Posted on February 18, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Agent, Bradley Inman, Brokerage, Business, Buyer, buying real estate, cash investors, commercial real estate, communications, effective branding, ENewsletters, Ezine, Facebook, Fence, forclosure, Frog Pond, frogpond blog, green marketing, housing trends, Inman News, interest deduction, international real estate investor, investment, Marketing Strategy, marketing tips, mortage, mortgage, Mortgage loan, moving, Real Estate, real estate broker, second homes, stock market, Susie Hale, vacation homes, Wall Street Journal |
Yes, It IS the Right Time to Buy a House! Whenever I think about this housing market, the expression “buyers sitting on a fence” comes to mind. In my mind I walk behind the folks with the dangling feet and … reach up, give them a hug and tell them it’s time to get off the fence and buy a home!
Right now is the perfect intersection of historically low prices and historically low mortgage rates. Add in the wide availability of homes ranging from bank-owned foreclosures to well-priced, seller-owned resales and the message to buyers is, “you can afford more home than ever.” But are potential buyers hearing this message or do they figure it’s just another Realtor® puff piece they heard for years before the meltdown?
It’s not for lack of WANTING to buy a home: a study by John Burns Real Estate Consulting released on Jan. 30 says 60 percent of consumers agree, “I do not want to rent the rest of my life,” and 59 percent say, “Ownership is what I strive for.” Our fence-sitters know that rental rates are soaring in many markets, so the prospect of paying a landlord forever is not attractive to them.
They also know mortgage interest payments are deductible on their income taxes. (However, they may think they must now pay 20 percent down to get into a home. You must educate them on that.)
No, buyers are clinging to the fence top because they fear losing their jobs … and then their homes. They’ve seen millions of homeowners thrown out on the street and they don’t want to commit to that path.
So while the Wall Street Journal is publishing great articles such as “Is Now the Right Time to Buy a House?”, you will still have to craft messages aimed both at buyers’ heads – and hearts – to coax them off that fence.
What to do?
First, if you are not already a subscriber to the Housing Trends eNewsletter, then sign up right now. It’s free, it’s branded and customizable, and it’s full of the facts today’s younger adults need to make a baby step toward homebuying. Send it to your e-mail list and post the link on your Facebook page. Make sure you utilize the Messages section to focus on your very-local market. And be real. They don’t care you’re a “Top Producer.”(Certainly, that matters, but remember, it’s “what’s in it for me”, that matters most for consumers.) They want to connect with you as a person who can help them with a decision that will change their life. Your message needs to be filled with “You”, “Yours”, and more “You”, not me, me, me…
Second, realize these younger potential buyers will need a step-by-step plan. Think of this as putting a mattress next to the fence so they can land safely! Understand they need a realistic appraisal of their job security and ALL the expenses it takes to buy – and keep – a home. If you are totally honest, you may have to tell them to wait. But your payoff will be huge: they will tell their friends you are honest, and that “street cred” is hard to get. Tara-Nicholle Nelson recently wrote a column for Inman News, “4 steps to buying a house in 2012.” Start with that information and add what you know these buyers need to know.
Most importantly, understand it will take more than your selling expertise to help these folks. It will take love and a lot of extra effort. They do not want to be “leads”; they do not want to be “sold”; they want to be your partners in this process.
Can you do it? Sure you can! Start with a hug …Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
Posted on July 1, 2011. Filed under: Real Estate Housing Trends, News and Information | Tags: aerial view, Agent, Brokerage, Business, Buyers, Carbon Footprints, commercial real estate, communications, e-zinc email, email, ENewsletters, Ezine, Facebook, Frog Pond, frogpond blog, Internet Marketing, marketing, Marketing and Advertising, Marketing Strategy, marketing tips, Paperless, Realtor, satelite imagery, Social media, Susie Hale, sustainability, Twitter, Web conferencing |
Breaking News Network is one of the most innovative marketing tools I’ve seen. Never before has a marketer been able to harness in this social setting, local news and community activities, in one very automated personalized site. It is so localized that not only are you able to display local housing trends and data, compare zip codes, but even restaurant menus in the neighborhood, and even daily deal offerings and much much more.
Watch the video embedded in Breaking News Network to get a brief understanding and then sign up for Webinars for details.
Please join me for a free series of ground-breaking Webinars on new trends in marketing, “The Newest Trends in Social Media and Social Discovery”.
