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"Allen Hainge Interview 1996"

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10/18/96 Interview with Allen Hainge

Allen F. Hainge Seminars, Inc.
11463 Washington Plz W
Reston, VA 20190-4311

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Technology in General

  1. In real estate an income gap has been widening between the "haves" and "have-nots;" the core element for success seems to be the use of technology to dominate the marketplace.
  2. The spectrum of technological elements includes PCS, software, digital cameras, personal assistants who know technology and desktop publishing - and for the past 18-24 months, a Web site.
  3. The primary barrier keeping many adults from participating is fear of something they don't know; Hainge's technology seminars are geared to overcoming that hurdle - for information, check his Web site or use the other contact information posted with this summary.
  4. The RS206 course he teaches for the CRS program focuses on a Realtor's daily use of technology for marketing; to learn about the course, visit the Residential Sales Council site or call the council in Chicago at 800-462-8841.
Equipping an Office

  1. Consideration should be given to being competitive in both market share and recruiting.
  2. The prerequisites are sufficient phone lines and electrical outlets so that sales associates can bring in their own technology.
  3. An office media center promotes better productivity: equipment might include a scanner and a digital camera for loan to agents on marketing appointments and property inspections.
  4. Computerized accounting systems and tracking systems enable the broker to keep on top of office functions.
  5. In choosing a scanner, consider taking some documents to a large vendor and trying out several; Peckham effectively uses PaperPort to scan paper into his computer for filing, faxing or exporting.
  6. A digital camera is a valuable listing and marketing tool -Hainge's recommendation is the Kodak DC40 (available for as low as $550).
Software for Real Estate

  1. The key program for a residential agent is a real estate database, which is designed for listing and following up all prospects; it can handle mass mailings of letters, cards, flyers, etc.
  2. The two top programs, Top Producer and Online Agent, are geared to the tasks of a residential sales associate; equivalents for commercial agents are CI Achiever and Phil Mc Bride's add-on for ACT [called REACT].
  3. Generic personal information managers such as Goldmine or ACT can be used, but the customizing they require takes time.
  4. The database should be a tool to get an agent in touch with people - high-tech should also be high-touch; avoid the trap of being distracted by software from the selling focus.
Impact of the Internet

  1. The Web is the most dynamic and effective marketing tool that the real estate market has ever seen; it is already dramatically impacting productivity of sales associates.
  2. An effective Web site is crucial - but 90% of current sites fail to maximize their potential. Three Principles for an Effective Web Site
  3. Browsers who use Internet search engines must be able to find the site by key words; most real estate sites will not come up on key word lists.
  4. A good site must be consumer oriented, not agent oriented, containing content of value to the potential client - area schools, weather, transportation, sports and leisure, job opportunities, etc.
  5. Adequate publicity is important: use business cards, yard signs, flyers, mailings to your sphere of influence, real estate homes magazines, etc.
Strategies for Publicizing a Site

  1. Send an e-mail message to the search engines giving your site's name and description; the objective is to get your key words out.
  2. In order to get good placement, it is vital to understand what the engine site is looking for because each search engine (e.g., Lycos, Yahoo) has different link requirements.
  3. A growing class of businesses focus on placing sites on the Internet; basic placement on three to four sites is usually part of professional assistance with developing a Web site - but with so many engines, much more exposure is preferable.
  4. Another strategy is to create links with other sites; Alice Held, a successful agent in Scottsdale, AZ, spends several hours each week visiting sites to request links.
  5. Personally publicizing the site as much as possible, as Wynne Achatz in Marine City, MI does, contributes to success.
  6. Submit It is a Web page that will send your information to 20-30 search engines; there are others at no charge or a nominal fee.
Ways to Attract Visitors

  1. The principle of consumer-orientation applies to both commercial and residential pages; think like the person looking at your site.
  2. Be willing to spend enough money to develop a high-quality site that includes good content, multi-media, banners and other attention getters.
  3. Content should be slanted toward your target market; e.g., the pages of Alice Held (up-scale transferee), Wynne Achatz (small town market), Judy McCutchin of Dallas and Laura Bennett of Seattle (both general market).
  4. The Web is as effective in marketing bread-and-butter real estate as it is for unique and high-priced listings; the establishment of a relationship, even when it is long-distance, remains central with a buyer of any type.
  5. Something unique can contribute to success: Alice Held's page is distinctive for not linking to other sites; Judy McCutchin uses humor.
  6. Brian Wilson of Oklahoma City has a simple but effective site that he developed himself; his keys are good content and links with other agents.
Tips on Establishing a Site

  1. Consider using professional assistance to develop your site to maximize its effectiveness and to keep yourself focused on the real estate business.
  2. Each Web designer has his own fee schedule: a reasonable cost range is $300-$900 for the one-time fee.
  3. A monthly fee of $25-$30 should cover routine maintenance, which includes posting the site on a computer on the Internet, assuring that all links (e-mail response form, requests for information) work, and possibly doing nominal changes - expect to pay extra for major changes.
Contact Information for Allen Hainge:

(v) 800-695-3794
(f) 720-863-2290

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Residential Sales Council, National Association of Realtors
Alice Held (Scottsdale)
Judy McCutchin (Dallas)
Wynne Achatz (Marine City, MI)
Brian Wilson (Oklahoma City)
Laura Bennett (Seattle)
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