We are proud to introduce FrogPond News, with events and information you need to know about the world of real estate. See our inaugural video below! We are looking for news from YOU to feature in this monthly video, so be sure to e-mail me with your stories. FrogPond TV interviewed industry leaders attending the RISMedia 19th Annual Leadership Conference, held Sept. 3-4 in New York City. View videos with Better Homes & Gardens CEO Sherry Chris, Innovative Solutions President Jim Sherry, Pro Step Marketing CEO Tricia Andreassen, Ardynn Media President Michael Harris and Onboard Informatics’ Robert Hahn.
In this newsletter, read how Broker TrendsetterJohn A. Daugherty, Jr. and Agent RainmakerBarbara Josephson ensure continued success in a tough market. Also see tips to improve your marketing and sales efforts, in addition to improving your leadership skills and keeping balance in your life.
FrogPond TV will be reporting from the tradeshow floor of NAR's convention. The focus will be on the latest innovations and cutting edge techniques to grow REALTOR business in 2009.
Picked up a magazine lately? They're thinner than they were last year this time. You could say the same for newspapers. They just don't have as many ads as they used to.
Slower economic times mean fewer companies advertise. When sales are slack, those ads are the first thing to go.
That is a mistake. Advertising is often the only way to boost slow sales. Because other businesses aren't advertising, ad rates go down. You can get more marketing for your money.
Even better, with fewer ads competing with yours, you get more attention. Customers remember your name and your offer far more easily than they did last year.
How much should you spend on advertising?
Budget money for ads based on your sales projections. If you want to increase sales ten percent each month, gradually raise your ad budget based on how much it will take to bring in extra orders.
Most businesses put three percent of sales back into advertising. More aggressive companies spend five percent on marketing. Depending on your situation, you may want to spend up to 15 percent of sales.
Congratulations! November 1 was the launch date for a new ezine created for women 40+, Kalön Women. What is a Kalon Woman and why am I recommending a "must" read?
Kalön Women’s vision is to be a powerful voice for all women 40+ as we face challenges unique to our generation. We are the sandwich generation, caring for aging parents, growing or grown children, grandchildren and sometimes doing all of it while maintaining a professional career. And yes, salary equity is still an issue. Our professional career successes have been hard won, without the benefit of the ‘boys club’. We are living longer and healthier lives, which creates a host of issues including living alone, financial concerns, and new relationships. We don’t necessarily want to look older than our age, so fitness and health are important to us and we have grown beyond the need to mold ourselves into others expectations. We have learned to face life with strength, dignity and a big helping of humor.
Subscribe and share with your friends and colleagues.
Social media, Internet-based tools for sharing and discussing information, are used by 60 percent of Americans. Of those users, 59 percent interact with companies on social media Web sites, according to the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study.
According to the survey, 93 percent of social-media users believe a company should have a presence in social media. An overwhelming 85 percent believe a company should not only be present, it should also interact with its consumers via social media.
In fact, 56 percent of users feel both a stronger connection with and better served by companies when they are able to interact with them in a social-media environment.
“(Social media) isn’t an intrusion into their lives, but rather a welcome channel for discussion,” said Mike Hollywood, director of new media for Cone, a strategy and communications media.
Even better news about hard-to-reach consumers
Hollywood also said the study found that three groups that are hard to reach, marketing-wise, are saying, “Come market to us and interact with us online.” The groups include:
·Men, who are twice as likely as women to interact one or more times a week with companies via social media
·Younger users, ages 18-34, of whom one-third believe companies should actively market to them via social networks
·Wealthy households (household income of $75,000+), of whom two-thirds feel stronger connections to brands they interact with online
Where are companies posting a page?
An August 2008 survey of Web merchants sponsored by Internet Retailer found that, of the 39 percent of retail respondents that use social networks, 32 percent have a page on Facebook, 27 percent on MySpace and 26 percent on YouTube.
“This is really a license to put more energy and resources into this medium and do it effectively,” said Hollywood.
John A. Daugherty, Jr. is President and Chief Executive Officer of John Daugherty, REALTORS®, a premier, luxury residential real estate firm in Houston. With a 41-year history as an independent brokerage and an enviable reputation, the 170-agent firm attained 2007 sales of more than $1.1 billion.
Barbara Josephson is a Broker Associate and top five producer among the 170 associates of luxury residential broker, John Daugherty, REALTORS®. Her regular appearance on Houston Business Journal's prestigious annual list of Houston's Top 25 Residential Realtors is an indication of her success.
Hale Hits “Top 25 Most Influential” Real Estate Women List
Susie Hale Is One of “Top 25 Most Influential Women in Real Estate Leadership” for 2008
The Active Rain online community for real estate professionals has cast its votes for the Top 25 Most Influential Women, and FrogPond President Susie Hale has made that prestigious list.
