What are some of the hot new technologies for agents in 2010? Here are four terrific resources, and best of all, they’re free!
When it comes to Web site analytics, very few agents pay attention to this important data that tells them how visitors find their site, which keywords are generating the most visitors, as well as what causes visitors to surf elsewhere. Google Analytics provides great basic information. If you want a more detailed analysis, however, most companies charge a fee. In contrast, StatCounter.com provides analysis on 29 different factors at no charge.
For example, under "search engine wars" you can see what percentage of your traffic originates from various sites. If you are using a pay-per-click or "ad word" strategy, this shows you where your money is best spent for ads.
The "keyword analysis" allows you to determine which keywords provide the greatest number of visitors to your site. For example, is it better to say "homes for sale," "houses for sale" or "listings for sale?" The only way to know is by monitoring which words receive the most clicks on your personal site.
One of the most important tools to use from StatCounter is the "repeat visitor" tracking tool. Paul Zweben and Mitch Ribak, in their session on "How to Make Leads and Influence People," reported that their Web site visitors would typically return 25 to 30 times before they would contact them personally about doing business. Tracking repeat visitors allows you to identify which Web visitors are most likely to do business with you.
What is Tumblr.com? It’s a combination of a photo-sharing site like Flickr.com, a micro-blogging platform like Twitter, a tagging site like del.icio.us, a video sharing site like YouTube.com, and a recommendation site similar to Stumbleupon.com (a site that finds blog posts on topics you select and sends them to you.) If you don’t have an account, you can visit the "Popular" tab on Tumblr to see how it displays interesting photos in real time.
The cool thing about Tumblr is that it allows you to create blogging content in a wide variety of ways other than just writing. The basic format works like a blog, but it also does much more. For example, the "Bookmarklet" allows you to easily share posts, articles, pictures or videos with your friends and followers. If you write a blog post, you can also post it to Facebook or Twitter.
One of the most attractive factors about Tumbler is its e-mail publishing tool. If you have an iPhone, you can post texts, photos, MP3s and videos directly from your mobile phone to the Tumblr site. For those who like to talk but aren’t dedicated bloggers or writers, Tumblr allows you to post directly to your blog by dialing an 800 number.
Unlike Posterous that sends the traffic to the Posterous site, Tumblr allows you to set up your account so that what you send comes from your personal Web site URL rather than a Tumblr address. This means your site receives the traffic rather than a third party. …CONTINUED
Have you ever attended a networking event with the hopes of finding clients for your business? If so, Meetup.com is for you.
A "meetup" is a face-to-face meeting of people who share similar interests. It could be a book club, a singles group, a group of sports enthusiasts, or any other topic where people share mutual interests. A great way to get started on Meetup is to visit the site, find out what meetings are near where you live, and attend. Again, don’t go as "your local Realtor."
Like other social networking activities, it’s about being engaged with what is going on within the group. What an improvement over cold-calling and door-knocking: engaging people who actually want to speak with you!
Have you received an e-mail or a notice on your Facebook account that "Jim has become the mayor of such-and-such a place?" If so, that notice was from new social networking game from Foursquare.
In a recent column, Gahlord Dewald drew the distinction between "place" and "space." A good analogy is the difference between a "house" (a structure) and a "home" (a structure that has emotional meaning because it’s where I have lived.)
In other words, a new restaurant is a "place" until you have a wonderful meal there with a group of friends. That memory then becomes an emotional anchor that changes the "place" to a "space."
The point of Foursquare is to help people connect through their favorite "spaces."
For example, assume that you had a business meeting at a local restaurant. After you wrap up your meeting, you have an hour before your next appointment. You could check Foursquare to see if any of your friends are nearby for a quick meetup.
A major reason Foursquare is getting so much buzz is that Foursquare also allows you to claim a favorite place as your "space." For example, you can get a "Bender" badge for going to the same place for four days running. You can be a "superstar" by visiting 50 different venues. The point is to share useful information with your friends and to have fun.
Looking for more trends and gems from Real Estate Connect? Then don’t miss Thursday’s column with some common-sense gems that can help your business.
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 and find her on Twitter: @bross.
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.