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Archive for February, 2009

Be Careful What You Ask For

If you want to connect with people, find out what they are passionate about.  About 5 p.m. yesterday as I headed to the ferry boat for my ride home, I “tweeted” a simple question, which also updated by Facebook status:

 “OK Seattle: the question is Dick’s Deluxe? Or, In and Out Burger?”

 By dinner time, I had over a dozen responses!  Clearly, my friends are passionate about their burgers! If you’re selling new homes, condos, (or anything for that matter), discover your customer’s passions, show some interest and then get out of the way.   By the way, marketing relationships of this type are only available two ways: in-person and through Social Networking media.  People can’t talk back to a magazine ad, radio spot or TV commercial.

 PS: The Results:  54% Dicks Deluxe; 46% In and Out Burger with several shout-outs by our California friends for “Animal Style”

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Friday Coffee with John Spear

Had an interesting time with John Spear from Seattle Magazine. Core audience remaining stable, but housing ads in the you-know-what (Duh!). We’ve got some plans for a couple of cool inserts. Nothing to be gained by standing still!

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Random Acts of Recognition

On January 21st, I attended The Nationals awards banquet at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas. Since I had the privilege of helping judge this year’s entries, I was very eager to see and meet the people who did the great work. While surrounded in a sea of glitzy cocktail gowns and spiffy suits, I was reminded of what a powerful motivator recognition can be.

Peter Mayer and Lisa Parrish are the producers of The Nationals, PCBC and similar awards competitions and black tie extravaganzas all over the country and are recognition experts. They continue to teach to the fundamentals: recognition may be the most cost-effective form of motivation.

Recognition can be as simple kind word, a sincere note or card, or thoughtful gift. This is one time when you can rely on the old adage: “it’s the thought that counts”. Even the simple phrase “good job” or even more powerful “thank you” can pay huge dividends no matter what the market conditions are. And when market conditions are like they are in the new home industry this year, recognizing the hard work of ALL our team members is more important than ever.

To see some “over the top” Watch Mary DeWalt, Mary DeWalt Design Group, Inc. (nice dress!) introduce Adrienne Albert of The Marketing Directors, Inc. who was named Legend of Residential Marketing as part of The Nationals 2009 Awards Ceremony.

What random acts of recognition have you seen lately?

This is the inaugural edition of Sq. Ft. the Fusionapartners blog! We’ll be covering topics related to the creation and marketing of new home communities, with an emphasis on stewardship. We encourage you to comment, dissent and elucidate. This is intended to be a two-way conversation.



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How Many Facebook Friends Do You Have?

Every week I’m getting a batch of new Facebook friends over 40 years old. And they are actually using this surprising new media to send notes, invitation and even photo of their kids and dogs.

What does this mean for those of us marketing new homes and communities?

It means the “Social Network” train has left the station and we’d better be on board!

The paradigm is shifting. Facebook is no longer just a way for college kids to track their social lives. Linked-in is the new Rolodex for millions of serious business people. Millions of individuals and companies are sharing their photos on Flickr. YouTube is ranked #2
behind Google as the most popular search engine. And 100% of homebuyers form their first impressions of projects and communities from their time spent on websites.

Campbell Homes of Colorado Springs, CO is a great example and one of my new Facebook Friends. One of their staffers, Kelly Noble is their “internet concierge” and is doing a fantastic job of communicating with customers and real estate agents.

I’d love to add you as one of my Facebook friend. Head over right now and find me.


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“Are We There Yet” (bottom, that is)?

This morning’s Seattle PI (2/10/09) devoted some front page ink to the discussion of whether or not the Puget Sound market has hit bottom.

It’s fascinating to predict the future. Even more thrilling to put your money on the table while the dice roll. But, really, isn’t this kind of speculation what pumped up the bubble in a bunch of industries. The market a willing buyer and a willing seller will eventually rule. A house is a home, a neighborhood is where you want to plant yourself. So evaluate your agents and your home purchase more through the long lens of where you want to spend your life.

“Bottoms” make good topics for deep sea divers and rappers.

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