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Archive for the ‘Lead Generation’ Category

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Creating business connections is one of the best ways to build your business. For years business owners and sales people have looked for ways to make business connections that turn into lead generators. The Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce came into existence as a way to create business connection. Even fraternal groups offer a means for business to connect with one another to generate sales. More recently, lead generation groups have become popular. Meeting once a month or once a week, these groups are interested in sharing leads with each other to stimulate commerce.

Times are changing and the pace of business is faster than ever. People hardly have time to get to client meetings, much less Rotary Club or Chamber meetings. We are attached by cellphones and are using Social Media in ways that are changing the way business is done and introduces a new way for creating business connections. Ellen Stebbins and Glenn Sojourner are re-imagining how to use Social Media in creating business connections with The Lowcountry Business Network (LBN). LBN is an adaptation of the old business connections model using the meeting places of today, those Social Media sites on the internet, in place of the conference rooms and diners of the past.

Ellen and Glenn started LBN in September, 2010. The network is growing and developing new strategies for the benefit of its members. Once monthly gatherings serve in place of weekly meetings. These gatherings include training and social networking, so they offer a bridge between the old model and what is evolving as the new model. Rather than focus on lead generation, members are encouraged to promote their fellow member’s businesses to their own social network. A tweet, a few well placed words on Facebook, or a connection in LinkedIn can go a long way to generate interest that turns into sales.

My business is being helped through affiliation with LBN. Exposing Dunes Properties Vacation Rental on IOP and Folly Beach to a wider audience will increase the number of vacation rentals at a very small cost to Dunes Properties. It can do the same for your business. Check out their new website http://www.thelowcountrybusinessnetwork.com/idevaffiliate/index.php to get more information about memberships an getting started with LBN. You might create the business connection that will move you to a new plateau!

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Do You Know Where You Are Going?

“You Don’t Become an Expert by…” sitting on the fence might be one answer. You can probably think of many other things you could insert to complete that sentence. One radio commercial I heard recently said: “You don’t become and expert by doing 4,000 things. You become and expert by doing 12 things 4,000 times.” It is on the right track, but focussing on 12 things 4,000 times might be more than most of us can deal with. We need to become masters of one thing before we can become experts at 12 things.

Becoming an expert at anything requires mastery of the basics first. No matter what you want to master, identifying the one fundamentally important thing to start with is KEY. Think of all the people you consider to be masters or experts at something. Whether in business, music, the arts, or sports, those who have excelled have invested thousands of hours training and practicing to become experts. They focused on one fundamentally important goal to start with. Have you identified your fundamentally important first goal? Once you have you can discipline yourself to practice the steps needed to meet that goal. Practice them until you become and expert. Master them so that they are a part of you. Until it is your habit.

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The scene of the world is changing! How we engage people in conversations has seen tremendous change within my generation. When I started with the telephone company, switching technology was moving from Step-by-Step to Panel to Crossbar to #1 ESS, and I am sure that most reading this have no idea about what that meant in the world of telecommunications.

As significant as those changes seemed, it can’t compare with what has happened in the last 20 years. The cell phone has almost replace landlines. The internet has changed personal communications and is doing the same with marketing, advertising, sales and public relations. In real estate, almost 90% of buyers start their search online before they begin working with a real estate professional. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are providing access to audiences that were difficult to reach 20 years ago. And if you could reach that audience, it was expensive and took a long time to produce results as we look at things today. While these changes have been profound and have opened new ways of PR and marketing, there is something fleeting about this digital age. Nothing tangible, just fleeting. When companies engaged in professional direct mail campaigns, they could create some degree of intimacy with their target group. I don’t think that happens online.

Patricia and I have a joint approach to marketing in which we blend high quality brochures, business cards and letters, with our online presence at www.MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com, blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You never know how a relationship will come about, or from where a client will develop. We use a direct mail campaign in a number of targeted areas as a compliment to our online marketing. Last night we were surprised at the reach of our direct mail campaign.

I joined Patricia and our daughter, Heather, at Neil Jordan’s Steakhouse after I attended a meeting. Neil Jordan’s was celebrating its second anniversary and the place was crowded. We were seated in the bar area at a long table with several other patrons. Somehow a conversation started with the two women on the other side of the table. Turns out, they live in one of our target markets and receive our direct mail. So Tracey DeLong, VP at Resource Financial Services, had recognized us from our mail campaign. We had never met before, but Tracey and her friend Dawn Smith felt that they knew us from our brochure and mailings. Tracey said that she kept our material because it was so well done. I suppose that could have happened on our website, or through Facebook. But our direct mail made a difference to them.

Recently, we also obtained a client as a result of our targeted direct mail. They told us that when they found themselves ready to sell their home, they thought of us right away. What sealed their decision were recommendations they received from their neighbors. The neighbors knew us from our high quality direct mail. We had top of mind recognition from our direct mail campaign.

The scene of the world is changing, but some old things still work. Patricia and I work closely with our clients to team up for success. You don’t have to wait until you are ready to buy or sell to team up with us though. We want to help you find answers to your real estate questions. No obligation. To prove it to yourself, try our FREE Market Snapshot and find out what is happening in your real estate market.

