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"Lock In Your Market Loyalty"

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Albert Clark Photo
12/5/03 Interview with Albert Clark

1005 grandview st
Scranton, PA 18509

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Advantages from New Technologies

  1. Agents can keep clients better informed about the buy/sell process; whereas historically, agents controlled information, now they are enablers helping consumers interpret information.
  2. The thrust with virtual office web sites is to give technology back to the homeowners so that they can stay involved with the transaction and make more informed decisions.
E-Marketing Challenges

  1. Agents and brokers have to embrace changes in marketing and figure out ways to accommodate them.
  2. Differentiate your marketing program; the marketplace is cluttered with advertising; your unique messages need to go out more often.
  3. To rise above the clutter of advertising, gear ongoing marketing to your sphere of influence who are existing homeowners, not current buyers and sellers; take care of their information needs in an unassuming way.
  4. Add value to your web site so that visitors linger; an average web site visitor looks at three listings and moves on to another site.
  5. Make following up with clients a priority ; according to an NAR survey, 93% of consumers who used agents were satisfied with service, but only 11% used the same agent again.
E-Mail Strategy

  1. Continue to solicit email addresses and be prepared to deliver messages that are of interest (focused on the pocketbook or homeownership, not the transaction); some agents do not ask for email addresses to avoid the suspicion of consumers who fear spam.
  2. Develop an opt-in marketing program for your sphere of influence that promotes a relationship between you and recipients so that they will let your information through their spam-blockers and firewalls.
  3. Deliver relevant information to people before and after they are buyers and sellers to build relationship capital for life; when your recipients become real estate consumers, you will be in position to market to them.
  4. A recent study shows that opt-in email is the preferred method for receiving information of about 78% of responding consumers (vs. 0.02% fortelephone and 4­5% for mail).
Advice for Agents

  1. New agents (25­35 age bracket) are mostly tech-savvy, but they need to understand the importance of relationships; established relationships are the capital that veteran agents have.
  2. New agents need a game plan to drip-market on a core of contacts in order to benefit from their periodic moves; a book of business is what agents will sell when they are ready to exit the industry (retire).
  3. Seasoned veterans who resist technology are ignoring the fact that the rate of technology acceptance within the senior market (over 65) is doubling every two years ‹even seniors expect an agent to be high-tech.
  4. If the industry goes through a lull when the housing bubble subsides, agents will need to rely on technology to ride out the slowdown; agents need a system that is up and running on auto-pilot now.
The Focus of My Homeowners Club

  1. My Homeowners Club answers both the need of homeowners for information about issues that affect their pocketbooks and the need of some agents for more powerful tools to build relationships.
  2. The service is a secure, interactive information resource for homeowners,but the only way for them to gain membership is to be sponsored by an agent; sponsors purchase blocks of gift memberships (starting at 500).
  3. The program relies on informing members about homeownership issues; it does not include any transaction-based information (curb appeal, inspection, contract problems, etc).
How My Homeowners Club Works

  1. Sponsors give memberships to clients, prospects, web site visitors, etc.; members get access to a My Homeowners Club portal that houses relevant information based on location.
  2. The branding of the sponsor and links back to the sponsor's site appearon every page of the portal; the sponsor has the option of providing local content exclusively for his or her members; bi-weekly e-alerts with late-breaking issues are sent out, also with the sponsor's branding.
Value to Agents

  1. The My Homeowners Club membership is exclusive‹once a sponsor has enrolled a member, no one else may enroll the same person; the sponsor can track member responses (who reads what and when) to gain knowledge of members' interests.
  2. My Homeowners Club is an auto-pilot program that delivers immense value for its $29.95 cost per month; the club averages about 6 impressions per member per month ‹or about a quarter of a cent per impression.
  3. The unsubscribe rate for members is very low.
The Competition

  1. No other company offers the club atmosphere or a password-protected community of homeowners for agents to use for marketing.
  2. Newsletter services by and large specialize in transaction-based information; My Homeowners Club is a counter to that.
  3. Newsletters, postcards and e-postcards are basically self-contained, one-time experiences; My Homeowners Club newsletters and e-alerts are linked to the hundreds of pages of resources.
  4. My Homeowners Club has connections in the state capitals and Washington, D.C. to get information early.
Favorite Spots on the Web

  1. Google can be used to search phone numbers; the search shows town and often office information.
  2. Use for specialty news on the industry and The DirectMarketing Association web site for news on spam and privacy issues.
  3. The Wall Street Journal is tops for broad industry news, and for research.
Contact Information for Albert Clark:

(v) 5705103507

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

My Home Owners Club
Phone number search
Nationwide industry news
Direct Marketing Association
The Wall Street Journal