2010 was a very interesting year. We started the year with three distinct options open for our company to grow. Homequest our software application, custom agent wordpress sites and M Realty our fledgling brokerage. I had the opportunity to speak at many Real Estate conferences around the country about what we think and do. I met many fun smart people and the truth is I became enamored with the talk and debate and LOVED the attention.
However the business of translating ideas and fun conversations into practice on the ground is very hard work. When you are advising your agents to adopt these ideas and their livelihood depends on it there had better be some tangible benefit for them.
Talk is cheap and brushing aside questions about ROI is dangerous. I had a moment this year when I looked in the mirror and wondered if what I was advising our agents to do was bullshit. Jeff and I decided to change our focus from industry talk/debate and presenting agents with “cool” tech and ideas to something much more substantial.
We shifted focus to $ goals and closed transaction goals then began to systematically build tracking for all our key metrics. All SM, blogging, content creation, conversion points, paths to agent/client conversations must be measured. All agent sites and content, development on HQ and agent coaching and accountability programs are now attached to measurable metrics.
This has become our obsession…to understand the paths that lead to real estate conversations and closed transactions. Test…refine…test…refine. Then to assist our agents in the adoption and consistent implementation for measurable results. Our future depends on it.
We have a very clear mission, a system to measure our progress, and a lean smart core group that knows how to get shit done!
I will get back to the featured neighborhood pages on Alicia’s site. We have produced close to 50 Neighborhood landing pages on the site but managing the process turned out to be way more complicated than we anticipated. The difficulties include organizing taking the photos, processing the photos & video, writing, and producing the supporting content with multiple people responsible. We have a revised system in place and will be back in operation next week. A big part of why we are trying to create a system for good content production is that we work directly with the agents at M to transfer best practice. Which leads me to Jewel one of our star agents that has taken on a farming project from scratch in the Pearl district adjacent to Downtown Portland.
Pearl District Real Estate
Jewel has produced landing pages for the Condos buildings she is passionate about. She is from New York and loves the converted loft style condos. The Marshall-Wells lofts condo building is a great example. In only 8 weeks Jewel has gone from not knowing what WordPress was to managing a beautiful site with very good content that has a place withing a marketing plan.
The static pages will be done next week and we can move to the more fun creative posts to support our landing pages. So far we have some Panoramics I shot from a helicopter, 50,000 pixel mega pictures, cool helmet cam from roof of M car, and much much more. but for now head down on static pages that convert into registrations. This is the hard ground work the makes the money.
Ok at this point I am so sick of talking about neighborhoods:) time to hire writer!
Thought of the day. We can be agents that focus on activity (send out newsletter go meet with one person from our sphere per week, etc) then accept whatever result naturally comes or we can focus on the results we want then mold the activities to the desired outcome. Obviously not quite that simple but it is a core concept.
Alameda is in an ideal location Just south of the trendy Alberta arts district and North of Irvington. Just blocks from wilshire Park, Alberta St. and Beaumont village. Homes range from $400,000 ish to over $2,000,000 and were built generally between 1910 and 1940.
Adding new content daily is beginning to effect the traffic on our site. The number of terms that we get traffic from has increased…we know because we are tracking SEPS, Traffic and IDX registrations. It is very satisfying to plan content, produce content, promote that content then see visitors show up and register. This is measurable documented ROI.
Beaumont village holds special place for us…we ate breakfast every weekend at the Alameda Cafe when we had our first child Luke. He would smile and wink at the waitress’ and we would sip our coffee and marvel at our chubby little butterball. Beaumont is in NE Portland just north of the Hollywood and Grant Park neighborhood above the Alameda ridge.
A few months ago Jeff and I noticed there was a small bit of traffic coming from “Multnomah Village Real estate” from a post done earlier in the year. It go t us thinking about how to proactively produce content that could attract site visitors that would eventually look at homes on our IDX. focused content production with a specific strategy to promote the pages combined with hard work can move you up in Google search results. That’s step one of a paycheck still need to convert to registration then ask for appointment. No easy way to riches in our biz.
Mulnomah Village is one of the best ares of Portland. Marcos is a must for breakfast and Johns market has the most amazing selection of beer from around the world I have ever seen. Homes for sale tend to be in the $350-500,000 range.
Today we created a one page document that is our guide for the next year. It is like a small business plan focused completely on revenue with goals and the items we need to execute to move towards the goals. As always it starts with the money we want to make then the number of new appointments it should take to get there. The plan is built around simply getting the new appointments. Very straightforward because we have two proven strategies with tactics that already produce appointments that we feel we can scale. Plus we are starting to pilot an additional program. I have learned that because I am an optimist I need to double the effort i think it will take to achieve the appointment goal.
Eastmoreland is on of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Portland. It is filled with impressive homes and streets lines with huge oak and Maple trees. Reed Collage campus and Eastmoreland golf course add to the open green-space feel of this SE Portland neighborhood. The golf course wraps around the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. Close proximity to Sellwood means shopping and great dining are only a few minutes away. Homes are on the high end for east Portland with prices of $500,000-1,000,000 common.
Neighborhood Real Estate Content – deep or wide?
The search traffic from individual neighborhood real estate searches is small but cumulatively it can add up. I think there are two viable strategies. 1. go wide and cover lots of ground which will require relatively large resources to produce, maintain and promote. Plus you must have system in place to cultivate and manage the lead pool to convert into appointment (I think this is only viable for a team). 2. go deep and farm a smaller area using the sites content to support traditional and “in neighborhood” activities. We have both programs working now with the go big strategy firmly established and two farming pilots launched.
Roseway is a great neighborhood in NE Portland. It feels a little like an extension of Beaumont village. The homes for sale tend to be in the $300,000 range and are well kept. Its close to one of the best skate shops in Portland “Daddies” on sandy if you need a sweet new ride.
REALLY wanting to move on to new stuff! I have more exciting things to make…BUT we are building a foundation so we can expand later. I must admit steady repeated action is not my strong suite and I will have to add some different content soon. baby steps to the bus.
I love the Concordia area of NE Portland. One of the best spots if the Kennedy School which is a school that’s been transformed by McMenamins into a Hotel, restaurant, pub, movie theater and soaking tub place.
Our team have been working on this project now for about two weeks and something is definitely changing. Our daily routine is settling into producing pages and actively working on promoting the site. Produce, promote, analyze stats and conversion, adjust then repeat. Now we need to maintain this long term.
St Johns is a very interesting neighborhood. It feels likes it is its own town yet it only minutes from the pearl via the incredible St Johns bridge. There is a storefront commercial section that has coffee shops, restaurants, shopping etc. Homes tend to be in the $250-450 range.