Archive for June, 2009

We are looking to attract more listings without paying a lot of advertising expense

Friday, June 19th, 2009


This was passed along to me by Benn:

We are a small real estate company in Md.  We are trying to expand our clientele do you have any advice on how we can grow our business.  We are looking to attract more listings without paying a lot of advertising expense.  We tried the expired listings but most of the time the homeowner phone number is not listed.


(name deleted)

I’ve deleted your name, so in case you feel insulted by what I am about to tell you – you can feel a little less insulted because no one but you will know who wrote the note above.  Including me.  I couldn’t find you, no matter what I tried.  The very first thing I attempted to do was to find out a little bit about you – what you are doing now.  There are so many different companies who seem to have a similar name – that there was no way for me to land on your web site.  If you even have one.  You didn’t give your name or any contact information when you wrote this and I am going to assume this is somewhat standard operating procedure.

The first problem I see you being up against isn’t the size of your company, because that is irrelevant.  What sort of leaps off the page is you are very out of communication with the world around you.  Do most of the people who live or work within a hundred yards of where you office even know your name or what you do?  If they saw you on the street would many of them even know you sell real estate?  I believe this is your primary barrier to confront and handle: come out of non-existence with the people in your immediate vicinity.  Start there.  Then widen that circle.  Get out and talk to people.  Get rid of (as in completely rid of) the idea that you need permission to approach someone – like you need someone to issue you a license of some sort before you open your mouth.  You didn’t find any phone numbers in the print-out of the expired listings.  So what?  Just give up on expireds?  Maryland is a pretty small state.  You could probably drive across the whole state in a few hours.  You could absolutely drive completely across the town where you live in 90 minutes.  Show up at their door.  Ask them if they still want to sell their home.

You don’t want to pay a lot for advertising for two reasons: you don’t have the money to pay and you wouldn’t know what to put in the ad anyway.  Okay so skip advertising for now.  Prospect.  Learn what people consider valuable just by trial and error.  See enough people and ask enough people what they might be interested in and in very short order (a few hundred people from now) you will know what to say and what not to say when you are talking to a prospective customer.

There are exactly two methods of getting business in our business: marketing or prospecting.  Learn to effectively do one or both of those or leave real estate sales.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, those are the only three choices.  The skill of getting customers is the "important skill" in our business.  For a really bright future make this important thing your important thing.

ARMLS Comes Out In Favor Of Realtors!

Thursday, June 11th, 2009


For Immediate Release: Arizona MLS Takes Stand on “Scraping” and “Indexing”


PHOENIX, AZ – JUNE 10, 2009 – The Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service  (ARMLS) is taking a stand on a recent National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) ruling on the technical interchangeability of “scraping” and “indexing” as it pertains to display of the IDX Database on the Internet. A recent controversial interpretation issued through the Center for Real Estate Technology (CRT), NAR’s technology arm, advised members that “scraping” and “indexing” are in effect the same practice and represent misappropriation of the IDX Database. ARMLS believes that this ruling places NAR members at a distinct and serious competitive disadvantage. ARMLS maintains that the CRT opinion does not factor in the end use of the “scraped” and “indexed” listing data. It fails to distinguish between benign and malicious “scraping” and “indexing.” These practices are termed benign if they provide intended benefits to the consumer and the buyers and sellers whom the REALTOR® serves, and are not in conflict with the ARMLS IDX Policy. They are deemed malicious if they utilize the listing data in a manner foreign to the original intent of the REALTOR® and the property owner, and are incompatible with the ARMLS IDX Policy. The practice of “scraping” or “indexing” by search engines for the purpose of displaying or indexing the data for consumer property search, and which ultimately directs the consumer back to its source, is benign, and is in sync with the REALTOR’S® intention when displaying listings on the Internet. When a third party, e.g. a search engine, through “scraping” or “indexing” misappropriates and uses the listing data for purposes not intended by the property owner or REALTOR® , these practices become malicious and should be prohibited. Any interpretation by NAR prohibiting REALTORS® from allowing search engines, such as Google, from benign “scraping” and “indexing” listing data puts the REALTOR® at a distinct competitive disadvantage. The ARMLS IDX Policy contains the statement that “IDX Brokers must protect the IDX Database from misappropriation by employing reasonable efforts to monitor and prevent “scraping” or other unauthorized accessing, reproduction or use of the IDX Database.” The interpretation of this policy was not intended to discourage dissemination of listing information through search engine indexing or to discourage brokers or their permitted licensees who offer listings from optimizing their listings to achieve higher search engine placement. ARMLS supports and encourages a change in NAR’s interpretation of “scraping” and “indexing” that factors in the results of such activities and removes any competitive disadvantage that NAR’s current opinion creates.