Recently in Neighborhood Watch Category

The hottest housing market: Information

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Michelle Singletary:

In the real estate world, there was one word that used to be the cardinal rule: location, location, location.

Just about anybody -- the informed and uninformed -- could buy a house in a good location and easily make money by flipping, selling or refinancing the home, sometimes after just a short ownership.

That was then, before the Great Recession.

This is now, and the new cardinal rule of real estate is information, information, information.

"For decades, the real estate industry has operated under the principle that the less information buyers and sellers have, the better it is for agents, lenders, title companies, and all the other folks who eat from the trough," writes Ilyce Glink in "Buy, Close, Move In: How to Navigate the New World of Real Estate -- Safely and Profitably -- and End Up with the Home of Your Dreams." "But the real estate tide seems to be turning, as the housing and credit crises of 2008 have heightened awareness in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street about the catastrophic consequences of a closed information loop."

I have no doubt that many professionals in the real estate industry will take great exception to Glink's observation. But the evidence is on her side. We ended up in one of the worst housing market collapses because far too many borrowers were uninformed, ill-prepared and overly optimistic about potential gain because of bad information they received and gladly embraced.



Morgan Stanley 2.5MB PDF, Mary Meeker / Scott Devitt / Liang Wu:

  1. Wealth Creation / Destruction is Material in New Computing Cycles - Now in Early Innings of Mobile Internet Cycle, the 5th Cycle of Last Half Century.
  2. Mobile Ramping Faster than Desktop Internet Did and Will Be Bigger Than Most Think - 5 Trends Converging (3G + Social Networking + Video + VoIP + Impressive Mobile Devices).
  3. Apple Leading in Mobile Innovation + Impact, for Now - Depth of App Ecosystems + User Experience + Pricing Will Determine Long-Term Winners.
  4. Game-Changing Communications / Commerce Platforms (Social Networking + Mobile) Emerging Very Rapidly.
  5. Massive Data Growth Driving Carrier / Equipment Transitions.
  6. Growth / Monetization Roadmaps Provided by Japan Mobile + Desktop Internet.
Learn more about Virtual Properties' iPhone app here.

In Tight Market, Real Estate Agents Tout Eco Features

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Elizabeth Shogren:

With the real estate market still hurting across most of the country, a growing number of real estate agents, builders and homeowners are pitching the green features of properties to try to lure buyers.

But in much of the country, green buyers and sellers struggle to find each other. In most places, the listing services that realtors and appraisers use make it difficult to search for eco-friendly real estate.

And most buyers still put a higher value on location, price and traditional amenities than on environmentally friendly additions.

Green Sells Better If It Also Saves Money

Still, when real estate agent Jennifer Halm shows clients around the stately, historic-looking condominium building in the popular Old Town neighborhood of Alexandria, Va., she highlights the property's green features.

Main Street along with our unlimited use mapping services and broker branded iPhone app support eco searching and data display.

The Profit and Peril of Mashups

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

What is a "mashup"? According to this wikipedia entry, "In web development, a mashup is a web page or application that combines data or functionality from two or more external sources to create a new service."

Real estate brokers and agents may wish to take advantage of "free" internet api's (application programming interface). Websites such as flickr, facebook, youtube, yelp and many others offer programatic interfaces to their data and media.

What are the benefits of such API's?

  • Aggregate local information around properties for sale or rent.
  • Enhance your website "experience".
  • Avoid the cost of collecting and managing local information.
What are the costs and risks of using such API's?
  • Bad data. Automated information aggregators often lack local expertise. Information may be outdated; a long closed restaurant may still have a review on your website.
  • Inappropriate content. I created a Facebook demonstration for a client some time ago. The resulting page included an advertisement for Filipino Girls.
  • What motivates the data aggregator? Is their strategy aligned with yours?
  • Does the data make your site more generic?
  • Competitive stealth advertising on your site. Savvy competitors will figure this out and place their content on your site via the API's.
What are the alternatives to "mashups"?

Your agents have a wealth of local market knowledge. Hire or appoint a "blog-o-spondent" or "blogger-in-chief". This person creates and aggregates your own content (text, audio, video, maps) on your blog, around your website(s) and via appropriate social networks. Over time, agents and staff post directly and incorporate your listings, services and our unlimited use maps (for a fixed price). Create your own platform that emphasizes your brand. This approach improves recruiting, retention and internet marketing in ways that you control and at a much lower cost than traditional advertising.

Main Street reliably supports the tools you need, from blogs, dynamic short links, lead management, surveys and multimedia to market reports and live charting tools.

As always, there is no "free lunch".