I think you’re in for a treat for this summer. We’ve developed a summer series of webinars to discuss news marketing concepts you will never hear anywhere else. Register once below and participate in all five webinars.
You may have attended previous webinars with me and my friend Pat Kitano of the Domus Consulting Group. I invite you to a new series of Webinar with Pat Kitano who will explain the newest trends in social media marketing and social commerce that I guarantee you will not hear anywhere else.
July 7 – 9:00am PDT / 12 noon EDT: The Groupon of 2011 – Airbnb. How Airbnb disrupts real estate revenue models and creates new opportunities to Realtors. Link for reference: bit.ly/AirbnB
July 21 – 9:00am PDT / 12 noon EDT: How to promote your local business community completely free and create tangible marketing and financial value for them. Then, how do you leverage your “value” relationships into leads and transactions. Example: bit.ly/kevinsthyme
August 4 – 9:00am PDT / 12 noon EDT: All about Daily Deals. How to create them, how to market them, and most important, how to automate them so you promote your community without lifting a finger (while also receiving income from them)
August 17 (Wednesday! due to a schedule conflict) – 9:00am PDT / 12 noon EDT: How to use Housing Trends eNewsletter, IDX and other real estate information resources to reach 100% of your community before they even contemplate a decision on real estate. (It’s too late to reach them if they don’t know you).
September 1 – 9:00am PDT / 12:00 noon EDT: New social discovery applications. Social media marketing by itself is inherently inefficient. Learn how to pull active buyers and sellers out of the woodwork by getting them to “discover” your services. This webinar will tie everything you will learn from the summer series.
Register once, and you’ll be on the invite list for the complete series, which we slate to run every two weeks.
The Webinars are held on the following dates:
Jul 7, 2011 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PDT
Jul 21, 2011 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PDT
Aug 4, 2011 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PDT
Aug 17, 2011 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PDT
Sep 1, 2011 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PDT
Register Now at:
Once registered you will receive an email confirming your registration with information you need to join the Webinar.
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer
Hugs, The Frog
Posted on May 27, 2011. Filed under: Real Estate Housing Trends, News and Information | Tags: Agent, Brokerage, Buyers, commercial real estate, communications, e-zinc email, email, Ezine, free articles, Frog Pond, frogpond blog, green, green marketing, housing data, housing trends, Houston, Internet, Internet Marketing, marketing, marketing tips, news, Newsletter, Paperless, press releases, readers, Real Estate, real estate content, Realtor, Sellers, Susie Hale, sustainability, tv |
40,000+ subscribers nationwide utilize FrogPond products, services
HOUSTON, TX – May 27, 2011 – Showcasing a wide range of publishing, software, and communications and marketing solutions for the real estate industry, FrogPond.com has relaunched with updated graphics and multimedia features. The site contains 3,500 free reprintable articles, profiles of industry leaders, videos detailing current marketing trends and tools, and a link to the Housing Trends eNewsletter, which has more than 40,000 subscribers nationwide.
“Content is King! FrogPond.com has always been about providing outstanding free real estate content for the industry. Today, the consumers are driving the market with their desire for housing information. FrogPond’s Housing Trends eNewsletter was designed for the real estate professional to provide the ‘numbers’ from a national to micro local perspective to help the agent stay front and center with the consumers” , said Susie Hale, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of eFrogPond Inc.
FrogPond.com began in 1994 as a site for booking real estate and motivational speakers and later was where agents could “cut and paste” articles aimed at homebuying and selling consumers. Today, reprintable, royalty-free articles are aimed at agents, brokers and other business owners, with information on sales and marketing strategies, personal excellence, customer service and business planning.
Agents who want timely and accurate information to send their past clients, homebuying and selling prospects now subscribe to the Housing Trends eNewsletter (HTEN). Hale launched HTEN in 2010 as a monthly, free-subscription publication containing timely and accurate consumer-oriented content on national and regional housing sales, economic trends, mortgage rates and calculators, home improvement and maintenance, taxes and insurance.
The electronic publication is customizable for the subscribing agent’s franchise colors and logos and includes a personalized messages section. Agents can e-mail the newsletter or post it on their Facebook page or Website. It has been very successful – today having more than 40,000 subscribers across the spectrum of real estate franchises and brokerages. Those subscribers are many of the long-time – as well as the new – readers of FrogPond.com.
