(This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Read Part 2.)

Technology was the hot topic at the recent AFIRE (Awesome Females in Real Estate) conference held in Savannah, Ga. Here’s what some of real estate’s most talented women had to say that can help you build your online business.

1. Coordinate your Web marketing with your other marketing efforts
Deborah Falcone of the Wall Street Journal explained the importance of using print publications to reach local as well as national and international audiences. While the print version of the Journal reaches fewer than 2 million readers, the Web version of the Journal reaches 35.4 million readers. Falcone’s recommendation was to become actively involved in the Journal’s new discussion groups as well as answering questions posed by readers at their Realtor Forum. When you post your profile, be sure to take advantage of the "dot-drawing" at WSJcommunity.com. It shows Journal readers that you are hip and taking full advantage of the services they provide.

2. Is pay-per-click on its way out?
According to Falcone, pay-per-click (PPC), where you bid on search terms in an auction and are charged each time a Web visitor clicks through to your site, is being replaced with "impression-based marketing." The model differs from PPC in that you are charged each time your ad is displayed rather than when the visitor clicks on your ad. This is usually a better spend in terms of your marketing dollars since you can target specific geographic areas, income, plus other demographic factors. Furthermore, while PPC can cost dollars per click, the impression-based approach may cost as little as a penny per impression. The $50 you spend on a print ad can translate into as many as 5,000 highly targeted impressions.

3. ROT replaces ROI
Several speakers highlighted the fact that since so many Web applications are free, measuring return on investment (ROI) is no longer an accurate way to gauge your Web marketing efforts. Instead, you must focus on your "return on time" (ROT). The challenge real estate professionals face today is determining where their time is best spent.

Sherry Chris, the CEO of Better Homes and Gardens, spends 2 1/2 hours per day on social networking. Chris explained that she and other members of her staff actively blog on the company’s blog site. She is also personally active on most major social media sites. She makes a point of personally responding to birthday and other requests.

Kelly White and Krisstina Wise of Good Life University highlighted the importance of using your time wisely. White and Wise have constructed a detailed social media marketing plan. They determine where they will post and are deliberate about when those posts appear, as well as controlling the content of the posts.

For example, while Wise was at the conference, her husband/partner did a post on Twitter that said something to the effect that, "Things are good at Good Life University. We sold three houses and listed two." This is the type of post that causes people to unfollow you on Twitter and unfriend you on Facebook because it is a blatant marketing message. Wise instructed him to take the post down immediately and to replace it with a personal message to her that would appear on her Twitter feed: "Babe, while the cat’s away the mice will play. Sold three houses, listed another two — stay in Savannah another week." …CONTINUED

White and Wise are using Wise’s brokerage as a lab where they specifically track what works and what doesn’t work in the social networking space. Based upon their tracking and feedback, their agents receive exactly the type of post to make, which social networking site(s) to use for their post, as well as the optimal time to make the post.

4. The 95-5 Rule
Susie Hale (Frogpond.com) suggested that you spend 95 percent of your time contributing to other people’s conversations, sharing relevant information, and having fun. Limit your discussions about your business to 5 percent of your posts. In other words, build relationships by interacting and contributing to others.

Hale also suggested www.hellotxt.com as an easy way to do your posts in one place. The site then broadcasts your post to all your social networking sites in one easy step. Hale also suggested the following as her personal recipe for online success:

Recipe for Online Success

1 cup Content
1 cup Conversation
1 cup Passion

Mix together till it thickens into Trust.
Spread Carefully and Consistently in baking pan.

Bake at 360 degrees till your Traffic begins to rise.

Serve immediately with keys, a heaping spoonful of congratulations, and a sprinkle of "Thank You" notes.

Need more technology tips? Check out Part 2 next week.

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, trainer and author of "Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success" and other books. You can reach her at Bernice@RealEstateCoach.com.


What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor. To contact the writer, click the byline at the top of the story.

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