August 8, 2012
A new brokerage came into the Valley is launching a new and interesting campaign.
Opening an in-store location in the Walmart on State Street in Boise, West USA Realty is going where no one has gone before…(Sear’s experiment with in-store real estate offices in the 90’s doesn’t count).
West USA Realty with broker Tim Bassett is located just to the left of the main Walmart entrance, by the Bronco’s Store in arguably the highest retail foot traffic zone in the Valley. Standing in line it is impossible to miss the huge blue “Walk-In Location” sign above their space.
The Idaho Business Review did a story on this on August 3rd: “Big Ticket Item: Shoppers can pick up a home in this Walmart.” Not exactly.
Its clear from the story that the reporter hand a preconceived notion of the “typical” Walmart shopper not being a candidate for home ownership. Having spoken with Daniel Frydrych, Vice President of Franchise Development for West USA Realty, I can tell you that they know that lots and lots of home buyers and sellers shop at Walmart. They currently have successful franchise locations in Walmarts in several western states.
So there is no argument that they’ve got a huge number of “eyes on product”.
Let’s look at what they’re offering. Many studies suggest they are offering exactly what consumers want….a high touch concierge that is there when they want them.
We know today that practically everyone starts they’re real estate deal on line. Then what? If they’re like you and me, they have to stop looking to do something else; feed the dog, take their kids to soccer, buy groceries…stop at Walmart for 100 rolls of paper towels.
Standing in line and fretting about how many more things they have to get done before they can go back on line and look at houses, they look up and see a big HD screen showing beautiful listing photos and a friendly professional looking agent smiling back and a sign that says “Walk In”. I’m going in.
One our industry’s biggest problems is dropped leads. For whatever reason a call does not get returned or an email gets deleted and the consumer is left out in the cold. Once we can begin engagement with a consumer they usually stick with us.
Think about the last time you were in a hotel in another city and wanted to know where to go to dinner or how to go to a show. Sure you probably looked at Yelp or Urban Spoon or Fandango before you got there, but as you walk through that hotel lobby there’s the Concierge desk with someone to offer to personally help you…and they know the answer.
That’s what I think this can become.
The first challenge for Tim and his crew will be to make good on their offer to provide outstanding professional service from the first moment to EVERY person who asks for it. No prejudging based on what the person is wearing or if he shaved that day or any of the other characteristics of the popular YouTube “People of Walmart”. This will take a lot of discipline.
The second challenge will be to employ creative social technology to engage the consumer to reinforce the concierge mindset. Once I get home from my shopping I’m going to want the same level of service on the website as in the store.
According to Tim they’ve already taken a few listings; one for $350,000.
Don’t forget…this model is already working in several other states…and Walmart is a smart company. The continue profitable ventures and eliminate those that aren’t.
I talked to the Walmart Manager (he’s been on the job for 3 weeks). Walmart believes this is going to be a great thing for West USA Realty and Walmart.
Best of luck to our new neighbor.
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Hold onto your hats because REBar is back and if you joined us last year you know it’s one of the hottest FREE real estate education world today. If you missed out last year don’t make the same mistake twice.
If you are new or you blacked out last year, you are probably asking what is a RE BarCamp, well the event is not structured like a typical planned conference. Sessions are not planned out in advance and nobody is paid to deliver a session. Anybody can deliver a session and attendees are strongly encouraged to participate. The whole point of being there is to get information you find useful and meet new people, expanding your personal community and network.
So Why Should You Show UP? To Share, to Learn, to talk about what makes us better real estate agents, brokers and business people. To connect with like-minded social media marketers. Because there is something for everyone here, beginner to pro!
Did we mention it’s FREE! Make sure to register now because seats are limited.
Do you have a topic you really want to know more about ? Please take 30 seconds to go vote on the topics that will be discussed and learn more about REBar Camp.
IF you have a topic that you want to share more about and would like to become involved with REBar as one of the “Thought Leaders” please email Sarah Kestler to find out more.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Just in case you were wondering…
Yes. We have seen the recent string of housing stories in the Idaho Statesman.
“Home Prices Hit New Lows in March” – This story summarized a recent Case-Shiller report on the “top 20 metropolitan areas” which does not include the Treasure Valley. There were a couple of good points raised in the article:
“The housing market isn’t going to get any worse; it is just not going to contribute moving forward,” said Patrick Newport, an economist with consulting firm IHS Global Insight.
“With a recovering economy, incomes on the move, interest rates low, the fact that affordability is so good relative to the last decade is more or less supporting the market right now,” he said. “But lack of equity is preventing it from going anywhere, so we are just going to sit in this neutral zone.”
“Underwater Homeowners Unable to Improve Their Situation” – A very tough story profiling a Las Vegas family facing an erosion in the value of their home by 2/3’s. Even tougher when the primary wage earner has to move several hundred miles to find a job. But, last time I looked, this wasn’t Las Vegas.
“Idaho’s April Home Sales Show Biggest Price Drop in U.S.” – OK…this is a lot closer to home. Let’s see how what the Statesman reported compares to what ACAR published last month.
1. The Statesman says we had a 14.2% decline in April’s median price year-over-year. In Ada County we had a 10% decline year-over-year and held steady to March 2011.
