Demian Farnworth

Author Archives: Demian Farnworth

6 Daily Habits That Will Make Your Blog Better

Creating good content is probably the biggest challenges that real estate agents face. Is that true for you? If so, let’s look at six habits you can adopt to help you create better content–more often.

Habit 1: Write

First things first. You need to sit down and write. You need to write without distraction. You need to write without the internal editor whispering in your ear.

Block off a half hour where you sit down with a blank screen and write. Try to get 1,000 words a day. If that sounds impossible, start with 100. Do that for a week, then bump it up to 200. Do that until you reach 1,000.

Habit 2: Make a List

Again, with the internal critique wearing a muzzle, knock out a top ten or twenty list. “On what?” you ask. It could be anything. Top ten stupid things you do before 9 in the morning. Top twenty reasons why every real estate agent should hold more open houses. Dig into your experience. Think of things that have annoyed you. Look for connections between the economy and your market. Draw associations between the news and your market. And then write a list.

Habit 3: Research

Your copy that you wrote and the lists that you create are probably not that solid. You need to find some research to back up your thoughts. You need to find some examples to support your ideas.

This doesn’t necessarily have to be something that you pencil in everyday. You could include this work in your daily activities–whether checking trade journals or browsing through your Twitter stream–keep an eye out for ideas.

Habit 4: Edit

This is probably the hardest habit to master. Editing is an art. It’s not something that you can do with great success overnight. It takes years to develop an eye for what you should and shouldn’t keep. To pick up on more effective ways to re-organize your content. You could hire a high school intern to be your editor or, if you are the DIY type, pick up some books on the topic. EB White’s Element of Style is a must. So is Joe Sugarman’s Advertising Secrets of the Written Word.

Habit 5: Promote

Once you’ve got a post in good enough shape where you feel comfortable publishing, share that post with your social media platforms: Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. And don’t just do it once and call it a day. Go back and re-tweet content you wrote last month. And don’t forget to share other people’s content, too. Serve the community–not yourself.

Habit 6: Monitor Metrics

The last habit you need to get into is measuring your efforts. What should you look at? Number of comments, likes, tweets, visits to the page. These numbers might be low to begin with but don’t worry–they’ll get better.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

Your Real Estate Career: 9 Ways Blogging Can Help You

Social Media Matters: Selling Houses During Hard Times

The 3 Reasons You Don’t Convert Online Visitors to Leads

8 Ways to Get Clients to Trust You With the Biggest Purchase Decision of Their Life

Recently I worked on a project in which clients were trying to sell $50,000 beach-front lots in Latin America in what amounted to a barn-burning email series. We sent four emails over the period of two weeks. The last two emails came within 24 hours of each other.

While it seemed to generate some serious interest on the front end, at the end of the campaign zero sales were made. Two inquiries were made, but those fizzled out. And, in the end the campaign was thought to be a bust.

Buying and selling real estate requires more than a crafty and compelling sales message in an email series. It’s long-term. And it looks like this.
Continue reading

Mobile Advertising: Should Real Estate Agents Use It?

More and more these days people are using mobile phones to search. They jump on the web to check out reviews, compare prices and even make purchases. Research supports this trend:

  • 60% percent. That’s the percentage of customers who will review a product via their mobile before purchase (Digby Mobile Commerce and Engagement Stats)
  • 51%. The percentage of smart phone users who will buy if you have a mobile site. (ConsumerSearch Offers On-the-Go Shopping Advice with Free Product Review App)
  • 77%. Percentage of people who access search and social sites via mobile phones. (Mobile Movement)

For certain small businesses this could be a gold mine of new leads and traffic to your brick-and-mortar store.

But should real estate agents jump on the bandwagon? Great question. Let’s take a look.

1. Can You Determine Customer Location?

What makes mobile advertising so powerful is that the ad networks work with geo-targeting, allowing advertisers to show ads in well-defined areas. For companies that service a large area–like a county or two or a major metropolitan area–this is likely to increase your conversion rate. You are likely to get in front of many customers.

