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Remember “the catch?” Check it out…

By Jim Marks

Me and my boy, Bowie… Cruzin’…. doggy style… Check it out…

By Jim Marks

Who are YOU working (Blogging) for…

By Jim Marks

roi1Who owns your Content…

What is the investment portion of the “return on investment” on your blog? It is not JUST dollars and cents..  If you are a blogger, who has decided that your blog is going to be a significant part of your marketing strategy, than the money you invested in it… 1, 3, 5 or 10K is insignificant compared to the TIME you have invested creating the content for it.  The money? Oh, it will come back.  A well-written blog site with proper Call to Actions will convert traffic like the wind…

But the TIME you have invested to write all that content is not ONLY an investment, but an asset.

Cover your ASSets…

How are you protecting THAT asset…  That’s right, more than ANY OTHER portion of your Internet marketing; your content is an asset, and this asset  will keep giving and giving and giving…  because Google LOVES aged content and aged LINKS to that content…  Often, our older content still gets more traffic over a long (90 day) period than our new content…

But who owns YOUR content…

Well, this depends on where you choose to host it?  If you are on blogging sites, such as WordPress.com, Blogger, Typepad , Squarespace, or Active Rain?  Well, THEY do..  These platforms actually get credit for the content and the traffic for YOUR hard work…  (the inbound links will be credited to the domain, and can be carried with you, IF you have a custom domain pointed at your blog.)  But if you don’t? For example on Active Rain?  You get no content credit for all that hard work…

So what do you do?

Export your content to a blog you OWN…

Each of these platforms have ways to export the content into your own WordPress Blog!  Make the investment or take the time to create a blog that you OWN…  ensure you can make changes, change hosts,  servers, etc.  but OWN the data…  you wrote it… you invested the time and it is YOUR asset…

Don’t have the time, money or ability to do that quite yet?

Then, at least take the time to get YOUR blog posts backed up and added to a WordPress.org blog.  This can be done cheaply and easy.  Most Web Hosts have the ability to set up a simple WP.org blog with the touch of a button…

Then just export OUT of your current platform, and into your new blog…  Here are some basic instuction that explain how to do each… (plenty more on the Internet)

The first is a BRAND NEW EXCITING plugin from the mind of Jeff Turner and Zeek, to export and inport from ACTIVE RAIN to WORDPRESS..  This YOUTUBE video will take you step by step through exporting your content from Active Rain and importing it into your blog.  I followed Jeffs Instructions and was done in 5 minutes…  Brilliant.

The Zeek Interactive Active Rain Import Plugin

Here is a video on how to export from BLOGGER to WORDPRESS

You Tube Video- Blogger to WordPress

Now SQUARESPACE is a bit tougher, here are the steps..

1. Export your blog from squarespace in Movable Type format?2. Create a free typepad.com blog?3. Import your squarespace blog into Typepad?4. Export your blog from typepad?5. Import your blog into WordPress.com using the import tool

If you have any problems exporting or importing, a simple search of Google will result in many pages explaining the process…

But just get it done.  Your work, Your Asset, Your return.

Blammo…the Pre has video courtesy of a OS update.

By Jim Marks

(6240 KB)
Watch on posterous

– Sent from my Palm Pre, I am all thumbs…

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http://skitch.com/jimmarks/n98mp/jim-s-blog-virtual-results-virtual-results

By Jim Marks

Jim Marks | jimmarks@virtualresults.net | 949.436.6106
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The Internet is Broken.

By Jim Marks

internet_brokenI was at a Large Brokerage office meeting last week when the conversation of Social Media came up…  (okay, probably because I was at the office…)  There were quite a few agents excited about the prospect of adding social media to their marketing campaign.  They had significantly decreased any type of print marketing and wanted to ensure that were had some effort going forward toward attracting new prospects and increasing their sphere of influence.  They were considering Social Media.

Just about the time we started talking about ways for them to ease into Social Media Marketing, the “tech guru” of the office chimed in with…

John:  “Wait, Wait, Wait…  Let me ask THIS question…     Who here has EVER (I like the annunciated “ever,” as if SM had been around for decades..) written a deal using social media…”

One Hand.

John:  “See Jim?  We just don’t think Social Media works?”  It’s just not viable. OUR clients and prospects are NOT on Social Media”

I was amazed.  You see this was a smart guy, he knows tech and he was trashing my beloved social media, right before my eyes…. How dare he?

Me:” John, I understand that, and this IS the type of question we should ALL be asking…  But,  let me ask ALMOST the same question about Internet Marketing in general?

“Who here has sold a house from ANY Internet effort.  Your website, Your Blog,, Pay-per-click, Social Media?…  ANYTHING?”

One Hand.

Me:  “Well there you have it…  Ladies and Gentleman we have solved the great mystery here today, and CLEARLY the answer is?”

The Internet is Broken.

Of course,  we know that consumers are searching their hearts out on the Internet..  Yes we know that 80% of all Real Estate Consumers do some part of their search on-line. And Internet consumers SAY they want to find their home on-line and then call an agent… We certainly know that every man, women and child WE know uses the Internet…

But if YOU are not getting leads?  It MUST be that Internet isn’t working right.

John?, It certainly couldn’t be that you purchased a website with ZERO foresight or reflection of what the web consumer was actually looking for.

It couldn’t be that you have not looked at your web analytics in years and have no idea WHO is coming to your site and WHY they are not becoming contacts.

It couldn’t be that you never even CONSIDERED what effort might be needed to drive traffic to your website.

It certainly couldn’t be that you created a website that was about YOU and not the product you represent and it certainly couldn’t be that your DOG or your SLOGAN takes up more room on your site than your well thought out opinion of the condition of the market…   Couldn’t be.

