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"Joeann Fossland Interview 2001"

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Joeann Fossland Photo
2/2/01 Interview with Joeann Fossland

Advantage Solutions Group
P.O. Box 133
Cortaro, AZ 85652

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Success Factors for Internet Marketing

  1. Agents need to have an integrated strategy to leverage their marketing power; be clear how the Internet component fits into your total marketing program.
  2. Set goals for what you want Internet marketing to accomplish generate buyers, function as a listing tool, provide more name recognition, establish a new niche, etc.
Group Email

  1. Large numbers of people can be reached with a group message via a single click, eliminating the investment of time and money for traditional mail campaigns.
  2. Your choice for an email program should allow you to handle groups‹AOL does not; Outlook and Outlook Express are popular; Eudora is another good program.
  3. Learn to use Group capabilities such as setting up groups and sending blind courtesy copies (bcc); using the bcc avoids distributing your entire list and appears more personal because no one listed in the bcc box sees the entire list.
  4. Tips for using the "to" box include addressing the message to yourself to provide a record, or making up an email address that summarizes the group and appears somewhat personal; be sure that your ISP will bounce back only the fictitious address and not the entire group.
  5. Remember that technology is a tool; real estate success still depends on successful personal relationships that must be respected and nurtured; Alice Held [interviewed in April 1999, issue RC9904] makes an effort to answer every email response from a prospect with a personal phone call.
Building Your Email List

  1. Email addresses are becoming the most valuable commodity a real estate agent can have; use every opportunity to ask people for their email address in order to build a good distribution list; people are more likely to provide their email address than their phone number.
  2. If you do not have email addresses for some people in your sphere of influence, go back to them to request it‹adding that update is a good excuse for a warm call; ask their permission to use the email address to send notices of value to them.
Tools and Software

  1. The choices are vast and changing quickly; at the minimum at present, an agent needs a laptop and a PalmPilot or HandspringVisor to be adequately prepared with information on the move.
  2. Wireless technology is coming on strongly as downloading times improve; within two to three years, most real estate agents will be using wireless options.
  3. Jack suggests using the tiny Franklin Rex Pro in the meantime as a convenient "walking address book" for accessing schedules and contact information quickly.
  4. A listserver or software that can handle large distributions of email messages is helpful to agents with lists bigger than can be managed practically by traditional email software; Fossland uses the free Microsoft product on her web site to distribute her newsletter and to allow visitors to sign up automatically.
  5. As a side tip for attracting names to your list, post your newsletter on your web site; visitors who see it and are interested, may sign up.
  6. The Society's "DealMaking Wizard Disk" gives members an extensive collection of listservers for both residential and commercial/investment, most of which are free.
How to Avoid Web Marketing Mistakes

  1. Don't view your web site merely as an online brochure for posting information; include interactive content and ways to bring the consumer back.
  2. If you have a traditional geographical farm, buy the domain name of your community and develop a community web page that attracts an on-going following; in the coming years, adding value is what will keep you in business.
  3. The free Personal Web Sites for Society members gives visitors to a member's web page access to features from that keep people coming back; also, members can include their own favorite links.
What Real Estate Consumers Expect

  1. Choices for consumers have expanded dramatically through the Web, and agents must adapt to give prospective clients choices.
  2. Offering a menu of choices for services on your site demonstrates that you don't take a "one-size-fits-all" approach; the experience of agents who have used this strategy find that consumers usually opt for full service.
  3. Don't be a generalist define your niche and aim to become a guru in that arena; provide what that niche is seeking make your value addeds specific to your niche.
LTG Training for Women

  1. Fossland is an instructor for the new class offered through the Women's Council of REALTORS® of the NAR; the resulting designation is Leadership Trained Graduate (LTG).
  2. The one-day seminar is an intermediate level course focused on how to increase the effectiveness of Internet marketing; topics include setting up groups, using lists and prospecting on the Internet.
  3. The content is different from the e-PRO online program; LTG, e-PRO and the Society's RECS designation course debuting through Realty U all contribute to a solid foundation and are not mutually exclusive.
Favorite Web Sites

  1. The Women's Council site,, has helpful information about the council's classes and members.
  2. Other informative sites are, and (for live computer help).
A Look Ahead

The agents who will be most successful will put their strategies together to include the Internet and will remember this is a relationship business; they will need to be fast and flexible in meeting consumers expectations for choices, control and innovation.

Contact Information for Joeann Fossland:

(v) 520-744-8731
(f) 775-254-3256

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Joeann Fossland

Email programs: Outlook; Outlook Express; Eudora
Agent hardware: PalmPilot; HandspringVisor; Franklin Rex Pro

Microsoft listserver Listbot
Women's Council of REALTORS®
Real Estate