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"I Success Tips!"

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Bill Shue Photo
2/4/05 Interview with Bill Shue

iSucceed, Inc.
27121 Aliso Creek Rd., Suite 130
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

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Identification of iSucceed

  1. The business was founded as a way for 15 top agents to give something back to the real estate industry; the Internet offers a practical way for them to share tips with others.
  2. About 7% of agents are doing 93% of the business in a given year-on average, 83 transactions per successful agent, but many agents are doing no business.
Key Trends Successful Agents Are Following

  1. The efficiency trend shows successful agents working more with virtual assistants, using electronic tracking for transactions, automated reporting to clients and wireless offices.
  2. The marketing trend is moving top agents away from old-style, branded web sites focused on the agent and toward niche sites or stealth sites; multiple web sites are becoming common.
  3. As the Internet becomes a bigger driver of leads, search engine optimization is gaining importance.
  4. Community chat areas are being taken advantage of for cultivating a database and sphere of influence.
  5. Top agents are embracing these trends by way of utilizing technology: laptops, portable printers, contact management software, smart phones, digital cameras, document management software scanners, wireless networks, broadband Internet access, etc.
  6. Agents have to keep improving their efficiency and effectiveness in order to compete in an increasingly tough market.
Stealth Marketing Sites

  1. This hot technique marks a shift from the past emphasis in print campaigns on personal branding; the new focus is on web sites with specific information and no agent self-promotion; Galand Haas, a seasoned agent in Eugene, OR, uses multiple stealth sites to generate about 14 transactions a month.
  2. Haas', for example, offers to deliver new listings to consumers on a daily basis; consumers willingly submit their email address and search criteria Haas' print advertising promotes the stealth site as a convenient, single resource for consumers to get information on all listings.
  3. Haas drips on the email list regularly by providing value added information about such things as mortgage rates and topics to beware of (flood plains, bad siding); the drip campaign brands Haas as an expert in the market, not as a real estate agent.
  4. Martin Bouma of Ann Arbor, MI, focuses on the condominium niche with; he has become a clearinghouse for all condo listings in his market, regardless of who the listing agent is; he posts comprehensive information, including condo association by-laws and fees, previous sales in the area, condo floor plans, etc.
  5. To get sellers to call him about comparables, he does not post unit numbers or floor models in the sales histories posted on the site.
Using Multiple Sites

  1. An agent needs a branded site as well as a stealth site, and maybe even more sites; Hass has eleven.
  2. Even the branded web sites have shifted away from telling about the agent to presenting what benefits the agent can provide for the consumer.
  3. The free web site provided to Society members brands them as the cyber expert in their market-it can be used as a primary or secondary site; multiple sites should have links between them.
Web Site Features

  1. The top-agent sites have many features in common; having an email service program with autoresponders is primary; you need to be able to collect a database and respond to people automatically on an ongoing basis; have an email-drip, benefit-oriented program that comes out on a frequent basis.
  2. Consumers are looking for valuable information, not for a hard sell; it is acceptable to feature your own listings, but you need to provide access to all the homes in your market.
  3. People have to be able to find your web site; advertise your site; develop a completely integrated marketing system that links you marketing back to you web site and your web site back to your marketing.
Search Engine Marketing

  1. Search engines change their criteria frequently, so it is hard to define how they bring sites up on their systems; four search engines control about 85% of all searches: MSN, AOL, Google and Yahoo!
  2. The agents interested in search engine optimization are looking at how to become a niche; use a domain name and title that match a particular search parameter to drive you higher on the search and increase your leads-e.g., a subdivision in Atlanta is better than "Atlanta" or "Georgia," which are too broad.
  3. Use reciprocal links between your own sites or with relevant vendors and services to drive you higher and generate leads directly; imbed niche words and key phrases throughout the text on your site and in your metatags.
  4. If you don't come up on the first page of search matches, you will go unnoticed by 80% of consumers.
Local Internet Community

  1. Ken Deshaies from Dillon, CO, has created a local Internet community that is a great source of referrals; although Ken is in a resort market, his concept should work in other local markets.
  2. He started with his sphere of influence people and added to them to establish something like a local chat room; when someone logs in, his or her email message is sent out to everyone else in the community; recipients can respond to the email or ignore it.
  3. Named The Summit Social Club, its focus is not on real estate but on general topics of interest-availability of tickets, requests for baby sitters, etc.; it is a platform from which Deshaies can market himself.
The iSucceed Site

  1. The iSucceed site cost about a dollar a day to use and offers value to people across the spectrum of experience.
  2. New content is continually being added so that agents can duplicate it in their own home market.
Favorite Sites

  1. The USA swimming site has personal appeal because his daughter is a swimmer; it covers national and Olympic news.
  2. USA Today is a news favorite; Realty Times and are industry favorites.
Contact Information for Bill Shue:

(v) 949.349.9394
(f) 949.349.9392

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:
The Summit Social Club
USA Swimming