2. Can You Create Call to Actions?

Mobile advertising isn’t just meant to tip people to the existence of your real estate business. It’s also meant to get people to take action when they see your ad. For example, a good call to action encourages a home buyer or seller to:

  • Call you directly.
  • Send an email.
  • Visit your website.
  • Sign up for a text alerts or an email newsletter.
  • Submit contact information.
  • Secure an appointment.
  • Follow you on social media.
  • Register for an event.

These actions are easy to measure and allow you a method of tracking your mobile marketing campaign success.

3. Do You Have a Mobile Site?

Your current website will not render nicely through a mobile phone. You’ll need to build a mobile website to accomodate your prospects who use their phone. If you use WordPress for your website, then the WP Touch plugin will do a nice job of recognizing when someone is accessing your site via their phone and rendering a mobile version.

Otherwise you can invest in a (mobile site). Wonder if your site is mobile ready? Check out Google’s project.

Don’t forget to make contact information easily accessible.

4. Start with Google AdWords

If you want a little jolt to get your campaign going, consider spending some money with Google AdWords. These ads are easy to create since they are nothing but text. No images or banner creation.

The cool thing about AdWords is that you an build a mobile specific campaign (with separate bids) separate from your website-specific campaign. Set maximum budget levels so you don’t exceed your pocket book.

5. Consider Other Mobile Ad Networks

If you roll with a different ad network, you will need to provide a banner. These networks roll out ads across mobile websites and apps. Banners can be created in any design software or with Google’s ad display builder. Last May Trulia launched mobile advertising for real estate agents.

Check out the Guide to Mobile Advertising Networks for a great review of the different networks out there.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Want fresh, new ideas on making your phone ring with prospects? Then grab this free 7-part online video training series.

Related Articles

How to Attract and Keep Clients with Facebook Groups

How to Become Highly Prosperous in a Shaky Market

Need a Damn Good Referral System to Save Your Career? 

5 Signs That It’s Time to Quit Your Job and Become a Real Estate Agent

In this shaky economy very few people would consider it a good career move to change their job–let alone quit to become a real estate agent.

But there are a number of people who are doing just that. Why? What’s in it for them? Here are five reasons.

1. Lifeless Job

From the honeymoon period to burn-out, every job goes through a series of steps. Early on everything is exciting with the change of position, new location and learning the ropes. But once you’ve met goals and achieved objectives you start to lose interest. Eventually you dread coming to the office and may even be irritable. If that describes you, then it may be time to quit.

2. Lifeless Career

Have you been at the same company for sixteen years? In the same industry for twenty? You are overdue for a serious change. Stagnating in a position or even company can also stagnate your own personal and professional improvement. Quitting your job to become a real estate agent will help you gain new skills and improve upon your old ones.

3. Lifeless Boss

The dead-beat boss is not good for anybody with at least a little bit of ambition. He or she might take your assertiveness as an actual attempt at their position–and do everything to squash you. More than likely you won’t have a psychotic boss–just not a very good supporter. He doesn’t back your plans or ignores your please for progressive. Life under such a manager is no fun.

4. Lifeless Industry

Sure, in 2008, and for the next four years, real estate became a lifeless industry as it self-imploded and purged the bloat. But even back in those bad days average agents were able to make a living. They just had to adjust. And now that the market is slowly improving, life is getting better. Well, your industry might just be getting ready to crack. Does that threaten your company? Will there be lay offs soon? If so, it might be a good time to change careers.

6. You Are Lifeless

There are many reasons you may not be motivated in your current job. Your job, position and company may not contribute to your mid- to long-term professional goals. In fact, they be an obstacles. You may simply not have the passion or gratification of a job well done any more.


You may have know for over a year that is was time to move on. Sometimes it could be longer. I know I stayed in a position I hated for 18 months because of the pay, benefits and the people. It took a near-firing to kick me in the butt to leave that position and move on in my career.

Don’t be afraid to cut the cord for the sake of your career. Make sure you do it respectively, though. Burning bridges can come back to haunt you down the road. Treat everyone with respect and loyalty when you leave. You won’t regret it.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

6 Ways to Increase Your Annual Income

How to Use Your MLS System for Growing Profits Every Year, Month and Day

7-Step Checklist for Growing Your Real Estate Business

How to Use a Major Life Events to Start a Cold-Call Conversation

The dreaded cold call. No real estate agent truly enjoys it. But it has to be done. And I’m not just talking about calling strangers out of the blue (although this will address that, too), I’m really talking about that call with just about anybody out of the blue.

