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What the Girl Scouts Taught Me about Content Distribution

Every year I count on the little neighbor girl to stop by with her Girl Scout Cookie order form so that I can place my ridiculous order of Thin Mints and Tagalongs…and then I wait (for months it seems) for them to finally arrive. This year I got the knock at the door…but no order form! The cookie boxes were right there…immediate gratification…no ordering, no waiting!

Clearly the Girl Scouts, being the savvy salesgirls they are, embarked on a new distribution strategy for their delectables this year! My little neighbor not only informed me I could purchase cookies on the spot, but also introduced me to their new iPhone app in case I needed to locate more in the near future. She even gave me her card that included a link to her troop’s Website and email newsletter!  Now I can get all the news and tips I need to suffice all my cookie cravings!

Go Girl Scouts! They get it! They recognized the need to update their distribution strategy to better meet the needs of their targets. So I ask you…when was the last time you updated your distribution strategy?! [Read more…]

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Agent Reboot Chicago to Feature Brian Gardner of StudioPress

The Agent Reboot Conference Tour is in full swing! In fact, we’re going to make quite a few more stops this year…including Hawaii! But next week we’ll be touching down in Chicago! Now that stop wasn’t on my route last year, so I’m excited to meet and connect with many online friends in person finally! And as if that weren’t enough, I’ll be interviewing WordPress legend Brian Gardner on-stage!!!! Btw- Brian would never call himself a legend (he’s much too modest for that)…but the rest of the blogosphere will agree!

Brian is the Founder of StudioPress, Creator of the Genesis Framework, Partner in Copyblogger Media, and fellow Starbucks addict. He’s also been a mentor and colleague to Reggie, Chad and I over the years.  Suffice it to say, there is much admiration for the design, clean code and functionality that he brings to WordPress.  In addition, Brian has developed the #1 real estate specific theme, some of you may already be familiar with, AgentPress. [Read more…]

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Death of a Salesman: Marketing without an Online Hub

It’s not a new concept by any means, but yet it’s still not being utilized by the majority of real estate agents. I’m referring to the most important aspect of your marketing plan for 2011…you’re online hub.

You know, the place where you share your expertise, showcase your listings, and deliver relevant content. The place that helps:

(1) your sphere stay up to date with your market,

(2) potential clients get the information they need to take the next step, and

(3) makes current clients extremely happy they chose to work with you because clearly, you know how to facilitate interest in their home and community!

And finally, the place that makes having an online marketing strategy make sense. Yes that place is your Website, but in 2011 that place should be your WordPress blog site. [Read more…]

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Lost & Found: My Blogging Voice

The past year has been crazy for the Nicolay household…to say the least! Reggie started his new job with RPR…and has been passionately reaching out to curious agents and creating a variety of helpful resources that are soon to launch. I, on the other hand, have been extremely focused on my new company.  Agent Evolution was born from our efforts right here on MTO! After all, many of you have regular questions for us…and occasionally ask for help with your blogs. So we answered by mixing my teaching skills with Chad’s blog shop to provide a full service new media company!

In the midst of this professional progression, we’ve definitely let our regular MTO blogging schedule slide. Let’s face it, something had to give! [Read more…]

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oneforty. Your Target for Twitter Tools

There’s an app for that! That’s what we’re told anyway. But how do you find the best apps to streamline business productivity and online sharing? When it comes to Twitter, there’s a site for that? Oneforty, and it’s “oneforty”…all lower case letters for those of you that would like to bring a smile to @pistachio’s face.

Anyway, oneforty is like your Target for Twitter tools. Sure I can go to Walmart…but the shelves are overstocked with so many items I get frustrated by the experience and make a b-line for the door while hoping nothing jumps out at me. Target, on the other hand, also offers a great variety of items, but the shopping experience is one that draws me in. It’s organized aisles invite me to stay awhile, assuring me I’ll find what I need….oh, and there’s a Starbucks.

Now oneforty may not have a Starbucks, but it does happen to be a comprehensive site for finding, rating, collecting, and sharing Twitter apps. And by Twitter apps, I’m also referring to any application which posts to, shares content with, and/or is relative to Twitter in any way. The site was founded by Laura Fitton “@pistachio”, author of Twitter for Dummies, is backed by a rockin’ development team, and advised by social media heavyweights @briansolis and @guykawasaki. [Read more…]

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dsIDXPress: Search Engine Friendly IDX

If you’re not already aware of Diverse Solutions….you should be. These guys have some serious cool factor and have been driving innovation with their dsSearchAgent Pro IDX for years now.  Recently they unleashed a beta of a long awaited “indexable” IDX plug-in for WordPress.  And today they’ve ripped off that BETA label!

What does this mean for you?

It means your real estate blog can now have the functionality of a highly custom site with search engine friendly IDX data. dsIDXPress is released with special introductory pricing of $99.95 setup and $29.95 a month. That is an introductory offer and will go up over time.

And for the most part the plug-in is compliant in all markets they cover with the exception of a couple of the more strict MLSs. If you have any questions or comments about compliance reach out to them here.  Let’s take a look at a few ways to implement dsIDXPress.

[Read more…]

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AgentPress: The Ideal Theme for Real Estate Bloggers

If you’ve been reading MTO for awhile you know we’re huge advocates of WordPress as a platform to power your real estate blog.  And we’re not the only ones who think WordPress rocks! Matt Cutts, the head of the Web Spam team at Google, recently declared WordPress as the best blogging platform in terms of search engine optimization. He went on to say that WordPress automatically solves 80-90% of the mechanics behind SEO, making your site easily crawlable by search engines.

Now when it comes to selecting a WordPress theme that delivers a clean design, variety of options, highly optimized code, and customer support….the MTO team chooses StudioPress. Which has been a great theme option for us and our Web design clients. But now theme legend, Brian Gardner, is back and has developed AgentPress, specifically for the real estate industry. In fact, we’ve partnered with Brian to offer customization and consultation for AgentPress theme users. [Read more…]

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4 Ways To Add An Event Calendar To Your WordPress Blog

The addition of an event calendar can add a lot of value to your website or blog. This is especially true for those real estate agents who maintain a community based site.

Posting information on events such as farmers’ markets, garage sales, club meetings and city recreation programs to a calendar makes your website community resource. A resource worth bookmarking, Twittering or sharing on Facebook.

[Read more…]