And It couldn’t be that you built a web site?  Instead of a web STRATEGY…

And now?  You are going to make EXACTLY the same the mistake with Social Media.

You are going to Tweet, post, blog and follow your way out of business, or at least out of valuable time that you COULD have invested doing something that actually works.  Something you have tried, received feedback and response on, adapted, tweaked, and developed into a strategy, a powerful phone call to an expired or a heavy pitch to a bank exec. Something you have practiced and honed to a proven strategy.

The Internet is NOT broken.  Social Media works.  But you can’t just DO it.  You need to understand it. You need to create a STRATEGY for it, and you need to work that strategy just as you did your geographic farm, with measured input and measured results. You need to figure out what your return on investment expectation is and how to measure it, and you need to be thoughtful, nimble and consistent in your actions. You need to understand that doing Social Media and engaging in a Social Media Strategy with a purpose are two VERY different endeavors, and will provide very different results.

Social Media is NOT a panacea. It is not a golden button and it is CERTAINLY not the answer to your ailing Real Estate practice.  But with a bit of knowledge, some significant planning, a well developed strategy, a measure of discipline and careful MEASUREMENT?

It IS effective marketing.

Can you beleive that 1 in 4 homes have negative equity

By Jim Marks
Foreclosure plague: It's spreading

Las Vegas always wins the title for worst foreclosure rate in the country. But these 5 cities have the fastest-growing foreclosure rates. And they’re not the usual suspects.

Life after foreclosure

After losing their homes, these 4 families thought they’d never recover. They’ve found it difficult to rent and their credit is wrecked, but life is looking up.

Mortgage Rates
30 yr fixed mtg 5.02%
15 yr fixed mtg 4.55%
30 yr fixed jumbo mtg 5.89%
5/1 ARM 4.18%
5/1 jumbo ARM 4.74%

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — In a sign that more foreclosures could be on the horizon, 23% of people with mortgages owe more than their home is worth, according to a report released Tuesday.

Almost 10.7 million U.S. mortgages were “underwater” as of September, said research firm First American CoreLogic.

Another 2.3 million homeowners are within 5% of negative territory, the report said. The two figures combined comprise almost 28% of all residential properties with mortgages.

Negative equity, also called an “underwater” or “upside down” mortgage, has become more common as home values plummet. The report is closely watched because borrowers who are underwater are more likely to be foreclosed.

Foreclosures have been rampant for some time, but lately the tide of decay had seemed to be slowing — so Tuesday’s report could dent optimism for the housing market over the next few months.

On the other hand, the trend that turned so many mortgages upside-down — falling home prices — has reversed the past six months. The S&P/Case-Shiller HomePrice Index has reported two consecutive quarters of increasing prices.

If home prices continue to go up or, at least stabilize, fewer mortgage borrowers will find themselves underwater in the coming months.

CoreLogic changed its methodology for the third quarter — now it accounts for payments that reduce principal, and it no longer assumes home equity credit lines have been maxed out. Using the old method, 33.8% of borrowers would have been underwater in the third quarter compared with 32.2% in the previous quarter, according to a CoreLogic spokeswoman.

State totals: The majority of underwater mortgages are heavily concentrated in five states that have particularly suffered from the housing bust: Nevada, at 65%; Arizona, at 48%; Florida, at 45%; Michigan, at 37%; and California, at 35%.

These five states have been especially beleaguered because of a high rate of prime loans that went bad. Many of those loans were option-adjustable rate mortgages, in which borrowers could choose to make minimum payments that were so low they did not even offset the interest being accumulated.

When that accumulated debt reaches a certain point — usually 10% to 25% more than the original principal — the option-ARMs loans are recast into fixed-rate mortgages. When that happens, many borrowers cannot afford the new payments. To top of page

First Published: November 24, 2009: 7:41 AM ET

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–>

This is a bit disturbing… but at least we know…

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Check out this article from TechCrunch about Google Maps for Android

By Jim Marks

google-maps-navigation-layersA few weeks ago there was a lot of excitement surrounding the launch of Google Maps Navigation. Unfortunately, it only worked with Android 2.0 and up, which means only the newest devices right now, like the Droid. But today Google has given

an early holiday present to its other Android users: Maps Navigation to anyone running at least Android 1.6 (Donut).

Yes, that means anyone with an Android device can now use this awesome new feature. This even includes users with the original Android phone, the G1. But apparently not all of the features found in Maps Navigation for Android 2.0 will work in the 1.6 version. The one example Google gives is that you can’t use the “navigate to” voice command.

This new version of Maps Navigation also includes a new feature included called “Layers” which allows you to put various information such as Wikipedia articles on top of your map as an overaly.

The update is available in the Android Market today, obviously for free. Sadly, the service is still U.S.-only, and Google warns that it’s still in beta, something which we’ve come to ignore the meaning of thanks to Google’s own Gmail.

Android image

Company: Google
Website: code.google.com/android

Android is a software platform for mobile devices based on the Linux operating system and developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance. It allows developers to write managed code in Java that utilizes… Learn More

Google Maps image

Company: Google
Website: maps.google.com

Google Maps is Google’s free web-based mapping application.

As of May 2008, Google Maps includes photos, videos, and user-created maps along with location searches. It uses Panoramio and… Learn More

Information provided by CrunchBase

I really like this article because the ANdroid is becoming more and more popular with Agents…

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My newest marketing idea – Sean LaRue’s Site

By Jim Marks

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Untitled

By Jim Marks
– Sent from my Palm Pre, I am all thumbs…

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