Other new features on the redesigned FrogPond.com Website include “picks” from the well-read Hale for motivational and real estate books, as well as a sidebar showing her Twitter feed and entries from the Housing Trends eNewsletter Facebook page.
Hale has a 23 year career in the real estate industry, with wide and deep experience as a licensed residential agent, a title company marketing officer, a mortgage broker and a mortgage banker, prior to her founding eFrogPond. Known as “The Frog,” Hale’s insightful technology and communications solutions have earned her the respect and affection of real estate professionals at all levels across the country. In 2008, she was named one the Top 25 Most Influential Women in Real Estate Leadership by the Active Rain online community for real estate professionals.
NEWS from eFrogPond.com
Contact: Susie Hale, President/CEO
101 Westcott, #102,Houston,Texas77007
(o) 713.880.1010 (c) 832.428.8482Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Posted on January 30, 2009. Filed under: Real Estate Housing Trends, News and Information | Tags: Agent, Brokerage, commercial real estate, communication space, communications, Ezine, frogpond blog, Green Space, My Green Space, phone charger |
Sometimes the hardest thing about working at home is getting uninterrupted time in
which to take care of business. Here are some five tips for setting up some boundaries to increase your productivity.
Make your office your office only. Don’t take your work into your home or bring your home into your office. Set yourself up for a block of time by preparing your coffee, water and snacks prior to going to the office. Remember to recycle coffee cup or water glass.
Schedule your office hours and stick to them. Publishing them on your website and advertisements keeps you on track. Make sure your friends and family know these hours and encourage them to support your success by honoring them. A “Do Not Disturb” sign for your office doorknob can be helpful as well. Designation specific work times eliminates leaving your office equipment plugged in and waiting energy.
Do not allow yourself to be interrupted by a doorbell. Pretend that you are not at home when a solicitor rings the bell and do not even check to see who it is unless you are expecting someone. Conserving your energy is important to your concentration.
Make a communication space at your front door so people can leave messages. A small box with a notepad and pen can work just fine. Use recycled paper.
Resist the temptation to take calls when the phone rings. Screen your calls on both your land line and cell phone if you use either for both personal and business purposes. Remember to unplug your cell phone charger when not in use.
Posted on January 30, 2009. Filed under: Real Estate Housing Trends, News and Information | Tags: Agent, Brokerage, Case Study, commercial real estate, communications, e-zinc email, email, frogpond blog, green marketing, Green office, Houston, Internet Marketing, Marketing Strategy, marketing tips, Newsletter |
Most average newsletters and websites have several testimonials sharing the greatness of the product or service offered. That’s all well and good, but the way to really capitalize on your superior offering is to highlight a detailed example of a job well done through a case study.
A case study is a mini-article that is two to three short paragraphs long and includes two or three pictures. The pictures may be the ‘before’ and ‘after’ comparisons and a photo of the person. The text can describe the problem in the first paragraph, the solution you provided in the second paragraph and a quote from the satisfied customer in the third paragraph.
Case studies tell the story of your business brilliance. They are a much more effective way of saying how great you are because someone else is saying it. Including a single case study in each newsletter is a savvy way to keep people interested in your product and offering satisfied customers a way to show off their wisdom in choosing your product or service.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Posted on January 30, 2009. Filed under: Real Estate Housing Trends, News and Information | Tags: Agent, An interesting tip, Brokerage, commercial real estate, communications, e-zinc email, effective branding, email, email newsletter, ENewsletters, Ezine, Frog Pond, frogpond blog, green marketing, Green office, Houston, Internet Marketing, Marketing Strategy, marketing tips, marketing tools, People stories |
Your ezine or email newsletter can be one of the best and most effective branding and marketing tools you have. The trouble with most of them is that the all tend to blur together. Very few businesses take advantage of the opportunity to distinguish their product, services and people through this dynamic medium. Determine what you have to offer that will delight your reader and make them look forward to getting your message in their in box and actually reading it rather than deleting it.
Here are four fabulous facets to include in each issue:
An interesting tip- It should be related to your business, but not at all technical. The best tips are ones that include a statistic in one sentence that can be easily shared at a party or over a lunch.
People stories- People like reading about what other people are doing. They like doing business with people they know and even though they may never meet a single person in your company, highlighting a member of your team will make your readers feel like they know them.
News they can use- Include one article that talks about your product or service that educates your reader about your business. This positions you as an expert in your field.