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French Quarter, 2002

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I remember when I was a child in New Orleans. My family lived in Jefferson Parish, but Mom’s family lived in the Irish Channel (OK, technically it wasn’t the Irish Channel). Dad’s family had lived above the French Quarter and moved to various sections of the city. We spent a lot of time with mom’s family. We would go to movies at the Happy Hour theater a few blocks away across from Berman’s Dry Goods Store.

We got our school clothes from Berman’s and when we were old enough, our parents let us pick our own clothes. That’s what we thought! What really happened was that dad and mom call Mr. Berman and told him what we needed. Being a good business man, Mr. Berman gently guide us to the selections we needed to make. It was really a village back then. Mr. Berman’s business benefitted from the network of families in the area. He had cultivated a relationship with some of them and depended on word of mouth advertising to build his business. He was building a network.

Businesses have benefited from this model for years. Become part of the community. Find a few good customers and build a network to increase business. The Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce refined the networking idea. Business men would become members to connect with other business men in affiliated businesses in the hopes of developing leads that would become customers seeking their goods and services. There are also leads groups meeting weekly, or monthly with the specific purpose of finding leads for the members of the group.

Then things changed and the village spread out. Along comes social media, a new type of village.  Soon, businesses saw the potential of social media to expand their markets. People will buy products and use services recommended by friends before those advertised on TV, radio, or in print media. What I saw in the Irish Channel as a boy, is being repeated on the web.

As social media has grown, it has also changed the way business is transacted. Such fast growth has not come without challenges as can be seen in the issues with Craig’s List’s and the privacy discussions on Facebook. Recently, in Charleston, SC, changes is taking place again. The Lowcountry Business Network  (TLBN) is combining the best of the old school, with the best of social media. TLBN is shrinking the village and making it more like what I experienced in the Irish Channel. Local businesses doing business locally building local networks to increase business opportunities.

Mr. Berman would be so proud!

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A lovely part of the Charleston Coast.

 

It has been a difficult time for the past several years for the economy in general. However, real estate seems to be at the center of the doom and gloom, and real estate agents have suffered as much as anyone during this economic down turn. Almost as much as the home owners they represent.

A number of agents have left the business. Many got into the business because they saw it as a way to make lots of money…They were wrong! Others got into the business because it appeared glamorous. They saw successful agents driving expensive cars and enjoying the finer things without, from their view, too much effort…They were wrong! It wasn’t a profession to them, just a job that they thought paid lots of money.

Patricia and I got into real estate with our eyes wide open. We understood that Realtors® are professionals in a field that is very complex and changing every day.  In our careers in the corporate world, we had over 20 personal real estate transactions where we were represented by professional Realtors®. Our NJ Realtor® handled most of our transactions, and referred us to other professional Realtors® in Ponte Vedra, FL and Atlanta, GA. We learned about how much work professional Realtors® take on in behalf of their clients.

Patricia was first to become a Realtor® and I followed her several months (OK, 2 years) later. Why did we do it? We wanted to help people by following the example of our Realtors®. They provided real service to us and that’s what we do for our clients. Our personal experiences taught us that there are many, many things to follow-up on to complete a transaction. From the negotiations on sales price, through inspections, and following up on deadlines and mortgages, a professional Realtor® makes it light work for their clients. We do that for ours.

We love helping people. We love our profession as Realtors®. If you are interested in buying or selling on the Charleston Coast, contact me at Mark@MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com, or Patricia at Patricia@MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com.  As part of Dunes Properties of Charleston, Nobody Knows the Charleston Coast Better.        

      

 

Professional Realtors® serving the Charleston Coast.

 

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Real estate agents love being recognized for their hard work. There are times when agents are given awards for their work and they receive certificates or plaques to hang on their office walls. Recently, two agents from the Isle of Palms office of Dunes properties were recognized by Realtor.com for their “Online Marketing Excellence.” Barbara Walker and my wife, Patricia Fuchs are well-respected agents in East Cooper and deserve this award for finding clients that want to list properties with them.

Barbara, Patricia and Rebecca. A great team!

The interesting thing is that both Barbara and Patricia have an assistant, Rebecca Narkiewicz, who handles much of their administrative tasks, including posting their listings on Realtor.com and making them standout from the crowd of listings on Realtor.com. I started thinking about this when the awards were being handed out at a recent Realtor.com event. There were Barbara and Patricia receiving the award certificates, and Rebecca was sitting next to me smiling with pride that two agents that she supports were being recognized for their online marketing excellence knowing that she was responsible for a good part of the work that resulted in the award. Rebecca does her work behind the scenes. She is quiet and efficient in what she does. 

Realtors ideally should be out in their community putting a face on their brand, making sense of the stats and numbers, and educating themselves every day about their product.  We would not be able to do this without the Rebeccas of the real estate world.  Someone who is in the office daily familiarizing her/himself with the latest, ever changing online marketing strategies, typing, stuffing envelopes, making sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed on our paperwork. Our Rebecca has been given the nickname “RADAR” by many due to her ability to have information on hand before we know it’s needed.  Such support can be integral to our success (and sometimes our sanity). 

Behind every great person is another great person. Here’s to all of those who are behind the scenes making us look as good as we can look!

Thank you, Rebecca for all of the excellent work you do.

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10 Blogging Tips. My 1,000th Post on This Blog.

I read this earlier today and thought I wasn’t the only one who would enjoy it.

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