Is 4% Enough For You?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Jay Deragon:

Many firms try and dominate their market via sales. They think sales is largely driven by the number of customers they can acquire.
Scott Morgan writes:
Budgets continue to be slashed. Brands are disappearing. Media is getting more fragmented. The only thing getting bigger is our federal deficit. So as a marketer, how do you capitalize on a world that is getting smaller in so many respects?

What marketers are starting to discover is that the target universe is smaller than originally thought. So small, in fact, that 4% of a brand's consumer base is driving most of the business. This deeper dive into audience targeting is what I call the 4% Factor. Simply stated, it is another level down from the typical 80/20 rule of prioritizing (80% drive, 20% of the business) because, well, everything is getting smaller.

So what do you do about it? Embrace it. Start thinking about ways to employ addressable media, digital media, one-to-one marketing and, of course, social media to reach that core 4% of consumers who have the greatest propensity to identify and recruit others to your brand franchise.

The 4% Factor goes well beyond a loyalty strategy -- it is a penetration strategy -- designed as a competitive approach to protecting and growing your business. Simply put, start smaller to get bigger faster. It also tends to be a much more sustainable approach than traditional strategies of casting a really wide net, going through trial and then hoping to retain a percentage of new customers.

Real Time Information Execution Benefits

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Don Sull:

Execution starts with when a team or organization forms a shared understanding of the market situation. A start-up's business plan and an established company's strategy are both examples of what I call mental maps, shared models that represent reality and serve to guide action. Mental maps can range from detailed plans in thick binders to a simple insight sketched on a cocktail napkin. Differences in form should not obscure similarity in role-all mental maps represent the environment, highlight important variables, and suggest a way forward.

Even the best mental map is an imperfect representation. Mental maps can only incorporate current knowledge, and exclude new insights that will only emerge in the future. Maps simplify a complex reality, thereby ignoring potentially important variables and interactions. Competitors will go out of their way to exploit blind spots in any map. We know only one thing about our maps with certainty-they are flawed.

How can leaders update imperfect mental maps as circumstances shift? An important part of the answer lies in collecting the right type of information. Along with my co-author Stefano Turconi, I have been studying the type of data required to map a situation in flux, and identified four critical attributes: The best information is real time, unfiltered, shared, and holistic. My next few posts will discuss each in turn, beginning with real time.

Main Street, a real time internet system for agents, clients and brokers, was designed from day one to be your comprehensive information source. One, real time system is an asset (arguably your most valuable asset) that allows your organization to implement and execute new initiatives faster than brokerages mired in information spaghetti. Related: Both sides now.

Play Offense

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Marketer Peter DeLorenzo offers useful advice to automotive marketers:

I sense an overreaction on the part of Detroit marketers right now, especially at General Motors, and it's not a good look. Any more whining and it will start drowning out the message, which is exactly what Detroit automakers can't afford. Rather than discussing the "winding down" of their marketing options, or rationalizing how they will still get their message across while abandoning marketing opportunities left and right, Detroit automakers should be upping their marketing presence and going on the offensive. American consumers aren't going to find out about Detroit's most competitive offerings - the ones that merit serious consideration - by osmosis, are they?

As if right on cue, a perfectly-timed demonstration of how it should be done is the insert Audi placed in several national newspapers yesterday (Audi also sponsored special network news broadcasts of the inaugural with limited commercial interruption), which was, for all intents and purposes, a "State of the Union" message for the company, reminding everyone of who they are, what they stand for, and how they go about the business of building great cars, all revolving around the word "Progress." Here's an excerpt:

"To us, it's taking what seems undoable and then doing it. It's discovering what no one else has bothered to discover. It's turning skeptics into believers. And it's taking the thinking that won on the racetrack and putting it on the road.

And it's why now is the time for the company with four rings. Progress moves things forward. Progress changes the category. Progress leaves the others behind.

Progress is Beautiful."

What opportunities exist for real estate brokers to play offense?Do these things and your broker value equation rises significantly with customers, agents and staff.

Neighborhood Watch

Main Street's Neighborhood Watch is a powerful tool that allows agents and sellers to:

  • Create and save property searches

  • Sold listings are automically emailed to the buyer(s) - can be more than one email address and/or the agent(s).

  • Email templates are personalized with your brand, agent photo(s), contact information, listing, transaction and personal agent web site links, smart maps and lead generation links.

  • Perimeter Search: Find properties within an adjustable distance of a valid address.

  • Reports: Main Street includes neighborhood watch and contact activity reports.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Neighborhood Watch category.

Mobile is the previous category.

Online Open House is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.