Good looks- Make sure your newsletter has a consistent look that appeals to your readers. They will remember you through that look as much as through the content. Let a high quality company like FrogPond Publisher help you craft the perfect look for your newsletter. That consistency will make your reader comfortable about reading each issue.
Posted on December 4, 2008. Filed under: Real Estate Housing Trends, News and Information | Tags: Agent, Brokerage, Buyers, Carbon Footprints, ENewsletters, Ezine, green, Green office, Houston, Internet, Internet Marketing, Newsletter, Office, Office Space, Paperless, Real Estate, Realtor, Search Engineefax, security, Sellers |
As a long time crusader for going green, and a Frog, I try to stay a few hops a head of the real estate industry. My thoughts on why I believe going green is a key survival strategy?
Let me start be saying that I’m here in Houston where we are rooting for the Longhorns football team, currently #2 in the Big 12. Here’s a shoot out for my team… Hook’em Horns!!!
Succeeding in an economic downturn is like the University of Texas being number 2; it just isn’t good enough. Going Green to Make Green is a new initiative FrogPond is launching in 2009 to help brokerages not only survive, but thrive. I’m pledging to teach everyone how to go green while going green with just a few easy steps.
1. With the economists predicting that 09 will not just tough, but a sluggish year, brokers need to attack rather than react to these market conditions. According to Steve Murray, Brokers should consider reducing office space by minimum of 50% and outsource all non-core staff services.Houston Buyers & Sellers, 85% of Sellers visited 1 time or less to brokers’ offices and 79% of Buyers visited 1 time or less to brokers’ offices.
In recent survey of Houston Buyers & Sellers, results showed an amazine 85% of Sellers visited brokers’ offices 1 or less times and 79% of Buyers visited brokers’ offices 1 or less times.
Today top agents have home offices with all the bells and whistles and realize selling in a tough economy requires extra effort, better planning, more control of your sales cycles and tenacity. The top 2% of all salespeople automatically turn up their activity a couple more notches when things get tough. By doing so, they’re the ones who’ll be standing tall when the economy turns around.
Characteristics of these agents are:
they are true competitors and hate to lose
they have been in this position before and learned what it takes to win in an economic turndown
they refuse loss of income
they will reinvent themselves
2. Office space once was about attracting agents. Today office space is about attracting consumers.
Smaller retail space can offer positive experiences like an expert coffee bar where consumers can go to get questions answered, MLS search stations which consumers use themselves in comfy chairs with agents nearby to answer questions only if needed by consumer, set up showing appointments by agents, and give guided walking tours around the neighborhoods on large plasma displays- no reception desk as gatekeepers to information, experience staying open in the evening for visitors to wander in after dinner for a warm homey experience of watching home movies, but of other peoples homes and imagining their new homey experiences in your listings.
3. I believe that Brokerage should strive to becomes a paperless office enivronment saving millions of trees. Did you know in this decade, it is projected that Americans will throw away over 4 and a half million tons of office paper and nearly 10 million tons of newspaper. Almost all of this material could be recycled.
Efax, email, and online transaction management systems save brokerages money and time by reducing paper and postage costs, being more efficient in managing transactions while saving talk time with customers and everyone involved in closing process.
Here’s my 5 second commercial: FrogPond Publisher is my brokerage software solution to easily create online magazines and newsletters enabling then to stay in contact with consumers, prospects and retain and recruit agents. It’s a cut and paste simple tool that anyone can use, we host and support and provide content, graphic designers and writers if needed.
For as little as $499 per month compared to the average open house ads space in Sunday’s newspaper you can have your branded platform of your news and information about your brokerage, agents and your communities with an added robust search engine, an online calendar, a poll with instant results to get your consumers and agents opinions, news and information through article and press releases posts, online training, revenue generating advertising and self-promoting banners. Not only are you saving lots of money on printing and postage costs, your making money on advertising and going green by saving trees.
4. Did you know Brokerages and agents can save 26% of energy bills by turning off leaking electricity resulting in being green by saving energy?
Turning off your computer system when not in use (nights and weekends at work; overnight at home) can reduce your energy consumption, decrease your monthly utility bill, extend the life of your equipment, and increase the security of your system – they all reduce your carbon footprint. This includes computers, printers, cell phone charges, plus all digital equipment you don’t realize are in stand-by mode. Take the test of turning off the lights and see how many little red and blue lights still shine. It’s easy to correct if you plug all your office and computer equipment into surge protecting power strips that have one off and on switch.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )