Cool Stuff to Check Out

1.  Fortune Magazine had a great piece in last month’s edition proclaiming that it’s now time to buy real estate.  It’s a powerful statement that needs to be read by anyone sitting on the fence waiting for the market to bottom out.  Here is a link:  Fortune Magazine Article.

2. Last week, McCoy and I ran into Lance Holliday, who is marketing a really great twist on the real estate name badge.  His company is Next Wave LED and they’ve taken the standard name badge, made it a little thicker (it’s a little less than half an inch thick) and added an LED screen.  The whole thing attaches to your shirt, jacket or lapel with a magnetic clasp.  You load it up with video or slide shows that you easily create on your computer and then it plays them on a continuous loop when you wear the ‘badge.’  It’s bright, flashy and demands to be noticed.  Really:  Ron and I saw the badge on Lance across a hotel lobby and finally had to go over and ask, ‘what the heck is that?’  I could see loading it up with virtual tours or just beauty scenes of the local market, interspersed with frequent Help-U-Sell Logos.

You know, I was one of the first Century 21 franchisees in Georgia back in 1976.  I know – ancient history.  But we had this great tool back then that caused people to walk up to us and talk real estate:  the gold coat.  I know it was ugly, but it worked.  I picked up buyers while pumping gas and at the grocery store and one Sunday sold two houses in a new subdivision just because I had the thing on.  The jacket made me instantly visible and recognizable.  I think the badge could do the same today.  They sell for about $150 and are rechargeable (it will run for about 8 hours between charges).  Here is a link to a promotional website:  Next Wave LED.  You can reach Lance at 909-629-7500

3.  Broker Retreat is now set for November 14 – 16 in Anaheim, right after the NAR convention.  We’ll start at 1 on Monday the 14th and end around noon on the 16th.  Host hotel will be the Hotel Menage, which is just across the freeway from Disneyland.  The hotel is newly renovated, the rooms are very nice and I believe they will do a good job with our meeting.  Our room rate is $89 a night.

We’re looking for volunteers to help work on the program.  We need some brainstorming around themes, program structure and roundtable topics.  Please get in touch if you’re willing and able to help.  Right now (like today), we need help with the name.  We’re thinking ‘Broker Retreat’ might have been ok in the past, but this is 2011 and our brokers are NOT retreating.  So what is this?  A ‘Business Conference?’ ‘Family Reunion?’

4.  Last week, Groupon got its first ad from a real estate broker.   For $25, the consumer got a certificate for $1,000 cash at closing on a listing or sale.  There were a couple of restrictions (minimum price, $150,000 and closing within a year). By the time the deal ended, 219 people had taken the deal and paid the $25 – which is about as solid a loyalty commitment as I’ve ever heard.  It cost him NOTHING to run this promotion.  Groupon gets paid out of the $25, so essentially, this was free marketing for the broker.  Yes, it’s ok to get really excited about this and to start looking around for Groupon’s website BUT:  please be careful.  I am not certain, but the $25 up front cost may be a problem in some States.  So, if you want to do this be sure to check it out legally first. Here’s a link to the Ad so you can see it for yourself:  Groupon.

5.  Be sure to tune in for the Broker Roundtable call tomorrow at 11am Pacific.  Scott Feldman, VP at Listingbook, will be joining us to talk about their excellent program and to roll out a very interesting new client development tool.  See you then!

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