Gahlord Dewald is director of Web strategy with Union Street Media, a real estate Web design and Internet marketing company.

He will speak about Web analytics and return on investment during Real Estate Connect in San Francisco, July 23-25, 2008.

Dewald answered a set of questions posed by Inman News:

What do you see happening in the real estate market in 2008?

Search-engine optimization is getting exceptionally competitive, plus a tighter market will encourage business owners to examine and measure their performance based on real-world data. Winners will use data analysis to improve what they do best. Losers will look at the pretty graphs.

What advice do you have to help real estate agents and brokers get through this market?

Determine what you do best and do more of it. Increase your branding efforts if you can (in the days of cost-per-click and other action-oriented advertising models, CPM is dirt cheap). Take the time to listen to and understand your online customers, then make their lives easier.

What was your first job?

I sold rocks I found in the alley out behind the house from my little red wagon. I think I still have a few left if you’re interested.

What made you join your current company?

I started doing data-driven marketing and Web strategy because I knew there was more to stats than page views and "hits" and wanted to take that information and turn it into actions. I also wanted to make a boatload of money.

What’s been your biggest challenge in running the business?

People have the mistaken impression that this is some sort of arcane art when it really isn’t. Luckily, I love education/consultation so it works out. Helping clients see Internet marketing as more than SEO as well as encouraging clients to be consistently engaged in marketing efforts can sometimes be a challenge.

If you had one thing to do over again in your life, what would it be?

Take a year off between high school and college.

What style of home do you live in and when did you buy it?

Buy it? Sorry, folks, housing market in Burlington, Vt., is still solid. I rent a nice little second floor on a street in the middle of town. My neighbor keeps chickens.

What worries keep you awake at night?

How many more years will cross-country skiing in Vermont be possible?

What lesson did you learn in the last year?

I started working with Union Street Media after working solo for eight years. I did this specifically to learn how team dynamics work. I’ve done a fair bit of learning. My team probably thinks I could use some more learning.

What would your second career choice be?

Tough to choose. I’d probably tour the world playing solo repertoire on the double bass to tens of people in every city, town and village.

What kind of music do you listen to?

Lately, I’ve been very fond of listening to the two local free-format radio stations in Burlington. The Radiator ( whose DJs tend to focus on Burlington music, and also WRUV ( which is the college station and is exceptionally varied in its programming.

Who is your hero?

Edward Tufte.

Hear Dewald speak at Real Estate Connect in San Francisco, July 23-25, 2008. The conference program and registration are available online via the Connect Web site .


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