2. The Statesman says that 63% of sales were distressed. In Ada County it was really 56%…still dreadful, but, this number is showing a little improvement. Looking forward, Pending Sales at the end of April were 48% distressed. This is an improvement of 4% from March.
So, now what do we do?
I called the paper yesterday and talked with the business reporter about how national data rarely applied to local markets. I told him about the numerous contra indicators for Ada County. I also mentioned that the data he was reporting on was reported by the REALTORS® to our community last month. This wasn’t really news at all.
I again offered to provide more current data, along with objective commentary (I think I said “we won’t blow smoke up your skirt”).
For our part, the REALTOR® community needs to step up strong and early when it comes to housing data. We are the key source of current information. Not CoreLogic or Case-Shiller.
Take the Market Update that ACAR publishes on the 11th of the month and push that out to your clients and contacts. Repost it on your Facebook pages; Tweet the heck out of it; make a YouTube video; put it on your blog; publish it in your community newsletters.
The clear solution is to drown out the misinformation with a chorus of authority and understanding.
Consumers need REALTORS® to be their trusted source of information. They’ve said so over and over again.
ACAR can help you be that and more.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Posted on November 11, 2009. Filed under: social media |
Read about this today. I know Michael Russer. Very sharp. Realtors have found lots of success in “Mastermind” type groups. I’ve joined one myself with a group of AE’s from Associations like ours.
As I read this, it suggests that there is a cost, but I don’t know what it is.
There is a requirement that you be an eTEAM member. I went on the site and read about it, but I’m still not sure of any details.
Give it a look…but keep your eyes open.
Santa Barbara , CA , November 11, 2009 — With social media being recognized as the hottest way of generating business online, Michael Russer (aka Mr. Internet®) of Online Dominance™ has teamed up with Brad Carroll and Bobby Carroll of Dakno Marketing to form a powerful MasterMind group for agents who are seriously focused on boosting transactions.
In an endeavor that changes almost daily, the Social Networking MasterMind Group will be presented with content that puts them ahead of the digital curve during its monthly meetings, as well as the best strategies for using it. This is the first ongoing venue exclusively for top performing real estate professionals to keep up with the latest in this essential trend.
“Far too many agents are given access to tools like social media, often at sizable expense to their brokerages, without understanding how to really use them correctly. They seem like so much fun to play with, but they have no concept how much time and effort is truly required to make social networking effective, resulting in nothing but mounting frustration and hours of time sucked away from productive business. Would you give a teen with a learners permit the keys to your new Ferrari? If so, you’re braver than me!” says Michael Russer.
This sentiment is echoed by top social networker and Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Dakno, Bobby Carroll, who will take the lead in facilitating the MasterMind. “Using social media today is like the California Gold Rush – a few prepared individuals struck it rich, but most laid waste to the landscape. Truth is, you can do more harm to yourself than good if you aren’t properly equipped with the right skills. To experience any measure of success with social networking, real estate professionals must understand these new, ever-changing tools, AND have a plan ready to use them!”
The Online Dominance™ Social Networking MasterMind Group is open to eTEAM Members only. Also, members will be held accountable for implementing what they learn and reporting on the results. To find out more about the Online Dominance Mentoring Program™, or for more information about Michael Russer or to book him as a speaker, call Vickie Smith at 877-977-1188 x81 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Dakno Marketing, contact Bobby Carroll at Bobby@Dakno.com.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Posted on October 15, 2009. Filed under: social media |
Respect Be respectful of the community, the members, the group’s overall goals, etc. Social Media is a participatory sport and that means that you are one of many. People can chose to communicate with you or they can chose to ignore you. Treat others as you want to be treated.
Listen Listening and receiving comments and feedback are two of the greatest strengths of Social Media. They represent first-hand interaction with your customer. By listening to them you gain unfiltered feedback about your products and market.
Respond When people comment or leave messages for you it’s only polite to respond in a timely fashion. By responding you are validating to the online community that you are an individual that values and acknowledges others. This adds to your credibility as an individual.
Build Relationships It’s called social networking for a reason. Make sure you build relationships with everyone that communicates with you; establish conversations, ask questions, respond to questions, etc. Discussions and relationships encourage people to return to your page, thereby building a meaningful community.
Be Authentic and Transparent Be sincere and honest; be yourself. With Social Media displaying your profile, message and comments it is critical to your success that you are genuine and dependable.
Do Not Become a Nuisance It’s generally agreed that spamming is bad, but it’s also important to avoid becoming a Keyboard Gangster, Envelope Pusher or a Social Saboteur. More about these different type in my new Social Media Report.
Collaborate Social Media is a collective medium. This means that it uses the knowledge or wisdom of the whole group; not just a single individual. For that reason, information obtained in Social Media on Wikis or reviews is seldom entirely wrong. On the other hand, it’s often not 100% right. As a result, there is a strong need to work together, updating and constantly adding value to improve the quality of the content.
Add Value Every member of a community must contribute his or her fair share. What is your contribution? Remember that contributions come in many different shapes and actions: providing information, being a resource, answering questions and redistributing information.
Consider Opportunities in the Long Tail In Social Media, every service offering has some degree of value. It’s not always wise to just focus on the few services that command a high frequency of interest among a few niche groups and the requisite competition that introduces other service providers. As technology continues to erode communication barriers, value will also come from the many niche groups in “the tail” that demonstrate interest in services that conventional (competing) service providers would otherwise consider having little value.