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September 27, 2006

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Ian Jones

Hello from across the pond on the UK south coast.

We have a problem puzzling ourselves. With the huge uptake in the use of on-line video, for example with http://www.youtube.com , http://video.google.co.uk etc why is it that realtors are slow in embracing this exciting new on-line video technology. For example we operate a completely free to use on-line property video hosting service http://www.PropertyVideos.tv and we have even offered our local UK estate agents free video shoots using the latest in HD TV camera technology systems & Steadicam systems, but they look at us as if we are from out-of-space.

Speaking to other companies providing property video services around the world they all seem to be having a similar experience. It can't be a price issue as many of these companies are providing their services for $250~$500 on a $1m property, which has to be good value for money compared with a glossy brochure.

Can somebody enlighten us as to whether we are missing something somewhere. For example is it that in using video, realtors will have less time wasters and therefore less staff will be needed ?

Or is it just a case that new technologies take time to get adopted, as is the current with case with HD TV in the UK or am I missing something somewhere - Ian Jones - Director Web-Store Ltd - ianjones@webstore.co.uk

Risa and David Weiss

Firstly, a big thanks to Tim for interviewing me and helping me get the word out about what coincidentally he and I think is the path to online success in the real estate marketing business. Ian - I'll get to your comment shortly.

I've enjoyed sharing ideas and thoughts with Tim, and it really is amazing how much we think alike in terms of this business (politics is a different matter, but I try not get into that too much).

I hope everyone listens to and enjoys the interview - it's really jam-packed full of information and unlocks the beginning "secrets" of the mysterious, "black box" of using the internet as the central focus of your real estate business.

I use the word "beginning" above because it's the god-honest truth that most don't understand. Although I've been successful in building a web site and online presence that is effective, it is only the start of the process of turning web site traffic into happy, life long clients that use our services over and over.

Yes, in just over two short years, we have built a customer base that already provides us with repeat business, and helps us build our referral base at the same time.

There's so much content in the interview, I sometimes worry if I give away too many secrets. But after a while of thinking about it, I realize there aren't any real secrets. It is merely a matter of having the desire and motivation to take risks, learn, and have an intense motivation to excel in your business.

I'm sure we could do another hour-and-a-half interview on what comes after that initial internet contact. If you can't tell from the interview, Tim and I can literally go on for hours and hours about theory, techniques, and very real, applicable, and effective advice.

Also, I'd be remiss if I did not acknowledge the heart and soul of our success - my wife, Risa, who is the world's finest salesperson ever. Period. I merely fill the funnel, but a full funnel is useless if no one ever empties it.

Finally, a thank-you to our clients, who are seemingly evangelical in their pursuit of bringing us more referral business all the time. We are down to 55% of our business being generated from first time internet leads (it's a good thing - non-agent referrals are free).

Sorry - one more thing - keep an eye out for Risa and me on HGTV's House Hunters show. There is going to be a week of Chicago based shows, and we have two clients who are filming their segments this month, and we may have others waiting in the wings. From the looks of things, it just may be a full week of "The Risa and Dave Show".

Enjoy and prosper,


Dave

Risa and David Weiss

Ian:

I finally have a couple of minutes to respond to your post.

Why don't REALTORs take advantage of your product and technology? I think there are a couple of reasons:

1. The products that are simple, require little effort, and are inexpensive to purchase ALWAYS will capture the lion's share of the market in this business.

2. Many agents don't realize the value in being different from everyone else and offering products and marketing solutions that set themselves apart from their peers. I don't know why this is, but it just is.

3. 95% of agents focus their time on working their "sphere of influence" and doing personal networking as their primary business activity. They are not out finding new technologies and pushing the marketing envelope.

I go the exact opposite direction from the 95% - the playing field is much less crowded over there. What better story to tell prospective clients???? "Here is what I do - versus every other agent out there".

Or, the selling proposition we use is "Yes, we do all those things that every other agent does, but we also do streaming video tours (which get burned to CD-ROMs for hand-outs at showings and open houses), we do customized (not canned templated) email campaigns, etc, etc, etc.

It's not enough in today's market to do the same thing that everyone else does.

Hope this is helpful.

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