Guerilla Training Blog by Matt Jones


Quick Answer Series: What Do You Think of Farming?

It’s a bad idea.  Here’s why.  It comes down to “cost per lead”.  I’ll show you.  Let’s take a typical market where the average sale price is $206,500 and the average commission side is 2.6%.  That means that the average Gross Commission Income (GCI) is $5,369.  According to real estate “experts” an agent should budget 20% of GCI for marketing.  I’ve even heard numbers as high as 25%!  (Incidentally, the rest of the entire business world budgets less than 10% of revenue for marketing, but what do they know?) I ... Read More »

Quick Answer Series: To List or Not to List? That is the Question.

Should I list homes or work with buyers?  I say you should do whichever one suits you best.  I know, for years the “experts” have said, “You’ve got to list to last.”  But I say that just isn’t true!  Do whichever you’re best at. Now before you brand me as a buyer’s agent, you should know that I am actually a listing agent.  In fact, I listed 119 individual homes my first year in the business, one at a time.  I typically carried a listing inventory of 50-60 homes at ... Read More »

Quick Answer Series: What’s All the Hype about “Short-Sales”?

Lately, it seems you can’t read anything about real estate and not see somebody selling their unique short-sale technique, their book or system on how you can become the “short-sale king” in your area, or their coaching on how to profit from doing short-sales.  It’s become so prevalent now that it seems there is even a Certified Short-Sale Professional (CSP) designation! Don’t get me wrong — I’m all in favor of agents handling short sales for their clients when necessary, and doing so is often a great service to your ... Read More »

Quick Answer Series: Just Say No to SEO!

I’m often asked, “Matt, what do you think of SEO?”. The short answer is not very much!  I’ll explain.  First, most of what is known as SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is really a misnomer.  When companies call you to sell you their SEO service, they are not really talking about optimizing your website for search engines, but rather they are talking about trying to fool search engines.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let me back up a minute. Last year, according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2008 ... Read More »

Quick Answer Series: What Do You Think of “Sphere of Influence” Marketing?

It’s a great supplement to your regular marketing so long as it’s free.  As a stand-alone marketing technique, it is destined to fail, and if executed perfectly will yield you maybe a deal a month.  Statistically, it can never make you a top producing agent, and here’s why. Hundreds of studies have been conducted on social networks.  One of the most popular was by famous author and columnist, Malcolm Gladwell.  In his best selling book, The Tipping Point, he explains that our social networks increase in size as we age, ... Read More »

Why Are Internet Leads “Bad Leads”?

As the President of a company who specializes in helping agents capture customers online, one of the things that troubles me is hearing agents say, “Internet leads are ‘bad leads’.”  In fact, it bothered me so much that we commissioned our customer service department to actually conduct a survey.  Here’s how it went. First we looked at the statistical buying cycle for the real estate customer.  The average search time is 8 weeks.  In other words, 50% search longer than 56 days and 50% search 56 days or less.  Now ... Read More »

Quick Answer Series: What About Ads in Home Magazines?

I think advertising in home magazines can be a good investment, or it can be a total waste of money.  If done properly, home magazine ads can be a very affordable source of new business while making your listing clients happy at the same time.  Done incorrectly, it can put you in the poor house with next to nothing to show for the expense. When I had about 60 active listings, I personally experimented and tested various ads in several magazines.  At one point, I was running 8 full pages ... Read More »

Quick Answer Series: What about Advertising in Classifieds?

I think it’s a total waste of money!  As bad as it gets!  Even with a call capture hotline, the price paid for the few leads captured makes it a poor investment.  Here’s why it’s such a bad investment. The newspaper industry has finally reached the point of failure.  Don’t believe me?  Google “newspaper failure” and check out the results.  Sure there are still a few on life support, but the newspaper industry is going the way of the buggy whip business.  Maybe it’s not their fault.  Maybe it is.  ... Read More »

Quick Answer Series: Is There Such a Thing as a “Bad Listing”?

One of my pet peeves is the notion of “bad listings”.  I’ve heard agents talk about certain properties being bad listings, either because the home was not pristine, or because they assumed it was over-priced.  I believe that the majority of those comments are simply sour grapes, because the agent lost the listing. Maybe I’m wrong.  If you are reading this and you think you have a bad listing, please feel free to refer it to me immediately.  You see, I don’t think there are any bad listings, just bad ... Read More »

Quick Answer Series: Close the Door on Open Houses!

I’m often asked what I think of open houses. Well, I think it’s as good a way to waste a Saturday afternoon as any. My advice is to just take a long nap and catch up on your sleep instead. It will advance your real estate practice a lot faster than an open house! Let me explain. An open house is simply an advertising idea. Nothing more. Nothing less. As such, it should be evaluated like any other advertising idea. Cost per lead versus budget per lead. So how do ... Read More »

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