Category Archives: Marketing

Interview with Jim Krautkremer, Top Real Estate Broker

Jim Krautkremer has been a client of Fast Home Offer for many years, and I’ve enjoyed seeing his business continue to grow as he’s implemented many of the strategies we teach real estate agents.

He’s now started a real estate coaching company, helping agents build their own business by working with motivated home sellers.

We sat down for a call to discuss various real estate topics, and how agents can best take advantage of our Fast Home Offer program.

Here’s the full interview.. Enjoy!

Jim Krautkremer
Jim Krautkremer

 

Investing Coast 2 Coast on We Buy Houses with Jeremy Brandt

Today I had the pleasure of speaking with Pete Asmus for his radio show Coast 2 Coast Investing about our We Buy Houses® program and how we are helping real estate investors grow their business.

We cover a lot of topics and Pete has as much energy as anyone I know!

Here’s the full interview along with a link to Coast 2 Coast REIA.

Investing Coast 2 Coast with Pete Asmus

Wasted Marketing & the $20k Phone Call

Do you spend thousands of dollars on marketing and then waste the interaction it creates?

I run a company that spends a lot of time and money connecting home sellers with real estate professionals.  One of our biggest struggles is convincing real estate agents and investors to treat every phone call, every lead, as if it had $50,000 attached to it.

Especially in small businesses, we tend to get back to people “when it’s convenient” – well, that doesn’t work in the Internet world, where 50 of your competitors are 1 click away and ready to respond faster and better than you are.

And you may not even know it’s happening – most customers won’t say “someone else called me back before you did, so I’m working with them” – they just won’t call you back at all, leaving you to wonder what happened.

In the Internet economy – the research shows that if you take more than 15 minutes to get back to any new prospect who contacts you via a your web site, or a lead who fills out a form, or someone who leaves you a phone message – your chances plummet of ever working with them at all.

That’s something to think about when spending thousands of dollars or more each month trying to reach qualified customers.

Seth Godin (marketing genius and author) has a great post on his blog about this – and how letting an employee who isn’t amazing at customer service answer the phone can waste all your marketing dollars…

The $20,000 phone call

When a homeowner decides to put his house on sale and calls a broker…

When he calls the moving company…

When a family arrives in town and calls someone recommended as the family doctor…

When a wealthy couple calls their favorite fancy restaurant looking for a reservation…

Go down the list. Stockbrokers, even hairdressers. And not just people who recently moved. When a new referral shows up, all that work and expense, and then the phone rings and it gets answered by your annoyed, overworked, burned out, never very good at it anyway receptionist, it all falls apart.

What is the doctor thinking when she allows her neither pleasant nor interested in new patients receptionist to answer the phone?

— Seth Godin

What your e-mail address says about you

CNN has a story today about “What your email address says about you“, largely in response to Facebook releasing their pseudo-email platform.

The story was tongue in cheek, but many business people (especially older ones) don’t realize the message they are sending with their email address.  If you have any type of business or professional service (real estate agent, CPA, lawyer, restaurant, etc) there is no excuse to not have an email address @yourcompanyname.comIt costs nothing.

Here’s my favorite from CNN’s article:

@aol.com = You are over 70 and still have the same email address you did in 1997

Fair or not, if you send an e-mail from an Aol account, the recipient is likely to expect it to be spam, a forward of some thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory or pictures of kittens.

Please – STOP using AOL, Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail

First impressions are everything.

If you are running a business (real estate investing, real estate agency, brokerage, etc) and you are using AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Comcast, RoadRunner, SBC Global or any other “consumer” or “free” email account to communicate, you are broadcasting to the world that you are a novice, and you’re running your business out of your garage.

Using a free email account for business communication is like wearing shorts, stinking, and showing up late to a business meeting – it says I don’t care enough about my image to spend 30 minutes and a few dollars fixing myself up to be presentable.

Here is how to upgrade your image and never again lose business because of your email account:

Step 1: Register a Domain Name.  You may already have a web site, if so use that domain.  If not, domains are $7 per year.

Step 2: Register for Google Apps.  Google will provide you with up to 50 email accounts at your domain name ([email protected]) along with document management and a host of other services – all for free.  You can check your email via the web, iPhone, Outlook, Blackberry or just about any other device.

Step 3: Configure your domain to send email through Google Apps.  Once you have a Google account setup, you can view instructions for how to do this for various domain registrars (Godaddy, Network Solutions, etc)

Step 4: Set your AOL/Gmail/Hotmail/Yahoo/etc account to forward ALL incoming mail to your new [email protected] email account hosted by Google.

Step 5: Never, ever again tell the world you don’t know what you are doing by handing out an email address that isn’t professional.  You won’t miss out on any email from people that have your old account because of the forwarding – but from this day forth only give out your professional email address when in a professional setting.

The entire cost of fixing this glaring hole in your image is the yearly cost of a domain name – about $7.  Sound too technical?  Your local neighborhood 13 year old would be happy to to help for a 6 pack of Coke!

Larry King, Foreclosures and Short Sale Taxation

Wednesday I had the great opportunity to be interviewed by Larry King on his show about foreclosures, short sales and the housing mess.

A lot of people have contacted me regarding the final segment in the show.  Two supposed “real estate experts” both made a huge error.

They stated that after a short sale, the home seller will be required to pay taxes on any debt forgiveness.

This is totally false.

While a bank will 1099 a home seller for any debt forgiveness on the loan, there are provisions in the tax code so the home seller does not have to declare this as taxable income.

Unfortunately, I was not on the final segment to make the correction and it stood as fact.  Hopefully I will have the opportunity to go back on Larry’s show and correct the record!

House Swapping – Valuable Service or Waste of Time?

I recently spoke with SmartMoney magazine about all the home swapping web sites that have come out of nowhere over the past 6 months.

These sites have received an incredible amount of publicity on national TV, in newspapers and throughout the web.  The pitch is this – if you can’t sell your house, why not trade with someone else in another market that also can’t sell their home.  The stars align and you can trade homes without having to worry about selling on the open market.

No question these sites are making easy money.  One claims over 40,000 listings at $20 a pop ($800,000 in revenue in less than a year).  Most of these sites also sell your information to real estate agents, mortgage brokers, foreclosure “rescue” companies and the like creating another lucrative revenue stream.

The question is: Is anyone actually swapping houses?

By my estimates, much less than 1% of people who contact these sites ever “swap houses” with someone else.

None of the home swapping companies will release how many houses are actually swapped – and with good reason.  If swappers knew that they had almost no chance of a successful transaction, they wouldn’t pay the $20 or more to one of these companies.

Just thinking through the logistics of what has to happen for a swap to be successful makes it clear that very few (if any) transactions are completing.

If your home will not sell on the open market (listing with a real estate agent), and a discount property buyer won’t purchase it, the likelihood of finding someone that is in a market you want to move to, and has a house you would like, and is in your price range, that also wants to move to your market, and likes your house, and your house is in their price range – is minuscule at best.  If you ever do find a match, the real work of getting financed and the logistics of closing begins.

Distressed home sellers have a number of viable options in this market, swapping houses is not one of them.