By E-mail" or "See The Homes You Want By E-mail Without Speaking To An Agent".  The reason stealth works is because you are giving the client the information that they want when THEY want it.  If they appreciate the information you have provided them you may have gained a client.

Happy Selling!

Mar 05, 2008 12:49 PM #59
Rainmaker
272,575
Ross Quintana
Real E Smarter - Spokane, WA
Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966
good points I will make sure and have those three things on all of my sites
Mar 09, 2008 07:25 PM #60
Rainer
12,877
Dick Winefield
NH Real Estate Exchange - Nashua, NH

non-branded sites are a great source of business and is just a different way of promoting your services and not your image. As long as it complies with state law there is no issue. If the prospect feels violated they will ask you not to contact them anymore. If they do well you probably dont want to work with them anyway,

Jul 26, 2008 05:05 PM #61
Anonymous
Richard

Very good and to the point. We have had our BEST year ever this year in 2008. Mainly by trying new things.

Jan 11, 2009 01:55 AM #62
Anonymous
Anonymous

As an Internet Marketing Specialist I always like to come here and read what agents have to say and.......Ralph you are dead on on everything.  I especially like the LAZY part.  I speak with hundreds of agents everyday and they all think the internet won't work because they all expect to throw up a website, do nothing and they should generate business!  It is the Marketing side of the Internet that is what makes the hard working agents most successful!  Good luck to all!

P.S.  If any of you want some free marketing tips do not hesitate to call me!  (Now this is Marketing)

Thomas Blair

800-899-8148 ext 7221

Jan 23, 2009 08:24 AM #63
Rainmaker
197,183
Clayton Bonjean
Mainsail Realty Company - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Broker | Owner | MBA

Ralph,

Stealth Sites don't work, pay per cick does not work, and, drip email is a wast of time and money! LOL. 

Everyone look at the top producers in your market and I bet you will notice one thing with the majority of these agents.  "A STRONG INTERNET PRESENCE"

GREAT POST!!

Sep 29, 2009 02:46 AM #64
Rainer
849,183
Allen F. Hainge
AFH Seminars - Reston, VA
CRS

Ralph:  Well stated, my friend.

For those who think they are sneaky, underhanded, don't work, it's important to have YOU featured, etc.:

Sorry, but you're wrong.  Not my opinion but rather the results obtained by my CyberStars(r), 213 top agents from the US, Canada, Australia and the Bahamas.  A majority of them use stealth sites by Real Pro Systems.  The amount of leads they get for the (automatic) followup system and the amount of buyers/sellers they close from them are, frankly, astounding.

As for state rules, regs, the stealth site makers follow the rules.  Check any of the RPS sites and you'll see that's true.

Folks, there's a revolution going on in real estate...and it has been going on for awhile.  In case you haven't noticed, the consumer wants information and does not really care about you that much, at least until the face-to-face contact is made.  Stealth sites and blogs are the best tools I have seen for bringing this about.

It's a great day here on the lake in Reston...hope it's a great day wherever you are, too!

Allen F. Hainge, CRS

Senior Instructor, CRS 206 Technology Course

Check out Allen's ebook, "Digital Essentials for Today's Agent," here.

Sep 29, 2009 02:59 AM #65
Rainer
849,183
Allen F. Hainge
AFH Seminars - Reston, VA
CRS

Ken wrote: "I like to think that if I spend the money on my website, that I would spend on a stealth sites i would get the same results."

Sorry, Ken, but I disagree, again based on data from my CyberStars(R).  Everyone should have a good, deep, consumer-oriented Web site....they should also invest in stealth sites, especially those with a built-in automatic followup system.  They really bring in the leads, and they stay in touch with prospects w/out any work on your part.  Very good ROI

Adam wrote: "I feel that misrepresentation or false advertising - even if it is within the law will hurt business more than it helps."

Oh, Adam...this makes me sad.  You are not alone in the respondents who are missing the forest because of the trees.  No false advertising at all, as has been pointed out many times in this thread.  Your success depends on letting the largest number of people you can know who you are, what you do for a living and seeing if they need your services.  Web sites, especially stealth sites do this to the nth degree.  Get with it, my friend....and use the technology that works for the heavy hitters such as Sam Miller, one of my CyberStars(R) who mentioned in this thread that he uses them and swears by them.  If you can open up a bit to new ideas, you might email Sam and ask him how many prospects his stealth sites put in his pipeline and are now automatically hearing from him regularly....

More on stealth sites, including a contribution from Sam, in my new eBook, "Digital Essentials For Today's Agent."  Don't mean to be promoting it overtly, but a number of the respondents here really need to read this book to see what today's technology, including stealth sites, is doing for them.

It's a beautiful day here on the lake in Reston...hope it's a great day wherever you are, too!

Allen F. Hainge, CRS

Senior Instructor, CRS 206 Technology Course

 

Sep 29, 2009 04:13 AM #66
Rainer
334,174
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

ralph do u still use iprocenter.com? tell me more about it

May 14, 2011 07:26 PM #67
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