Thursday, September 2, 2010

Adding text marketing to your real estate tools

Ed Note: As part of our exploration into new waves of marketing communications given the surge in social media, emailing, texting and list-building, we present this article written on behalf of iZigg. For more information visit

By Joan Dailey
Real estate and mortgage professionals should be singing the praises of iZigg mobile text marketing.  There’s no better weapon to add to your marketing arsenal. Text message marketing gives real estate agents, mortgage brokers and property managers unprecedented and instant access to valuable customers simply because the mobile phone has become the preferred technology of choice.  We already know that people and their mobile phones are attached at the hip (literally).  Traditional marketing practices (email, direct mail, print etc…) have seen dwindling response rates and even worse ROI.
With the worst real estate industry we’ve seen in our lifetime, affordable and powerful marketing strategies are the ONLY way to go.  No one has money to gamble on marketing, it needs to be a surefire way to improve your bottom line.
So what does this mean for you as a real estate agent, property manager or mortgage broker?
Simply put, iZigg mobile marketing is the most transformational business strategy we’ve seen in the last decade.  It’s not only the client access that will give you the leg up on the competition – consumers also appreciate the attention and dedication that comes hand-in-hand with text message marketing.  Here at iZigg, we’ve listed a few more benefits that can directly impact your real estate marketing success:
* Paper business cards are out – and text message business cards are in.  Instead of handing clients a business card, you can text your details to your clients’ mobile phones, so they’ll never be at a loss for your information again.  iZigg offers a service known as “MCard”, which puts your information on a prospect’s phone and gathers their information at the same time.
* Real estate agents and property managers can keep in better touch with their prospects by texting real-time information on newly available properties.  This expedites the sales process – and will make your clients feel like they’re being treated like superstars.
* Text message marketing will increase prospect follow-ups and client satisfaction.   We don’t like to wait for information when we need it, so the faster we get it the happier we’ll be.  For example, if you’re a home buyer (or renter) and you’re driving by a home for sale (or rent) and want more details, you want that information real-time.  If you can send a quick text message and get those details immediately, how satisfied would you be?
* For mortgage professionals – this give you the ability to send real-time information on loan terms and rate adjustments.  Getting your clients and prospects that instant notification when they want it speaks volumes to your level of customer service.  And if you can get that information to your prospects sooner than your competition, your chances of earning their business go way up.
* Real estate investors are always on the lookout for a great opportunity.  For an investment advisor, those opportunities can disappear quickly, so having the ability to send out messages to select investor groups at a moment’s notice is critical.
* Text message marketing practices are outpacing traditional marketing practices hands down.  SMS campaigns have better open rates, better response rates, and better ROI.  What else is there?
Here at iZigg, this is our ultimate view: the business marketer who utilizes the power of text message marketing is the one that’s providing a far superior service than the competitor who sticks to traditional marketing channels.   And superior service directly translates into happy customers, a stellar reputation and recession-proof profits.
Do you have other ideas for how the real estate industry can leverage iZigg’s mobile marketing platform?  Add your comments below!

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Adding SMS to your marketing arsenal

It's no secret that Internet marketers are watching email open rates slide dramatically, especially in the last 18 months. Even pros with proven, double opt-in grade lists are seeing rates plummet. All of which doesn't bode well for those making (or trying to make) a buck online, and certainly negates many of the promises still being made by unscrupulous marketers hoping to cash in on one last offer.

Late comers beware (ed note: for a review of this trend, go to our story w/ NadaGuru Scott Boulch here)

Enter the text marketing engine.

Destined for the same fate in approximately a 14-16 month window, (i.e. spam controls, complaints, abuse, blockers) this direct method of reaching clients, customers, fans, patients et al is right now one of the most effective ways to deliver updates, news, specials and tips that a business big or small could hope for.

Several companies are on the bandwagon at present, one in particular (iZigg)is launching this week, and after careful review we're endorsing this horse as a true leader in the field for a couple of reasons.

First off, this group has pulled together a plethora of really savvy marketers and systems guys to build a platform that's smart in coupling a front end that markets like a champ with a back office that gets things done in real time. No guesswork, no delays and plenty of documents and videos for training even the most technically-challenged.

Secondly, being the entrepreneurs they are, they added a reseller/multi-level platform to the business, so people can quickly build layers of customers and affiliates and salespeople into a grid that pays handsomely. Retail commissions alone are 25% and are paid weekly.

We applaud the effort, and we're adding it to our marketing arsenal for eNews subscribers and members.

Visit this new company here to learn more. Watch the vidieos and make decisions quickly. Easy to add, easy to implement, and especially easy to reach your audience,  which is all we could hope for.

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1. Text GuruTrack to 90210
2. Click here for eNews via your email account

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Under 30's Rocking the Eco/Environment Scene

Researching young (under 30) professionals making an impact in ecology/environment.

Any suggestions? Links?

Just comment in this post if you know people (or nominate yourself) that are making a difference.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

HTML5 Continues to Astound -- See SI's Google I/O Demo

The future of online journalism is now wide open, as HTML5 continues to astound via demos from major publishing players. Many of the hottest demos are being showcased at Google's I/O conference this week, and the buzz is considerable, especially as it relates to the battle for dominance between the new html platform and Adobe's Flash.

Some wags blame Apple for firing a considerable shot across the bow of Adobe in it's refusal to support Flash on it's iPhone and iPad devices. And the vitriol flying between Adobe (and various development partners) and Apple has been considerable. Adobe has even begun spending large wads of ad cash to spin the "freedom of choice" discussion.

But, while Apple has made it's break w/ Flash a clear-cut position, others are jumping in behind the alternate platform while continuing their Adobe ways. Playing both sides of the fence may work out over time as both options fight for dominance, but many Valley Wags are ready to declare this the beginning of the end for Flash and Adobe Air.

Here is Sports Illustrated's HTML5 demo at the I/O Conference. Imagine this on your iPad, and it's easy to see the future of online publishing, and the viewer experience as it evolves from PC, to tablet, to home theatre. Wow.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sometimes gee-whiz apps on web sites are just that. Gee. Whiz. 


No there there, lighter than air, special effects that don't sell, don't leave much of an impact but sure were cool -- and expensive.

The talents at The Bear Cave though, put some really cool programming to work for eyeglasses designers Warby Parker.

It's called the "Virtual Try On," and it enables you to spend time trying on various frame styles online on your own mug. No more annoying tags, you see what the styles bring to your facehead in seconds following an upload of a photo. The application sums up proportion, size, head tilt, etc. and really fits the glasses to you.

Great example of an online app that functions in fine form. Bravo.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

There's no 'i' in meme!

What started as a fun email exchange with "empire builder" Sherry Borzo, regarding catch phrases she could use in promotions, has evolved into GeniusWear™, a line of fun shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, clocks, messenger and canvas bags, etc. Basically, fastest way to build a store stocked w/ ready-to-order swag is Cafe Press. We already had several accounts (for SaucyJoes, and Texball) so it was a fast ramp up.

We'll be refining the store navigation as the month continues, but your fastest way to see all the slogans on your favorite product type is to use the Browse Products pull down menu at top left of store page.

Slogans range from (our fav) There's no 'i' in meme, to I'm better in installments See the list below for all of em.
  • There's no 'i' in meme
  • I'm better in installments
  • What's your story?
  • I am not in this alone (click to share)
  • The Wizard of Oz is off to see me
  • #Brilliant
  • I am the Next Big Thing
  • The GuruTrack Logo
As we continue to build out GuruTrack, it's all about covering as many bases as we can to get the brand and culture of curiosity communicated. After finishing Scott Boulch's 6-part (remember, installments?) interview and posting it this week, we have the underpinnings for audio production set up. The hits will keep coming cause we have Women in Wine interviews (Amy Mumma, Natalie MacLean, Julie Brosterman) commencing this week too. Then it's on to more whales to get GuruTrack all hopped up on caffeine, subscribers, inside scoops, exclusives and FUN.

Here's a bonus audio segment from the NadaGuru interview where Scott reveals his take on the Next Big Thing.

Author (Sam Zell/Money Talks) and Real Estate pundit (OKCRE) Ben Johnson is madly working to hatch an article that brings out the best of his new book, GT style, so we can grasp some of the outlandish RE mogul's actions and tactics for $multi-billion success. We also continue to reach out to really fine writers for new stories and profiles that fulfill our promise of delivering backstage access-level intel for our subscribers.

Speaking of Subscribers, our FREE TRIAL Subscriber offer is still in effect. So, a really cheap subscription starts out even less expensive as our thanks for your loyalty. Join us today. And, if you know a guru, you'd like to see profiled, click here. You'll be entered into our FREE iPad Giveaway for one of five (5) iPads. Nice swag, and the odds of winning are ridiculously good so far.

STAY TUNED for much more news, and some wonderfully insightful interviews and reviews coming in the next weeks as we get up a head of steam at GuruTrack.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Texting Fundraising for Non-Profits? Not for Sissies.

Geoff Livingston reports today on non-profit fund-raising via texting that has become so high profile in wake of initial Haiti relief fund raising efforts. It has come up as possibilities in no fewer than 6 conversations around here, and is listed in documents related to the eventual establishment of the GuruTrack Foundation.

But like any effort worth the effort, getting donations via this delivery method is anything but simple.
Livingston writes:
Close examination of texting-based fundraising reveals a wide variety of barriers for 501c3s, including the use of mandatory foundations and ASPs (application service providers) to interact with carriers, a stringent vetting process to become accepted, limited donation amounts of $5-$10, limited short codes, and shared costs with partners (in some cases, the wireless carriers). Even after setting up text-based fundraising mechanisms, non-profits face the challenge of limited function integration, and appealing to donors.
Given the many aspects of texting, from technology to communications, non-profits need to consider SMS with their eyes wide open. Causes may even want to consider alternative mobile channels for communications and fundraising.

He goes on to point out 5 key areas to address, namely:

1. Texting Costs Non-Profits Money While all of the carriers and their non-profit texting partners waived fees for Haiti relief, most causes shouldn’t expect such treatment. Non-profits have to pay set up fees with wireless partners like mGive and the Mobile Giving Foundation, which can range from $3,000-$10,000 in some cases.

2. Non-profits Must Work with a Third Party
It’s not as simple as calling one of America’s big four carriers and setting up a short code. The wireless industry has set up approved third party vendors to vet non-profits. These third party players have stringent requirements to ensure causes meet state charitable solicitation registration requirements.

3. Limited Capabilities
Texting requires an event, such as a celebrity request, a concert, or unfortunately, a catastrophe to compel people to donate en masse. Repeated solicitations in general communications can repel potential donors. Further, other limitations include the ability to interact with texters and garner their contact information.

4. Integrating Texting Into the Larger Mix If discouraged by fundraising options, non-profits can use text messsages for other opportunities. While mobile applications are sexy, SMS marketing offers communications benefits, too. Non-profits can push URLs, facts and opportunities to parties who opt in to such lists. The sky (or organizational creativity) is the limit.

5. Other Options Exist There are more options than just texting for mobile. The great news about the mobile Internet revolution is the certain rise of non-profit applications on the iPhone, Android, and other platforms. If a non-profit wants to look at creating a mobile opportunity, general applications such as social good based The Extraordinaries offer powerful choices.

To see his entire (and very informative) article click here.
To learn more about the author, click here.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Flashes of Brilliance Column Debuts this week

In our editorial excavations, we uncover all manner of brilliant people, systems & ideas begging for a share but not feature-story-length fodder. "Flashes of Brilliance" will be new column appearing in the GuruTrack blogs and main site starting this week.

We debated calling it "Flashes of Genius," but that term connotes the "Flash of Genius" doctrine that gauged  patentability on whether "the inventive act had to come into the mind of an inventor in a "flash of genius" and not as a result of tinkering. 'The new device, however useful it may be, must reveal the flash of creative genius, not merely the skill of the calling.' "

The folks we're profiling may have flashes, but they are very much skilled in their calling and constantly tinkering. The ones "flashing" if you will, are our editors as we navigate the skies filled with BSO's (bright, shiny objects) and invariably get distracted and drawn to these brilliant ideas and people like moths to a flame.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Updates from the GuruTrackers

Server issues are for the most part cured at The Wordpress blog was wiped out, but this blog survived (redundancy is not too too much) so we live to fight another day.

Downside is that all the mayhem pushed initial and follow-up interviews with Scott Boulch, Amy Mumma, Julie Brosterman, Travis Young and Natlie MacLean back several days. Oy. It will all be okay though, cause this lineup of experts is enough to fuel some serious listening time on the GT, and each of these people are so genuine and giving, you are bound to benefit. In the meantime, we'll post links to each of these folks' sites so you can start soaking up more of their know-how (if you don't already).