The “power list of Who’s Who in real estate” women includes former National Association of REALTORS® presidents; founders, presidents and senior executives of renowned real estate firms and franchises; REALTOR® and staff members of state REALTOR® associations; real estate technology leaders and more. It is part of a list of Top 100 real estate women.
Founder and president of FrogPond, Susie has grown the professional development Web site into a multifaceted communications and marketing solution for the real estate industry. The business now includes the affordable and effective FrogPond Publisher tool, and her newest endeavor, FrogPond TV.
“Hale is a standout among technology consultants because of her broad and deep hands-on professional history in every aspect of residential real estate,” said her ActiveRain profile.
We give heartfelt congratulations to Susie Hale on this significant honor!
The Power Broker Perspective: Restoring Real Estate Confidence
All full-conference and day-conference attendees to the REALTORS® Conference & Expo are welcome to attend RISMedia’s Power Broker Forum: Friday, Nov. 7, 12:30-2 p.m. at the Orange County Convention Center.
The 13th annual forum assembles the industry’s leading brokers and brands to explore the best practices and competitive strategies that have led to their success. Gain insight into the value-added products, services, methods and trends that have made these Power Brokers industry leaders. There is no additional fee or advance registration for this event.
John Featherston, President and CEO, RISMedia
J. Lennox Scott, Chairman and CEO, John L. Scott Real Estate
Doug Ayers, President and CEO, Koenig & Strey GMAC Real Estate
Gino Blefari, Founder, President and CEO, Intero Real Estate
Mike Brodie, Broker/Owner, Keller Williams Realty
Tom Kunz, President & CEO, Century 21 Real Estate
Rei Mesa, President & CEO, Prudential WCI Realty
Kelli Todd, President & CEO, RE/MAX Marques Partners
RISMedia’s Power Broker Reception and Dinner
The evening after the Forum, RISMedia will hold its 13th Annual Power Broker Reception and Dinner for a special, invitation-only event. Gathering more than 700 of real estate’s leading decision-makers – from top brokers and executives to industry visionaries – this exclusive gala annually honors the industry’s top-producing companies.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, contact Stephanie Andre, Managing Editor of Publications & Events at email@example.com or (800) 724-6000 ext. 141.
There is generally only one thing that holds an expert in any given field back from writing about it. Fear of writing.
You will be happy to learn that you can get over that fear as far as writing for your company e-zine goes. The acceptable style for an e-newsletter is much more conversational than a formal newspaper article. It’s more like talking than writing.
People want to hear what you have to say as an expert in your field. If you are a better speaker than writer, record a two or three minute talk and then transcribe it. See how it reads and go from there.
Another common way to go about writing by not writing that many busy experts use is to hire a ghostwriter. A ghostwriter will talk to you for awhile on a given topic and then work with you to put together your articles.
Want to add some pizzazz to your e-newsletter? Add a poll, quiz or survey asking for your reader’s input.
Most everyone enjoys answering a few questions based in either fact or opinion. Multiple choice works best for most of the questions. You may want to include one open-ended question to gather additional information.
Use your results to help boost interest in your next issue. Post the outcome of the poll, quiz or survey and have a companion article addressing the winning topic. Or, publish some of the reader’s responses (with permission of course).
Here's an interesting question to poll your members:
Q: Bailout or not, Wall Street will never return to its freewheeling, profit-spinning ways of old.
I recently attended the RIS MediaLeadership Conference in NYC and was thrilled to see the amount of information disseminated over a day and half of panel discussions.
The most critical panel was a discussion entitled Who Are You Reaching? Is Your Web Site Consumer-Centric? The discussion was enlightening in many ways and educated the attendees on a number of key points that I would like to share with you.
1. Make sure that your branding comes across extremely well throughout your site 2. The Web site should be visually engaging 3. Only use high-quality images 4. Consistency is very important 5. Create a user experience 6. Make sure that it is easy to use and navigate 7. Keep it simple. Simplicity is the key. Take a look at Google'shome page 8. Have a Suggestion section instead of asking for feedback. This not only helps the site evolve into a consumer-centric Web site but also gives you a great reason to contact potential customers 9. Every section of your site should be clickable 10. Do a competitive overview on a monthly or quarterly basis to ensure that you are keeping up with and exceeding the Joneses 11. Make adjustments on a regular basis so that nothing seems stale and will keep consumers coming back. It is recommended that these are done on a quarterly basis 12. Repeat visitors are better than the amount of time a user is on your site 13. Make sure it functions on mobile devices 14. Should be a customized Web site to be truly consumer-centric 15. Consumer-centric Web sites talk about the consumer and not me, we or I 16. You only have 4 seconds to engage the consumer / visitor 17. Get rid of your ego, it's all about the consumer 18. Make it content-heavy 19. Let consumers control the experience 20. Be redundant with calls to action 21. Install response mechanisms on the back end 22. Provide collaborative tools 23. Add Groups, Forums and Blogs 24. Use permission-based marketing and know when to ask for contact information -- the front page is not always the best place 25. Provide sharing capabilities These guidelines are crucial to implementing an effective Web site for your brand and/or company.