It could be a past client. A prospect who changed their mind about working with you. Family members you haven’t talked to in decades. There is a really good reason that you would want to call these people and offer your real estate help. I’ll call this reason “trigger events.”

Life events are events that occur in someone’s life that get them thinking about buying or selling. And using these trigger events are a great way to get into a good conversation from a cold call.

For example, normally a cold call might look like this: “Hey, just wanted to say hi, and ask if you had any home buying or selling needs I could help you with.” This approach positions you as somebody who is clueless. Using a trigger event will position you as someone who knows what is going on: “Hey, I heard that you guys had twins. Congratulations! Are you going to have enough room in your two-bedroom?”

The second approach shows you know them and are interested in them. Of course I’ve compressed the conversation down for sake of space. The approach works much better if you work in your appeal naturally–not forced.

Let’s look at other trigger events, and how you could use them to start a great cold-call conversation.

1. Job Promotion: Are they relocating? Do they need help selling, renting or buying?

2. New Birth: Arrival of a new child will probably force them to think about space issues.

3. Death in the Family: You need to be sensitive with this one. Take it VERY slowly.

4. Lay Off: Another issue you need to be sensitive with. Best to remind them of their options for selling fast.

5.  Child Graduated from High School: Is the child going to college? Is the family thinking of downsizing?

6. Child Graduated from College: Is the child coming to live back at home for a time? Are they looking for a house? Where?

7. Paid Off Current Home: Are they looking for a second home? Downsizing?

8. Parent Coming to Live with Them: Are they going to upgrade? Rehab?

9. Retired: Are they going to stay in the area? Buy a second home?

10. Divorce: Do they need to sell? Can you help one of the partners buy a new home? Another sensitive issue you need to handle properly.

11. Adoption: Do they have the space?

The trick to making these kind of conversation starters work is to draw a very clear line between the life event and how you can help. If there is not a clear link, then abandon ship. They will smell your duplicity from a mile away and hate you for it, especially if it is a tragic life event like a death or divorce. Always remember to be kind and considerate.

This also means that you need to keep tabs on family, friends, past clients and prospects. You need to keep your ear close to the grapevine to hear about these events. Otherwise you will miss out.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

8 Step Process to Selling More

Eliminate This Behavior and Become More Effective

Bait and Switch, Selling and Telling the Truth

Do Your Facebook Leads Suck? Here’s How to Change That

It’s not uncommon for real estate agents to join Facebook, create a fan page and then complain it doesn’t kick up any leads. You’re active in the community, get a lot of likes and shares and people generally love you–so what gives?

Well, here are a few easy strategies to consider.

1. Use Promoted Posts

One of the major drawbacks with Facebook is that only about 12% of your fans will see any one single post. And of course timing matters, too. Now, if you have a small budget then you can leverage Facebook’s Promoted Post tool to help bring in more attention and interaction with your posts.

The thing is you don’t need to do this with every post. Only on the ones that are the most important. So create a compelling post with a strong call to action, then target that post to the right people (Facebook has targeting options).

It’s best to start small and run a small test to measure your assumptions. You don’t want to blow your whole budget on a failed concept. Learn from the small test and slowly roll out to the larger target group. This will help you maximize your budget. Once you’ve got a winner, roll it out.

2. Increase Engagement and Fan Profile

An interesting by-product of using the Promoted Post feature is that you will begin to learn more about your fans and target audience. Yes, this will consume some of your time, but ask yourself what the price is of knowing who your audience is. Is it worth your time? Can you hire an intern or young, eager relative to help you out? Trust me, the time invested will be worth it.

Your engagement will start to rise with your Promoted Post campaigns since the content will be getting more shares and likes, which leads to more exposure in your fans feeds (which doesn’t cost you anything).

