Category: Real Estate

In The Spotlight: Josh Dorkin and BiggerPockets.com

I am not a real estate investor. I managed only to last as a real estate agent for about 3 or months back in 2005. But you do not need to bee a real estate investor or real estate professional to know about BiggerPockets – an online community of real estate investors. All you need is a slight interest in real estate investment and Google. Chances are that if you have ever researched something related to real estate investing, you have stumbled across BiggerPockets.com.

I am always fascinated by a good website but more so by its founder(s). Every time I visit one, I immediately start to research who was behind it. So was the case with BiggerPockets a few years back. As soon as I visited the website for the first time I wanted to know who was behind it. It is extremely inspiring to learn from people like Josh Dorkin, the founder of BiggerPockets.com.

Josh started the the website in 2004 and today BiggerPockets is an extremely vibrant community of real estate investors with over 60,000 active members.

If you are like me, wondering why did Josh start such a website, watch the video bellow:

In addition to being a great learning place for beginner investors BiggerPockets features hundreds investment properties.

And here is another short video in which Josh tells you how you can benefit from being a part of BiggerPockets- the community of real estate investors:

I am not sure if I ever venture into real estate investing myself. If I do, BiggerPockets will be the first place I will turn to and not the “real-estate-”gurus”-who-sell-their-books-on-TV”. BiggerPockets is a community of real investors many of whom are more experienced and more successful that any given “guru” you see selling their books on TV.

I understand that Josh is planing to make plenty of new videos for BiggerPockets- so I might be posting few of those in the future.

Now go and explore this wonderful resource of real estate investing!

The Basics Again: USP

I’d like to kick off what I hope will be a short series on the basics of selling anything at all. Of course this applies to selling real estate but it equally applies to selling cakes, CDs or cars.

I am going to start with USP – Unique Selling Point. Now if you know even 1% of what you need to succeed online this should be like teaching grandmother how to suck eggs. However, we all, even me, need to be reminded of the basics.

What is it about the real estate (or necklaces, watches, computer cases or greeting cards) that you are promoting that no one else offers? Why would Mr Joe Public choose you over the other six or seven thousand people in the country offering the same or similar services?

If you don’t know the answer to this question then your business in in trouble. Read more »

Real Bird Introduces New Feature: RealBird Virtual Tour

The RealBird Blog just announced new feature called RealBird Virtual Tour. I have written in the pas about RealBirds nifty widget that allows real estate agents create a “mini-showcase” of their listings while offering an opportunity for viral marketing, and allowing bloggers or any webmasters to grab the code and feature the listings on their websites or blogs.

The new feature ads Google Maps Street view to the lower par of the widget and comes at $9.99 per listing or $14.99 when purchased with a property domain name:

RealBird Virtual Tour

The Google Maps of this version is unique in itself as it offers map view, satellite view, hybrid view, terrain view as well as Google Earth.

Just taking a look at few of the featured listings, they need to be more optimized. The images are downloading rather slow even though I have a cable connection. The slow load may be caused by the scripts as well.

Overall it is a nice addition to their product. The “branded virtual tours” offer users an opportunity to share the tours on variety of social networking websites as well as easy way to publish information to their blogs. Personally I would prefer to grab the code via “copy and paste” as it was the case with their former widget, since I do not like to give away the user name and the password to my blog.

Hope to hear from some of my readers what they think about this new feature.

Guest Blogging On Go Beyond MLS

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Tanki
Just a few days ago I have welcomed first guest blog post on Go Beyond MLS. I have been asking in private few of my colleagues bloggers to contribute to this blog at their spare time, but today I open my invitation to all my readers.

There are a few conflicting opinions about guest blogging in general. And it may not be something every one should consider. I will write about my stand on quest blogging at a later time. If you think you can benefit from a guest post on my blog please contact me through the contact form on About Page.

Every guest post on this blog will be formated in a similar way as was Wayne Harriman’s post. You are completely free to choose the subject of your post as long as it is related to real estate or real estate marketing. Ans yes, you are most welcomed to write about your listings and link to them from your guest posts.

Things That Really P*** Me Off

Vlad has generously allowed me to contribute to his blog, and I thank him for the opportunity. I’ve been in a really foul mood lately, and I’m gonna tell you why. Other than Vlad’s ongoing troubles, I really get annoyed by some things I’ve encountered in my short time as a Realtor®. Some of them occur often, others not so much, but they all qualify as PITA’s. Here’s the “short list”:

I am annoyed by…

  1. agents who purport to be the best thing since sliced bread, but can’t be bothered to confirm my showing requests. Come on people, your client wants to sell their house, don’t they? You want to sell your client’s house don’t you? Then how’s about calling me back to confirm a damn showing before the listing expires, OK? And don’t make me drive 100 miles out of my way to pick up the damn keys. Use a frakkin lockbox or meet me at the property. It’s literally the least you can do.
  2. ...agents who can’t take a picture if their life depended on it, but slap any old pic up on the MLS and call it good. Oh my God, leave that awful picture of the basement being used as a trash dump on the flash card and take a real picture, if you don’t mind. No shirtless relatives, no pets puking on the floor, no kitchens with sinks full of unwashed dishes, no front yards full of toys, trash cans or junk cars, OK? Can you handle that? Good.
  3. ...agents who, even though their listing has been up for a month or longer, can’t be bothered to even take a picture of it, let alone a bad one. Can you take a picture? Do you even have a camera? No? Borrow one, or better yet, buy one. Get your teenage son to take the pictures if you can’t. Or ask Athol Kay to take them for you. You can’t get much better than that.
  4. …agents who take it upon themselves to speak for their clients when you present an offer. Please, DO NOT tell me that your client will not accept my full price, cash offer. DO NOT tell me that they won’t fix an inspection issue or grant an extension. Present the offer! Ask them if they’ll fix the problem or grant an extension. DO YOUR JOB!
  5. …agents who place ads in the paper for a listing, but the picture accompanying the ad is of the agent, not the house. What are you trying to sell, a house or you?? Get your ugly mug outta the ad and show the house, will ya? That’s what buyers want to see!
  6. ...agents who, the closer to closing you get, make themselves as hard to contact as possible. After 10 voicemails, 16 emails and a dozen notes sent by carrier pigeon, do you think you could call me to set up a walk-through?? HUH??
  7. …agents who “buy” listings. The house has no curb appeal, it’s outdated, the seller wants to price it so far above market value that The Donald himself wouldn’t touch it. Your mouth makes promises your performance can’t keep, but you’ve baffled the seller with enough BS to fertilize the Sahara. Puh-lease. If you can’t be honest with the seller and tell him his house will never sell at that price and in that condition, at least be true to yourself and have the decency to pass. Or are you really that hard up for business?
  8. …agents who get emotionally involved in the transaction. OMG, don’t get me started. The next time you call me and yell at me so loud the phone cracks, you call me names and tell me what a jerk you think I am because I told you the truth, you and I are gonna throw down. After I’ve had a cool, calm and collected conversation with your broker…
  9. …agents who expect you to do all the work, theirs included. Um, you want me to what? Set up your inspection for you? Contact a lender to see if they’ll pre-approve your client? Get your client’s signature on a contract because they live closer to me?? Pay for your client’s credit check?? Let an appraiser into your listing because you’re on vacation?? Show your client my listing because you’re at your real job?? Why sure, anything else? Shine your shoes? Wash the car? I’ll do anything…just sign over that commission check to ME on closing day. (And we have done some pretty strange things, because if we didn’t the deal would have fallen apart.)
  10. …agents who think asking my clients questions is OK. You’re asking MY clients why they’re selling? How much of a down payment they can make? Even if they’ve considered using another agent?? In FRONT of me??? Are you NUTS??
  11. …agents who delay putting their listings in the MLS so they can try to sell it themselves first. You know who you are. You take that primo listing because you know the perfect buyer for it, so you sort of forget to enter the listing in the MLS and call them to come see it TONIGHT. No sense in letting any other agents horn in on YOUR commission, right?
  12. …agents who use professional sounding email addresses like, realtor4U@aol.com. Like that has an air of professionalism about it. More like an air of cheapness and laziness, because you can’t be bothered to buy a $10 domain, set up a decent web site and actually use it for your email address. Even johndoe@johndoe.com would be better than your Mickey Mouse address. Sorry, Mickey.
  13. …agents who whine about having no business instead of trying to make business. You know who you are, too. The ones who sit at the office and play Solitaire all day or chit chat with the other whiners. The ones who always watch as we put together deal after deal and then have the audacity to say, “You’re so lucky that so much business falls in your lap. I wish I was as lucky as you are.” The ones who never volunteer for floor time or open houses, have no SOI, never prospect, never do any of the things that would make business for you. No, you’d rather wait for something to “fall in your lap.” Well, good luck. In this case, it’s NOT better to be lucky than good.
  14. …agents who send me flyers about their listings, even though they’re 1000 miles away. I swear these guys have access to the entire NAR email database and they’re not afraid to abuse it. Sorry guys, I do not have any clients chomping at the bit to buy a million dollar condo on the beach, or a 50 acre horse farm in the Rockies, or the Georgian mansion on the 18th green of the golf course. Nor am I myself interested in any of those properties. All you’re doing, as this entire post implies, is pissing me off! I unsubscribe but it does NO GOOD! What do I have to do to make you understand, I don’t want your “spamarketing”, so STOP IT!

Ok. There you have it. Are these legitimate beefs? To me, yes. Are they petty? Maybe. I could have added a few more, but I’ve already hijacked Vlad’s blog long enough. Maybe there are some that I forgot that really get under your skin. If so, drop in a comment and vent. You’ll feel much better. Oh, and before I forget, there are a few things that clients do that annoy me, too. But that’s another post…

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