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Commentary by Kelle Sparta

RISMEDIA, January 31, 2009-I decided that this week the best thing I could do for you would be to offer you new ways to acquire leads. From blogging to holding first-time home buyer seminars, here are eight ways to increase your business.

Blogging

If you’re blogging, then kudos for you. But are you getting the most you can out of your blogging? There are benefits to where you blog. Blogging on your own site is great for SEO, but it won’t necessarily get you the greatest number of qualified hits. The more you blog, the higher your rank and the more leads you can get. So if you’re a blogger, I might consider moving your blog to a high-traffic real estate blog. And if you’ve been meaning to get a blog started, now is the time!

BlitzTime

Have you ever tried to join a BNI (Business Networking International) group only to be told that the Realtor spot was already taken? This is a common occurrence in the BNI world. In fact, most BNI chapters that I know of were formed at the start with a Realtor, a mortgage officer and a financial planner because that’s the only way these three professions can usually get into a BNI group. Well, no more.

There’s a new way to network (and make a little extra cash) and it’s called BlitzTime. Using this tool, you get to contact people one-on-one and talk to them about your business. You can even identify who you’d prefer to talk to. Plus, you can run your own events specific to real estate that get potential clients to come in and chat with you. What’s even better, is that BlitzTime is now offering an affiliate program which will allow you to make a commission on each person who signs up to BlitzTime as a result of your invitation. So you can create a group and run events to bring in potential customers and cross-referrers-and make a commission on them joining the site.

Meetup Groups

There are many ways in which you can glean business from the social networking site, Meetup.com. You can create your own Meetup group around the subject of real estate-investing, first-time buyers, etc. Or, you can be more subtle and look for the groups that relate to the life transitions that usually result in real estate transactions. You can attend new parent groups or retirement planning groups, or wealth creation groups, or job search groups, etc. It’s all about being in front of the right person at the right time. Or, you could just go to groups that you like and meet people who may or may not be interested in buying and selling-at least you’re getting out and meeting new people and that’s the key to getting more business.

Craigslist

If you haven’t been posting your listings and advertising for buyers on Craigslist, then you’re missing the boat. Craigslist is like an online classified ad section of the newspaper. It’s one of the top ranked sites in the country and gets millions of page views per month. If you write a compelling ad (something that offers the target something of value to them), you could get multiple leads per week for $25. That’s a deal.

Commenting on Blogs

If you find a real estate blog that tends to get a lot of traffic from your local area, get out there and start commenting on it. Don’t use the comment as a direct marketing tool – it’s generally considered SPAM to post a promotional piece on your comments area (and it will likely get your comment deleted by the owner of the blog), but if you make a good point and catch readers’ eyes, they may click through to your site and end up being your prospect after all.

Twitter

Twitter is a microblogging platform. What does that mean? It means that you get to say what’s going on with you in 140 characters or less. It is often helpful to have conversations about real estate or post your listings on Twitter since Twitter users will often have keywords set aside using tools like Tweetlater to keep them informed of the goings on in the real estate world in their area. You may be surprised at how much traffic you get if you use this site well too. Remember, tweets are not advertising tools – they are ways to communicate with your community. Be sure to be a good Twitter citizen. And also remember to link your Twitter profile to your blog so that your posts get sent as tweets.

First-Time Home Buyer Seminars

Running seminars is one of the best ways to get a bunch of prospects into a room at the same time-and first-time buyers are the perfect market right now because they don’t have a home to sell first-plus they are anxious to get into the market while prices are low. You just have to convince them that they can get financing.

Integrating Your Tools

If you’ve been paying attention and doing the things listed above, then you’ll see that you can really leverage your other efforts to advertise your seminar. You can add the seminar as a calendar event for your real estate-related Meetup group. When you post it to your Meetup group, you can use the “Promote” section to take that listing and add it to your Facebook profile as well as posting it on Craigslist. You can do an online version of the seminar on BlitzTime (it even allows you to upload your PowerPoint slides so you can do the whole presentation). Once it hits your blog, since you’ve integrated that with your Twitter account, it will send out a notice to all of your followers on Twitter that you’re doing something cool. See-it’s all about integration of your marketing tools. It creates a holistic view and allows people to see your message multiple times.

Kelle Sparta, author of “The Consultative Real Estate Agent,” is one of the top innovators in the industry. Sparta has coached agents from around the country who have been producing as much as $45 million per year in gross volume. Now she brings her unique style of real estate to you. Her dynamic presentation skills, high energy approach, and brilliant new ideas are sure to be the highlight of your day. Sparta is the founder of Sparta Success Systems, a real estate training company that provides products, coaching and training to empower agents and brokers to create lives and businesses they can love.

For more information, visit http://www.spartasuccess.com/.

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