3. Decrease Attrition

The Promoted Post campaign will also reduce the number of negative actions taken against you like unliking your page. That usually occurs because you are sharing irrelevant information to that user. For example, say you have people who want to buy condos and people who want to buy commercial real estate. If you target your audience those two audiences won’t see your promotions for each other. This makes sense especially since you might post several times a day.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

How to Attract and Keep Clients with Facebook Groups

6 Easy Ideas to Spark Engagement with Social Media

What Kind of Time Are You Putting into Social Media?

5 Ways to Hang with the Big Dogs in Your Market by Exploiting Their Weaknesses

Every market has one: the hot shot real estate agent. She probably has a small army working for her. For sale signs in hundreds of yards at any given time. A monster Humvee with her mug plastered over it.

She’s the the only game in town.  That’s because she’s got a lot of strengths. But she’s also got a lot of weaknesses. And you are about to exploit those.

1. Killer POV

What makes you different from the big dogs? Is it clear and concise? Is it meaningful to the prospect? Do you provide something your competitor can’t? Do you do something better than your competitor?

The answers to these questions will define who you are. That definition should be strong and distinct and irresistable. And once you’ve defined your POV, you need to consistently deliver on that message.

2. Stay Flexible

The top dogs are effecient. They are lean and mean. They have system they’ve refined over years–and work that system. Any deviation from that system will lead to an ouster.

This is a weakness you can exploit.

As a small shop you can offer creative and personal services. You can deliver fresh ideas, pounce on opportunities quickly and stay in personal contact with your client the entire time. That’s what happens when you are small and flexible.

3. Know the Customer

The big dog will have likely figured out who the customer is years ago–and that vision of who they are will never change. Our their system is designed for a particular customer. You can exploit that rigidity by staying current with the locals, talking to them in coffee shops, at the supermarket or ball fields. This might lead to insights hidden from the big dog. Insights you can exploit.

4. Never Delegate

Big dogs usually handle the initial phone call (rarely, though, given their assistances field all those calls–the big dogs are just too busy with top clients to bother answering calls from just anybody!), and that’s about it. After that it’s delegated to an up-and-comer. The message to the client is you are not important enough to deal with the big dog.

You can exploit this de-personalized approach by showing up yourself–and bringing along significant members of your team. Demonstrate to clients that their happiness is something that you fully commit to. And you are giving the prospect a clear picture of who they are working with.

5. Be Friendly

It’s a basic rule of human nature: people like to work with people they like. Build a relationship with a prospect by investigating them through the web, talking to people they know and just sitting down to get to know them. Don’t be all business. Find out their family, where they work and what they like to do. This is a slow process, but it will pay dividends. And it’s an approach for a big dog to execute.

6. Solve, Solve, Solve

The big dog’s approach to buying and selling real estate is lean, mean and efficient. That’s because it’s a template. It has to be this way if they want to be profitable. That’s it’s strength.

It’s weakness is that it doesn’t allow for a personalized problem-solving approach. You can exploit this weakness by understanding your prospects needs and challenges, and then providing solutions.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

Lead Generation Strategies: Seeker-Oriented v. Attract Oriented

How to Become Highly Prosperous in a Shaky Market

Need a Damn Good Referral System to Save Your Career? 

How to Write Smart (But Not Too Smart!)

When your prospects read your copy, they don’t want to think. They want copy that’s easy to read.

So that means short sentences and short words.

But how do you do that if you’re not a natural born writer? Great question.

Fortunately Microsoft Word comes with a handy tool call Readability Statistics that will make writing simple, clear copy easy.

When you run this tool after you’ve written your copy, you get some pretty useful information. For example, you’ll learn:

  • Number of words, paragraphs, characters and sentences.
  • Number of sentences per paragraph, words per sentence and characters per words.
  • Percentage of passive sentences, reading ease and grade level.

What you really want to pay attention to is that last bullet. For example:

  • When it comes to passive sentences, shoot for about 10% or below.
  • Reading ease, the percentage should be higher.
  • And grade level, aim for about 5th to 6th grade level.

Bottom line, your readers should be able to skim your copy quickly and understand immediately what you are trying to say. And the best way to do that is write smart–but not too smart!

Got any other great tricks to simplify writing? Go ahead and share them.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Article

Six Guidelines to Make Your Web Writing Even Better

Top 8 Reasons Why Copywriting Is Important to Real Estate

How to Write a Damn Good Email Subject Line