Working With A Website Development Company – 4 suggestions to help your efforts

If you are considering building and implementing a website strategy you will want to hire the right website development company. Please don’t do these 5 things

How To Install Google + Button On WordPress

Google Plus is exploding in popularity for many reasons including easy sharing tools like Circles and Sparks. How To Install the Google Plus (+) Profile Button Into Your WordPress Website

The Tri Fecta

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What Is The Difference Between Logo And Brand?

Do you know the difference between logo and brand. If not you should check this article out. You may have the two concepts collapsed into one.

What’s WordPress and Why Do I Need It?

At the end of the day WordPress is just HTML, CSS and PHP. The same things that other websites are made out of. What makes WordPress unique is that it is has a built in content management system. This is great if you are interested in putting new content in your website or blogging.

List Your Business On Thumbtack

Use Thumbtack.com to list your business or service in their business directory and let them do some of the work promoting you. Thumbtack.com is a great service and an easy to navigate sign up and registration process.

Print Real Estate Publications – The Red Head Stepchild Of Real Estate Marketing

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real estate publications

If you had a secret, a secret you don’t want anyone to know about, where would you hide it? In a diary {not if you’re a dude}? Would you bury it? Put it in a safety deposit box? Only you would know if it were the case that you wanted it to be a secret.

If I had a secret, I would want to hide it where I knew no one would look; where no one would think to look.  I would hide it in a printed real estate guide – you know the ones that you can can find as you go in and out of your local grocery store like Fry’s, Safeway, Albertsons or Bashas. That’s what I would do. It’s guaranteed not to be seen there!

There are a few things that puzzle me, one of them is why real estate professionals, vendors, really…anyone still advertise in a print publication in 2011 – especially a print real estate guide. I keep hoping that print real estate guides will go the way of the dinosaur. The first rule in sales [at least mine anyway] is to be where the people are – where the eyeballs are. The eyeballs are certainly not on print real estate guides. The eyeballs are online.

Real estate guides can be found at your local grocery store, car wash or real estate office. I never see anyone reading them though. Do you? So why do people still advertise in these archaic publications. Probably because they don’t know any better. Well, we am hoping to change that.  If there is one industry that is slow to change, it’s the real estate industry. I’m Stephen, I am a former title rep, I spent 10 years in the industry helping real estate professionals – real estate agents and loan officers – grow their business. I remember [2 years ago] when the Phoenix market changed from the Multiple Listing Service {MLS} to FLEXMLS. You would have thought the world was ending. Real estate agents were up in arms complaining about this shift. “Why?” “This is stupid!” “I don’t like it” I heard everywhere I looked. They simply didn’t want to change, in fact – they fought it. Tooth and nail.

Change is good.

Fast forward to today and you would be hard pressed to find any real estate agents that doesn’t LOVE FLEXMLS. It’s a way better product. For real estate agents and their clients. It’s great.

Back to the real estate guides. I had lunch with an old friend yesterday. Of course – the topic of marketing came up – that’s what we do at PRO-Found, we help professionals get “found” online. Online – not in print publications. My friend, who I will call “Bubba” [to protect the guilty] tells me that his business is great, he is killing it. I asked him “what are you doing?” Well, I’m doing this and that he says. This and that were actually pretty specific but I don’t need to go into that here.

As we talked about the things he is doing, his mood changed. His body language changed. “Bubba” is a professional, highly knowledgeable and respected in the industry and yet he fell victim to it. What’s it? The Print Real Estate Publication. Some salesperson convinced him that spending $4,000 on an ad in a print real estate guide was a good idea. I could see from what he wasn’t saying that purchasing that ad wasn’t a good idea. I wish he had called me. As I started to open my mouth – he started: “don’t say it, I’ll call you next time.” I just smiled and said “good – that will learn ya.”

Now, what I would have told him was that eyeballs are on the Internet, not in print publications. Over 90% of consumers start their home search online, not in a print real estate publication. Print has it’s place in a lot of industries, real estate is not one of them. I told him, “Dude, call me first, the next time you are considering spending your hard earned money on marketing”. He agreed. I would like to extend the same to you.

Who is your ideal client? Who is your marketing targeted to? Who are you speaking to? Be where your ideal client is. If your ideal client is soccer moms, you better join the PTA. If your ideal client is consumers looking to buy or sell real estate, you better figure out how to get “found” online. Getting found online by your ideal client gives you the ability to speak with your ideal client at the exact moment they have identified a need for your services.