There can be no question that “New Media” opportunities have changed the way companies handle Public Relations. In addition to the traditional media—television, radio and newspapers—we now have Website advertising, podcasts, social media sites, ads embedded in online video and portable media.
There are many more ways to get important information out to your target publics, which is what PR is all about. But does this suggest that the most venerable of PR tools, the press release, is dead?
Some New Media pundits seem to be suggesting that they are. There is now so much additional information that companies can provide to the media to help reporters write their stories, why should we limit it to the six paragraphs and company boilerplate that make up the traditional press release? The primary reason, of course, is that many journalists still live in the traditional world and expect to get a standard release e-mailed (or faxed even) to them.
If you’re in charge of public relations for your firm, you must not turn your back on the humble press release. But there’s no reason for companies not to include the additional information presented in a New Media press release for the benefit of those journalists that welcome it.
There are now a number of New Media press releases templates available online. Typically, these super-documents include the copy from the traditional release, detailed background on the company (generally included in other documents via links) and multimedia content (graphics, logos, podcasts and even video).
Moving into New Media press releases should be a move driven by the reporters and editors you work with to get your stories told. While the traditional press release will be around for a long time, it’s time now to start investigating ways to provide more information to these important publics.
Your customers, prospects and associates listen to every word you say or write. That’s why it’s important to make sure what you say is positive, rather than negative. Just like in political campaigns, people are not interested in hearing what’s wrong with someone else. They want to hear about what’s right about you.
In a way, you can think of your business communications as a campaign. You present your information whether in an e-mail, over the phone, or in a meeting in a way in order to get people to vote for your product or service.
Use these four positivity tips to win your campaign:
·Avoid the word "not."
·Stick to what’s great about your product or service.
·If a question about a competitor’s product or service comes up, speak only about your personal experience with it.Anything else is hearsay.
It can be difficult managing all of life's little details. But you can stay on top of things by taking notes and keeping your calendar updated.
Of course, you may not always have access to your calendar or a notepad. This is especially true when you're traveling. But you probably always carry your cell phone. It can help you capture reminders and schedule appointments.
No, you don't need a fancy smartphone for this. You just need to create an account with Jott!
You simply call a toll free number and leave a message. Then, you can organize your notes and reminders from your computer.But Jott isn't just about you. It can help your friends, family and colleagues, too.
Say you're running late for a meeting. Just call Jott. You can send text messages or e-mail to the entire group. They'll appreciate the effort you made to notify them!
You'll love Jott. I'm sure you'll find many, many uses for it!
Multitasking has become an embedded part of our business culture in the last few years. We have become much better in doing more than one thing at a time.
A recent study revealed that our teenage kids have become masters of multitasking and are usually doing five to eight other things while doing their homework. These may include Web searches, text-messaging, e-mailing and social networking.
Our children probably learned multitasking from us, only we are often taking care of a domestic matter in addition to work items.
These distractions from being able to focus on a single task have changed our culture. We aren’t able to dive as deeply into any one thing in a single sitting. That can be frustrating when you really need to get things done for on an important project.
Additionally, the demands on our attention can make us feel overwhelmed and that we are unable to accomplish anything.
Here are some ways to overcome overwhelm:
·Go offline when you are writing a document so you aren’t tempted to read an incoming e-mail while composing.
·Open up a blank word document to jot down all of those great ideas and to-dos that happen while you are working on a project.
·Do not check your social networking sites until you have completed your top priority tasks.
·Get a "do not disturb" sign for your office door and use it as needed.
·Let your cell phone go to voicemail during an in person meeting rather than interrupting the flow of your conversation.
Remember, technology is here to make our lives easier. Use it as a tool to take control of your time and attention.
The Voice of Authority 10 Communication Strategies Every Leader Needs to Know (McGraw-Hill) By Dianna Booher
"Maybe they didn't come across as reasons," he said. "But the facts were there. The investor could have drawn that conclusion." "But why would you leave it to the listener to draw that conclusion?" "Well, I'm a lawyer. I didn't want to come across as a used car salesman." For the next hour, we discussed the difference between hype and a persuasive presentation. After all, his organization spent several million dollars annually flying in estate planners, financial advisors, brokers and potential clients to persuade them to invest in real estate. Why would he not want to lead them to a conclusion? Be clear about your purpose. If you're asked just to dump information, do it. But far more often than not, you're expected to take a point of view about the information you provide. That point of view involves the four S's of persuasion to make sure your listeners or readers arrive at the same destination: -Solid facts -Sound logic -Straightforward language -Strong structure
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The information in this newsletter represents the views of the author and/or contributing authors and their interpretation of events. No responsibility is accepted for accuracy, profitability or legality.