Use the Internet to Your Advantage

by Jason Abrams

It turns out that this whole “Internet” thing is a not just a fad after all. Nope, the Internet, in all of its searchable, meta-tagged, flash-flying glory, is here to stay. The agents of tomorrow have little choice but to accept this fact and embrace the changes that our industry has undergone and will continue to undergo at the hands of the World Wide Web.

This year, I will travel over 300 days in the pursuit of the almighty commission dollar. I will gallivant across the country and interact with the best agents in the most dynamic market places. This allows me to have an inside peek at the latest lead generation models that are surely making their way right into your backyard. What are the newest Internet tricks happening out there today?

The Equity Calculator

Leave it to the short sale experts to switch up the game, now that the market is turning! Think back three to five years when the sky was falling and the American Dream was pronounced dead on arrival; that’s when the short sale radio campaigns started. They were short, effective and drove traffic to Realtor-owned websites that used a flashy “enter your address here to see how underwater you really are” calculator designed to scare people into selling right away.

They were devilishly effective and now, thanks to a slight twist, are once again lead generating machines. The twist is that now the radio campaign extols the virtues of today’s highflying market that is short on listings and thus driving prices to the proverbial moon! Now, simply by entering one’s address and contact information, one can see just how rich they are getting everyday. Throw in a little “buy low and sell high” hyperbole and the emails start rolling in! Brian Gubernick, the owner of Home Helper Consultants, showed me this system when I visited his team in Scottsdale, Arizona, last month; by the way, he is ranked as the 110th Realtor in the county by volume according to REAL Trends (so, yeah, he gets it).

The Fantastic Floor Plan

Part of listing any home is the pageantry of the floorshow that culminates with the seller signing documents and the agent is all smiles. One way to impress your seller is to dabble in a technology that none of your competitors are using (and no, DocuSign is not going to get it done any longer.)  The coolest new app to dazzle the mind and confuse the senses is “MagicPlan” by Sensopia. MagicPlan measures your rooms and draws your floor plan just by taking pictures.

You can then get your floor plan in PDF, JPG and DXF format or publish an interactive floor plan on the Web. Sellers go bananas for this, as you walk room by room taking quick photos. Then after the last room, email them in real time a full floor plan of their house. I watched Bravo’s very own Matt Altman demonstrate this app at an amazing home in the Hollywood Hills earlier this year. It is a pleasure to watch him work; he is always one step ahead of the curve.

Not The Da Vinci Code; It’s the Kalvitter Code That You Want

On my last trip to Commerce, Michigan, I watched an agent receive three buyer leads in 15 minutes, all via email. This was not a parlor trick, but rather, this was the product of a very calculating long-term plan to turn the Internet into a goldmine. Using a 100 percent self-taught SEO regiment, Dan Klavitter has mounted the Internet and rides it around his marketplace like an aging rhinestone cowboy.

He takes painstaking efforts to organically create current and relevant data on his website, being sure to use as many meta-tag keywords as humanly possible each and every day. If you are serious about getting leads from your website, then you will have to work at it. Each day should have a period of time dedicated to posting blogs, video content and up-to-date data about your marketplace. Google is smarter then you and I, and the omnipresent go-bots are on the hunt for timely data to gobble up; you need to feed them if you expect them to feed you.

The moral here: don’t be afraid of the keyboard, the smartphone or the Web – clicks are gold!


Jason AbramsWith over 12 years experience and offices in Phoenix, Detroit and Mclean, Virginia; Jason Abrams specializes in concierge-like real estate services, no matter whether his client is looking to rent, buy or sell. A former Keller Williams office manager of a 100-plus agent office, Abrams is a founding member and principal owner of the largest Keller Williams conglomerate in Michigan, The Abrams Team, as well as a former Chairman of their Agent Leadership Council. Abrams is the subject and star of the HGTV program “Scoring the Deal.”