it has the potential to make you quite well off financially, is quite competitive. Implement- ing effective email marketing strategies is one of the best ways to reach the largest audi- ence possible and keep them loyal to you. • > Continued from :: PG 57 One-to-One with Kathy Fettke KF We use Libsyn as a podcast hosting service and that provides stats on listenership. You can also use Blubrry. We also try to incorporate a “call to action” in our podcasts. If people respond, you know they are listening. It’s important to offer something to your audience. You don’t want to over- sell but you don’t want to undersell either. Offer a gift or something of value if they visit your website or landing page, or sign up for a news- letter. I’ve been listening to other podcasts for years and some have never given me a reason to go to their website. KF I was lucky because I was one of the first podcast- ers, so there wasn’t much competition. Now there’s a lot of competition. In 2013, Apple announced that podcast subscriptions had surpassed one billion with more than 250,000 unique podcasts in more than one hundred languages! It could DB How do you keep track of your listeners? DB How big is the playing field right now?

slowdowns, if the streetcar has the ability to accommodate predicted ridership volumes, and whether it will have a long enough “line,” the length of the route it traverses, to make it worth waiting for the streetcar rather than simply walking down the street. “Portland’s original streetcar did well de- spite being slow and unreliable by design, because it served a place with all of those features either existing or ready to be built,” Walker noted. • > Continued from :: PG 55 5 Email Statistics for Your Business So, what does this mean for your business? If you want more people to learn about your real estate business, embed social share buttons for popular platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Be aware however, that the average finger is at least 44 pixels in terms of height and width and create social share buttons with that size in mind. Encouraging social sharing enables your primary target audience members to share your content and promote it within their social circles. The end result is more people get- ting access to your brand mes- saging, thus leading to a larger potential client base without substantially more marketing effort on your part. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Of course it does! Email is here to stay, and underestimating the impact that email marketing can make on your business’s bot- tom line would be a mistake on your part. The real estate sector, while

> Continued from :: PG 31 Reading Between the Lines: Streetcars and Home Values

be double that now.

writing, networking or finding someone else to do your mar- keting while you focus on your craft. If you’re not naturally gifted at public speaking, part- ner with someone who is. Best advice: Listen to the top 10 most successful podcasts to get an idea of what they are doing right. Most importantly, have fun! • > Continued from :: PG 94 Betty’s Better Offer: Case Study Secrets to “Winning” a Home Seller to work with. I was not an easy buyer, however, because I did not realize how much “stretch room” I had to work with in order to make the offer attractive for her. I could have offered her what she needed, closed the deal on our first meeting, and both of us could have gotten “the win.” Lesson Learned: Once you are “at the table” with your seller, find out the real reason behind the seller’s price. Then, work to find a way to accommodate it. Treat the negotiation as a dance, rather than a tug-of-war, and it should end with the seller feeling that they have won. Remember, second chances are rare, and there is always somebody ready to pounce on the deal you are looking at and offer a sweeter deal. LESSON 3 NEVER LEAVE WITHOUT A SIGNED CONTRACT Always keep in mind that you do not have anything un- til the contract is signed. The seller can change their mind or someone with a better offer

can call them up, and if you don’t have a contract in place, there is nothing to safeguard against this. We were ready to give Betty a better offer with the new information we gathered, but the home investor beat us to the punch and had a contract ready for her before we could make the counter offer. Lesson Learned: Fill in the contract as soon as you finalize the deal. Move quickly to minimize the window in which your seller might use your offer to get a counter offer. Successful residential real estate investing hinges on your ability to provide attractive solutions to home sellers. Keep your focus on the seller rather than on the property, or, as I like to say, “It’s not about the property until it becomes about the property.” Win the seller’s trust, do your homework, and close the deal fast before competitors get a chance to slip counteroffers into the mix. These are the corner- stones of successful residen- tial real estate investing. • > Continued from :: PG 105 Last Year’s Most Painful Insurance Losses removal of flooring and the lower-wall drywall to prevent moisture soaking upward through the entire length of drywall on the walls. Though this was a covered loss for the property owner, they still would have to shoulder their $5000 deductible. INSURANCE INSIGHT: Depending upon the type of

easiest types of damage to avoid. For vacant properties, turn off the water and drain the system. For occupied locations, you may want to make an extra trip out to your property or call (or text, e-mail, etc.) your tenants before a cold snap occurs in their area. Keeping the water running on a drip overnight may be able to help you avoid a loss like this at an occupied location as well. FINAL THOUGHTS I’m not sure that I hope you enjoyed reading about some of last year’s worst losses, but I do hope that you learned something that will keep you from experiencing similar heartbreak this year. •

policy you have, you may or may not have coverage for Water Damage. Also, even if you do have Water Damage included in your coverage, some policies limit this cov- erage for vacant locations. In some instances, if a location that is reported as occupied is found to have been vacant for more than 60 days, the Special Form coverage that ordinarily includes this peril may revert to Basic Form, which excludes Water Damage. LESSON: Make sure you re- view your coverages regular- ly with your agent so you are aware of what you are both covered for and what your policy excludes. In addition, Water Damage is one of the

DB How has podcasting helped you grow your business? KF The biggest impact that podcasting has had on our business is the ability to reach people globally. We had listeners in Australia at the time the U.S. real estate market crashed. Many Americans were not in a position to buy real estate at that time, but the Australian listeners were in a perfect position to invest. One listener contacted me at the beginning of 2010 and invited me to come speak to her group of thousands of Aus- tralian investors about U.S. real estate. Their dollar had doubled and our real estate had tanked, so they had twice the buying power while everything was on sale. That meant they could buy U.S. property for 10-20 cents on the dollar. They would have never found me and I would have never found them had it not been for the podcast. KF There are lots of ways to build a following. Don’t just rely on a podcast. You can use SEO with your website and landing pages. You can promote episodes on social media. You can put on live events to meet your audience. Whatever you decide, you need a good marketing plan of your own. Don’t hope that iTunes will market for you, because they won’t. Also remember, not every- one is meant to be a podcaster. Know your strengths. Maybe your energy is more suited to DB What can a podcaster do to get noticed?

RIDERSHIP AND REAL ESTATE It is clear that at least at

present, streetcar lines are a good indicator for real estate investors looking for areas that will likely appreciate in the near future. However, as Walker warned, if the streetcar falls out of favor in the development sector as a symbol of progress- to-come, investors could end up holding properties that are not as desirable as they had expected and that are harder to exit profitably. “If transit technology is designed to be attractive and fashionable at the expense of being functional, it’s obviously sacrificing creating lasting real estate value for the [purpose of] selling real estate now,” Walker said. “Notions of attractiveness go out of fashion, but functionality doesn’t.” Real estate investors hoping to invest using short-term strategies, like wholesaling and fix-and-flipping, will likely benefit from the prevailing idea that streetcars equate to appre- ciation as long as that symbol- ogy remains in place, while longer-term investors who rely on a streetcar’s ability to attract tenants who will value the ridership opportunity may need to dig a little deeper into the planning of a streetcar line in order to determine whether Walker’s “lasting value” is likely in an area. When evaluating for that lasting value, look for whether or not the streetcar will have a designated lane that will help it avoid traffic-related


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