Archive for December, 2008

100% free profiles for real estate agents

December 30, 2008
Hopefully this will get your new year started on a positive note

Hopefully this will get your new year started on a positive note

The economy’s in the tank (no news there), and real estate sales are… well, at the bottom of that tank, with just 416 sales in Edmonton in December, so far. (The Edmonton Real Estate Blog is good for giving such sales updates.)

That’s why we at What-Customers-Say.com have decided not to charge for agent marketing profiles. Well, that’s not the only reason, but that’s a big & good one.

No charge for marketing profiles on What-Customers-Say.com
Yup, $0. Totally free. So whether you have a marketing profile or not (see an example of one here), there’s really no reason not to participate in What-Customers-Say.com — and let your clients help you with your marketing. …Not that we’re pressuring you to join! 🙂 We’re just knocking down barriers for those agents who can benefit from our services but may not be doing well enough to provide anything in return right now.

What does a “free profile” mean? 
Y’know when you sign up for a free version of something, like, say, some software application, and you get this really watered down version where you have to pay to add on all the stuff you really need? Well, we’re not going to put you through that. You get all the bells & whistles that are available today, including:

  • Your photo
  • Your marketing messaging
  • Your contact info
  • A property listing
  • Add-a-comment (testimonial) feature
  • Email updates every time someone leaves you a review
  • Details about activity on your account (on your sign-in page)

For free.

Well, how is What-Customers-Say.com going to make money?
Dunno. Got any ideas? 😉 We’ll see. But what matters right now and for as long as our little site is around is that Edmonton real estate agents, Sherwood Park real estate agents, St. Albert real estate agents… and every agent across Alberta & the country (as soon as we go national) will be able to get a free profile. And that profile — with all the wingdings listed above — will cost you a whopping nuthin’.

What do you think about that? Let us know!

~jw

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Why do I blog?

December 22, 2008
Blogging to keep a record for my graduate school final project

Blogging to keep a record for my graduate school final project

WhatCustomersSay.com is not only a Web site but also a case study, which is part of my final project for my graduate program. (I’m very interested in social media and, in my day job, I drive the social media marketing team. My grad studies are helping me to fuel my passion from an academic perspective.) The topic of/thesis for my final project isn’t worked out perfectly, but it revolves around these questions:

  • How can professionals & organizations market themselves online today when they do not necessarily control the messages about themselves &/or their companies?
  • Can a self-serving organization truly release control of their messages to users/the public at large? How much does an organization need to control the messages about it?–to what lengths will they go to keep messages coralled?
  • And, finally, what happens when you surrender total control and let people say what they will about you?–what kinds of professionals & organizations are doing this successfully… & unsuccessfully?

This blog has been not a way to voice my opinion — although it seems to have become that — but rather a journal of happenings that I will be able to use to compose the case study element of my final project. The majority of the entries in this blog are here simply as a record of happenings. An artifact. (more…)

Social networking tools for real estate agents

December 13, 2008
Are you putting user-contribution systems to use for you?

Are you putting user-contribution systems to use for you?

I’m researching a contact management tool to use for What-Customers-Say.com — to help us manage our incoming emails from agents + reviewers and to assign/complete tasks accordingly — and I’ve just come across BatchBook, an online CRM for small business owners.

Anyway, their tool is also designed for real estate agents, and they’ve written a useful whitepaper (html) for agents that you can find here

Are you using these social networking tools today, agents? Is Real Estate 2.0 growing in Canada… or are Americans the early adopters, with Canadians following their lead?

~jw

Postcards arriving soon, agents!

December 4, 2008
The front of the postcard

The front of the postcard

If you’re a real estate agent with a profile on our site, then you can look forward to receiving in the mail (if you haven’t already) a package of postcards.

What are these postcards for?
Well, if you have a profile on our site, then you already know that we strongly encourage you “manage your reputation before it manages you.” These postcards wil help with that.

The idea is that you can take the postcards, hand them out to your clients when you close on a deal with them (or run into them in Starbucks) and simply ask them to review you on the site —- the postcard is their reminder to do so.

What’s on the postcard?
The front is the bright card you see here. The back is a message that:

  • Thanks the client for choosing to work with you
  • Tells them about What-Customers-Say.com
  • Invites them to rate you to tell you what you did right and if you need a little improvement in an area
  • Lists out the steps to take to rate you

There’s also space at the bottom of the card where you can sign your name or place your business stamp.

Hope these cards help! We know it can be challenging to work up the nerve to ask for a review/recommendation from a client, so hopefully these cards will help make it a little easier. (Handing over something may help? At least it keeps your hands busy and gives them something to look at instead of just staring blankly at you. 🙂 )

~jw