We have had an extraordinary number of new Guru nominations from our Sneak Peek page. You can nominate Gurus on this blog page too, but it has been fun to see the number of unique viewers tromping in and the ratio of folks giving it up and nominating their bosses, idols, friends and sometimes random encountered experts. Please keep it up, and spread the word.

And, as Gary V says, the advertisers follow the eyeballs, so it was encouraging to get not one but two inquiries this week from potential sponsors. We are completely bootstrapping this project, so even though we keep a low overhead, ad dollars are crucial to the campaign. If you're visiting, click on some of our sponsored links or banners to say thanks. You may find some cool stuff too, cause we're working to keep our sponsored links in a "useful" realm. If you know a sponsor that wants to reach 25-49 upper achievers, have them visit our advertiser pages. BTW, listening to Gary's Crush It while doing web work is a great way to kick yourself in the keister, motivationally speaking.

That's what we have this Friday night. We're working ALL weekend on repairing server damage and moving forward on the GT. If you have anything to add, comment here.

Ski Sullivan

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The NadaGuru Gets Some Air

This week we're interviewing web marketing dynamo Scott Boulch, and pulling the curtain back to help you understand how this whiz kid spots trends, researches tirelessly and charts paths that lead to catching long and profitable rides on waves (on, and offline) that most folks see much later.

We'll talk about his climbs and crashes, the basics he always carries in his "life tools" bag, and the next big thing(s) he has in his sights.

NOTE: GuruTrack is all about connecting the dots for our high-achieving audience. We're working to get back-stage access so you can learn more here, more quickly, and apply those lessons for real world traction today. If you have a Guru or expert you'd like to learn more from (or share with others) please take a moment to nominate your Guru today (see the right column of this blog). While you're at it, hit our Sneak Peek page, take the tour and let us know how we can serve your needs in 2010.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Gary V Nails It

This is more than just your basic "can do" book. Gary's long been BIG on enthusiasm, straight talk and just flat out giving you his open and unbridled opinion on pretty much any topic.

All of which is why we likely won't see him on any time soon. Aside from his crazy schedule, there's also this caveat: there's really not a curtain to pull back to learn more. Ask, him anything and he'll tell you, go to a meeting, book signing, seminar or luncheon and you'll get the open book that is Mr. Vay-ner-chuk.

All that being said, this book let's you tag along on his 24/7 adventure, gives you some of the great perspective on how things fell into place (or were pushed there) and how you can take his experience and strap it on to your passion pursuit.

Like many of the self-help or motivational books out there, experiencing them beyond the printed page is always a plus. Cements the lessons into your gourd if you can read it then see or listen to more. So, grab this book, THEN get it as an audiobook on iTunes, OR (and this is really cool) get his iPhone app which reads like the book and incorporates videos with personal appearances and day-in-the V vignettes which make it a fun companion, especially if you have any down time. If my commute were longer than the walk around the Castillo Loco, I'd have my headphones on and make "breakfast with Gary" a regular on my early morning menu.

As always, at GuruTrack, we're always ferreting out the experts to make your pursuit a tad easier. And while we have over 50 topics in the works right this minute (as we pull back the curtain on our own free trial) please take a minute to visit our Sneak Peek page and nominate your favorite Guru. We're covering  a broad range of topics, and the "submit a Guru" form has those options and room for a write-in. So, please give us your favorite and help us help you in 2010.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Looking for the Women of Wine

We're preparing a feature on GuruTrack for the Women of Wine and need a few more candidates for interviews. I have some excellent suggestions from Facebook friends, but thought I'd inquire here too. Know anyone you want included? Nominate them at (nominate form is at bottom right of main page) and we'll contact them for more discussions.

Many thanks!

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Looking for in-house corporate/company social media mavens

We're ramping up a new story idea and looking for social media hotshots that ply their trade inside corporate America, as opposed to those hired (and talented) guns and/or entrepreneurs who keep it in their tool kit for day-to-day communications.

If you (or someone you know and respect) are inside the hallowed walls and reaching out to online communities, members, et al, please visit nominate a guru in the form on right column of this blog, OR visit our Sneak Peek pages for GuruTrack and nominate your favorite there, and see the rest of what we have shaking at the GT for 2010!

Many thanks,

Ski Sullivan

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