We all get stuck in a rut.

Same hairstyle. Same clothes. Same website. Same old, same old.

But doing the same thing expecting different results is insanity!

I am really excited about a brand-new nationwide sweepstakes that HomeFinder.com is launching today on May 15. It will give five real estate agents (chosen at random) a business and style makeover during a two-day, all-inclusive trip to Chicago!

Let’s face it, these past few years in real estate have not been easy. Agents and brokers have had to work harder than ever: working longer hours, negotiating complicated transactions, and keeping up with technology.

HomeFinder.com’s goal in launching this inaugural industry program is to help offset some of the difficulties of the past few years. In addition to the recession’s effect on homeowners and sellers, U.S. real estate agents and brokers have clearly felt the severity of the housing collapse. The National Association of Realtors reports a 25 percent decrease in the number of members from 2007 to 2011.

“By providing digital marketing coaching and style makeovers, HomeFinder.com wants to give the winning agents tools to help rebuild their business and jump-start this next era for the real estate industry,” said Mark Tepper, senior vice president of sales and marketing at HomeFinder.com.

The five winners of the 2012 Agent Makeover Sweepstakes will be flown to Chicago from Sept. 12-14, 2012, where they will stay overnight in a luxurious hotel off of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and receive expert coaching from key local industry leaders on the best real estate-specific social media practices, SEO coaching, and online marketing techniques, including:

  • How SEO is drastically changing the real estate landscape.
  • How social media can make their business soar.
  • Why Google is a crucial part of online marketing success.
  • How agents can fully capitalize on this changing landscape.

The winners will also undergo a full makeover to include hair and makeup styling and pampering at an esteemed Chicago salon, wardrobe consultation at a leading national department store, and a professional photo session to conclude the style makeover. A networking dinner will be held on the evening of Sept. 13, 2012.

All licensed real estate agents are eligible to enter the sweepstakes, which will run from May 15, 2012, through Aug. 10, 2012.

“Our Agent Makeover Sweepstakes will give the winning agents the opportunity to improve their business in a way that is fun and engaging, and to enjoy some rejuvenating time away in our hometown,” Tepper said.

“When they return back to work, we hope they will take with them the valuable knowledge and tools to take their business to the next level.”

Contestants may enter the contest twice: once by visiting homefinder.com/agent-makeover and once through Facebook.com/homefinderdotcom. Winners will be chosen on Aug. 15, 2012, and contacted directly.

I love this contest’s ideas on two levels: First, I love that the recipients of this contest are winning something to improve themselves from the inside out. Secondly, I love that HomeFinder is embracing social media and running a really exciting social promotion that will gain it a ton of buzz online and help agents at the same time. What a great way to expand its brand!

Kudos to you, HomeFinder, and I hope everyone reading this enters the sweepstakes (can I win?!)

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