Friday, January 18, 2008

Viral Video Marketing

Dan Ackerman Greenberg , of the The Comotion Group posted an interesting guest blog on TechCrunch a while ago on how to make your video go viral. Although some of his recommendations are a little too nefarious for my tastes, I do plan to implement some of the more direct approaches into my promotion of the RedX expired listing and FSBO lead generation system for real estate agents.

Overall, Ackerman claims to be successful in turning a video viral in just a few days, and shoots for at least 50,000 downloads. His techniques are as follows:
“Content is NOT King”

  • Make it short: 15-30 seconds is ideal; break down long stories into bite-sized clips

  • Design for remixing: create a video that is simple enough to be remixed over and over again by others. Ex: “Dramatic Hamster”

  • Don’t make an outright ad: if a video feels like an ad, viewers won’t share it unless it’s really amazing. Ex: Sony Bravia

  • Make it shocking: give a viewer no choice but to investigate further. Ex: “UFO Haiti”

  • Use attention-grabbing headlines: make the viewer say, “Holy xxxx, did that actually happen?!” Ex: “Stolen Nascar”

  • Appeal to sex: if all else fails, hire the most attractive women available to be in the video. Ex: “Yoga 4 Dudes” "

Title Optimization
Post the video with a title that will grab attention and periodically change it if you are not getting enough traction.

Thumbnail Optimization
YouTube grabs the thumbnail from the middle of the video. Try to make the thumbnail contain a face, preferably a pretty female.

Commenting: Having a conversation with your circle
Make sure that all of your friends and colleagues are aware of the video and have a chance to comment, post. Ask them not to hold back on their opinions, a heated dialog creates attention.

Releasing all videos simultaneously
If you have a campaign, why make people wait to see the next installment?

Tag Strategically
I did not realize this, but YouTube uses the tags that you use to describe your video to populate the related content video block. If you have multiple videos, you can choose and obscure tag to make sure that all of your videos pop up when one is being viewed.

Metrics and Tracking
Dan recommended TubeMogul and VidMetrix both have the ability to submit your video to multiple online video networks with just one submission, and both have decent traffic tracking. TubeMogul seems to track with a couple more networks, but both are great tools.

Dan received a lot of negative feedback regarding his post, and has a much better description of his intention which he posted on his follow-up. Both the original post and the follow up are worth a read. Regardless, when the video marketing component of our RedX promotion comes online, I will be working to make the content viral.

TAGS: Redx, Dan Ackerman Greenberg, TechCrunch, Viral Video Marketing, Most Viewed YouTube, secrets of viral marketing, 20 million clicks, clandestine marketing

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Great Post From Joes Journal About Prospecting Expireds

I found a great blog from Joes Journal this evening that shares some great approaches to overcoming common objections from potential real estate clients. I have excerpted his approach to using expired listing leads below. He details a complete system on how to effectively prospect expired listing leads for real estate on his marketing system blog

What an expired listing client says:

This is just not a good time to sell my home because of the current market conditions.

What a skilled consultant would say:

Mr. and Mrs. Client, you sound very certain that the market conditions are not
right to sell your home. May I ask what is your source for that data and how
reliable has that source been for you in the past?

Here are several mindful questions you might ask a person whose listing has

  • What do you suppose will happen if you choose not to sell your home now?

  • If you do put your home back on the market with the same agent, what do you suppose will be the result of that choice?

  • Because marketing, conditions and price positioning are the three reasons a homes sells or does not sell, what do you imagine you will do differently when you re-list your home?

  • Imagine if you could create the perfect scenario – what would it look like, sound like and feel like for you?

  • How can you use what you have learned in the last six months to improve the chances of selling your home the next time you re-list?

  • Given what you have learned, what is the most obvious change you would make first, the next time you re-list your home?

  • As you think about whom you will re-list your home with, what are some things that will be important to you in your next relationship with an agent?

  • How do you know the characteristics you’re looking for in an agent are the right ones to achieve your goals?

What is Reframing?

When reframing a belief or idea, it is important to change the context so the listener has more choices and options regarding how to look at things. It’s like using a different lens to get a wider perspective on the picture before you.

Reframing Client Objections

You should anticipate client objections. Below are different ways you can reframe a client’s objections using dialogues containing magic words and mindful questions.

Client Objection: This is not the right time to sell a home.

We want to wait until prices go up!

Example #1

YOU: Are you saying in general it is not the right time to sell a home or are you saying it’s not the right time to sell your home?

CLIENT: I’m saying the market is slow; it is not a good time for anyone to sell.

YOU: Well, it’s more accurate to say that people who are clearly focused on what is important about selling will be successful in selling a home in today’s market. May I ask you what is important about selling your home to you?

(Now go seven levels deep.)

Client Objection: This is not the right time to sell a home. We want to wait until prices go up!