Now, Doesn’t that sound a whole lot better than advertising a in  a print real estate publication? Don’t be a “Bubba”.

Google’s Updated Social Search-Benefits Of Social Search

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On Thursday Google made an announcement regarding Social Search that will have a huge impact on your business.  Back in 2009 Google introduced an experiment called Social Search. The Social Search experiment was to make SEARCH more personal with relevant web content from our friends and online contacts. {Personal} meaning we get more relevant, useful search results, recommendations, and other personalized features. Through personalizing our search results, Google hoped to deliver the most useful, relevant information on the Internet-resulting in more engagement.

The Announcement

Google’s announcement on Thursday February 17th 2011-An Update To Social Search takes Social Search to a whole new level, a level that can no longer be ignored. I don’t like to use the term “game changer” but if there is such a thing-this may be it.  Google’s enhancement to Social Search takes search another step forward by allowing us to get even more information from the people that matter to us, on Facebook (Business pages only, personal pages are not indexed), YouTube, Twitter, Linkedin, Foursquare, Flickr , Blogs or websites and other public social sites.  Here is the kicker-this information, from the people that we know and interact with will be now be displayed as part of the ORGANIC search results.

In the past, social search results only appeared at the bottom of the page.  Those signed into their Google account will now see search results from people they know . Let’s say you are in the real estate industry-a REALTOR. Take your REALTOR hat off and put your CONSUMER hat on. I don’t know about the market conditions where you are but here in Arizona, Short Sales are a major factor in our housing market. Short Sales and Bank Owned Properties make up over 70% of the sales on a monthly basis. As a result, there are thousands of consumers searching for results around “Short Sale Arizona, Should I Short Sale. Short Sale vs Foreclosure, etc.

Imagine you are one of these consumers searching Google for this information. Prior to Thursday your search would have yielded results from people you didn’t know and companies you have never heard of . Now imagine your search results were populated with, (in addition to traditional search results) people within your social circle that shared information on a social network related to “Short Sale Arizona, Should I Short Sale. Short Sale vs Foreclosure. Which result would you click on? A person or company you have never heard of or a link to a Blog, Video, Tweet, Linkedin update from someone that you have heard of and may even know personally? And this is the benefit of Social Search. The results returned by social search are unique to each consumer as each person has a different social network. Take a look below to see what I mean..



Pretty cool huh! But social search only benefits those real estate professionals, those professionals that leverage social media and engage regularly with their social network. You have heard of SEO-Search Engine Optimization, well there is a new player in town that I call SMO-Social Media Optimization. Because writing content for search engines can be different that content for actual people-consumers, forward thinking real estate professionals will create highly engaging, keyword rich, VALUABLE content that is worthy of being shared across social networks. The Game has just changed. The size of your social network will now play a significant role in your goal of getting “Found” Online by your ideal client. If you were one of those professionals not leveraging social media, or at least not leveraging it to the best of your ability you could be at a distinct advantage. Ranking on the 1st page of Google is no longer solely about who has the best SEO, now we need to think about SMO. Next time you create content on your YouTube Channel, Twitter, Active Rain, Linkedin, Facebook Fan Page (personal FB pages are not indexed in social search) ask yourself Who am I talking to? Who is my ideal client? What is my message? Is my message valuable? Do I have a call to action? Have I asked the consumer to engage with me- to share my content, etc. Check out Google’s video below announcing Social Search.



What Should You Do?

Increase your social network and interaction with your social network as fast as you can.  Follow people, get more friends/fans on facebook, followers on Twitter, Friends on YouTube, connections on Linkedin-build relationships.  Search results are no longer based based purely upon Search Engine Optimization AKA SEO.

As you may already know, over 60% of click through traffic, on the Google search results page, is allotted to the top three positions.  I would expect these percentages to significantly increase as results from our peers are integrated into search results.  Google’s updated search results could make lead generation and conversion easier for those that engage with social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, Blogs. making it harder to ignore the impact of social media on business.

How will you incorporate Google’s Update To Social Search in your marketing campaigns?

Ready To Get “found” Online By Your Ideal Client? Let’s Talk-We Bring Your Customers To You.

Google’s Updated Social Search-Benefits For Professionals

Google’s Updated Social Search offers significant benefits for those that engage across social networks. No longer is SEO the only factor that determines Google Placement. Results from our peers will now be included in ORGANIC Search Results

DM Albums WordPress Plugin Tutorial

This is a video tutorial on how to use the WordPress Plugin DM Albums. DM Albums is a gallery plugin for WordPress websites. You must be a member to view this tutorial.

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