Example #2

YOU: That could be true for some people without certain goals. Now for those who have a goal like your five, six, and seven, this may be the perfect time to go for it.

Example #3

YOU: Every coin has two sides to it. For example, in the price range of $250,000, prices have dropped about 10 percent and in the $400,000 range, they have dropped 10 percent. So now, when you sell your $250,000 home you get $25,000 less but when you buy the $400,000 house you pay $40,000 less, so that is a net gain of $15,000.

Example #4

YOU: If I said that it is a good time to go for your five, six, and seven, and if I could show you that in the last 60 days, 49 people within five square miles of your home have sold their home, would that mean I’m lying to you?

Specifically, what proof would you need to know that your thoughts that you can’t sell right now are just not true and it is the right time for you to go for your five, six, and seven?

Example #5

YOU: Wow, you sound so confident in your information! Did you actually try to sell your home within the last 60 days to arrive at that conclusion, or are you repeating something you heard from the TV, newspaper or a neighbor?

Example #6
YOU: Well, if you really want to know who should not be selling their home, it’s the people who are either not serious about moving or the ones who owe more on it than it’s worth. Which category do you fit into?

Example #7
YOU: So, are you saying that every seller who is listed now should just quit and take it off the market?

Example #8

YOU: I know the current market situation really seems like a big deal today…and maybe that’s the problem. Just for the fun of it, imagine you and your family twenty years down the road. You look back to this day when you had the opportunity to sell your house and make your next investment. Within this context is the current market situation the most important factor in making your decision to re-list now?

Example #9
YOU: I know you believe that this is not the right time to sell your home, but not everybody thinks this way. Many homeowners in your neighborhood have benefited from my skills as a consultant, negotiator, and overseer of transactional details during their home sale -- especially now. Why don’t you call this number and listen to what your neighbors have to say about selling their home under these market conditions?

Here is another example of an objection you may hear from a prospective client with several ways to reframe their perspective using magic words and mindful questions.

Client: Will you cut your commission or reduce your fees?

Example # 1

YOU: That is a good question. And before I could make that big of a decision, I would have to ask you a few thought-provoking questions, listen intently to your answers, and only after I clearly know what is important about selling to you, could I then better suggest how you can compensate me for my consulting, negotiating, and organizing of the details.

Example # 2

YOU: That is an interesting question. What it means to me is that you don’t think my skills of consulting, negotiating and organizing of all the transactional details are worth what I would charge you to make your five, six, and seven come true.

Example # 3

YOU: Mr. and Mrs. Seller, my goal is to make your five, six, and seven come true. Since we haven’t worked together before, how did you determine that my skills as a consultant, negotiator, and organizer of the transactional details are not worth making your making your five, six, and seven come true?

Example # 4
YOU: Your question reveals what you may not know about this current marketplace. What you really should be asking is ‘what bonus can we offer to get local agents more interested in showing my home to their best clients’. That way, we can make certain your five, six, and seven come true?

Example # 5

YOU: I’m glad you brought that up because it seems you really do care about getting the proper value from the services I offer. So I’m wondering, for what I’m asking you to compensate me, how much value do you want from me for making your five, six, and seven come true?”

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Four more ways to attract real estate buyers in this down market

I have posted the new rules of real estate survival a couple of times in this blog, and the basic rule is to secure as many listings as possible. However, I have not yet touched on the demand side of the equation. Sure, if you prospect effectively for expired listings you will have a selection of properties to offer the new demanding client, but where do you find that New Demanding Client?

1) Opportunistic investors: Although many feel that we have not yet hit bottom, the investment market is starting heat up again. Many real estate investors (including me) are looking for that next great deal, foreclosure, or short sale. For real estate agents that can help investors with the minutia of buying a property with less than full equity, there may still be business to be had. Consider marketing your services and expertise to the investment market, either for direct real estate services, or even consultation and guidance.

2) Movers looking for a deal: It is true that it is now a buyers market, but that does not mean that there are no more buyers. The truth is that in contrast to three years ago, buyers today have their choice of what to buy and who to buy it through. To capture the attention of these clients, position yourself as an aggressive savings manager with expertise in helping buyers get the best possible deal and the home of their dreams. As for attracting these clients, place ads, co-op market with your local coffee shop, fitness club and small businesses, and host how to buy foreclosure webinars and seminars.

3) Business relocation: If you haven’t explored the opportunities with relocation specialists that service the companies in your area, now may be the time to strike up a conversation. The internet, yellow pages, or HR department of your closest multinational may be able to connect you with the right people.

4) REO Specialist: Both on the buying and selling side, the agents that deal with the banks have a ready-made inventory on discountable properties. Loss mitigation departments may be able to help you out with a listing or two. Also, if you are familiar with the requirements of the banks to purchase REO, you can position yourself as a specialist for both the investor and the movers looking for a deal.

Finally, don’t forget about the 30% discount on Expireds from RedX.