Should you Sell Your Home Fast or for a Higher Price?

How To Sell Your Home

Spring 2018 is almost here and prices are still pretty good in many cities.  If you’re a homeowner looking to sell your home in Toronto, San Diego, New York, Seattle, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami you have a chance to sell it for a very respectable price.

After closing their sale, the homeowners will have a moment to reflect on it.

And they do think: “I wish we had gotten more for our home. It would have made a difference for us. Selling quick didn’t leave us with a satisfying taste.

The reason for that is, when the emotional attachment to the home was broken, they suddenly realize it was just a house and that quite likely someone else valued it even more than they did.

There are buyers out there who would be in ecstasy if they found your home. You need to take your time and reach those people.

When you do, you won’t care about agent commissions, paperwork, and showings. You’ll get a life-changing price for your home and so you should after the blood, sweat and tears you shed to pay it off. The best hours, days and years of your life went into paying that house. Get what you deserve!!

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Sell Fast?  That’s a Big Mistake

I know, you need to sell fast to cover your new home purchase or to get rid of your ex asap.  Perhaps there are other solutions that will give you time to sell now and buy later. That takes the pressure off so you can make good selling and relocation decisions instead of reacting under pressure. I’ve seen divorced couples keep calm and sell their house professionally and avoid selling for way less.

There are vultures in the market waiting for these opportunities to buy cheap.  Instead, it’s wise not to get overwhelmed with emotion.  Just like the cash in your retirement savings account, emotions will disappear.

Selling your home  intelligently is the smart way to go. So many benefits await. As with the happy old couple in the photo above, you’ll be satisfied with your decision. Good for your self-esteem and good for your bank account.  And retirees can’t possibly have enough money. You’re going to last 25 to 30 years more with no pay check!!

More Homeowners Selling Means More Competition

Yet with this sudden increase in house listings, buyers will have better selection.   You’ll need to do more to win that big price. You can, if you do it right.

From how your MLS listing is worded to the multimedia presentation of your home, to how your home is improved and presented in person, there’s much you can do to boost your selling price.  SELL THAT HOUSE!! for more.

90% of Buyers Go Online to Search For Homes and Information — this is where you intercept them

How to Sell Your House for More

So how you can help sell your home for a higher price?

  1. Be professional about it – create a picture of value for buyers
  2. Treat it as a business and finance decision – establish a price and get it
  3. Be an Internet marketing Tiger –  use a clever, resourceful digital marketer to get your home in front of everyone

The key factor to achieve way over asking price or initiating a bidding war: Internet marketing.  Hire an agent who works with a visibly good digital real estate marketing specialist.

A Realtor Who is Doing their Own Marketing is Leaving Money on the Table

Remember that real estate is a complex business and Realtors hate doing their own marketing. If they are doing their own digital marketing, they’re probably not engaging their pool of prospects and expanding it. Your Realtor needs to be the selling mastermind with total focus on interacting with as many potential buyers as possible.

Hire an agent that respects marketing and isn’t a “transaction specialist.”  A real estate lawyer and mortgage agent do the transactions. Your agent needs to impress you with the power of their reach and persuasion. They must be a selling strategist or you should find another agent.

More Leads and Prospects Please!

Consider what creates a good offer and a record breaking offer: more prospects. That’s right, the more people know your home is for sale, the more bidding pressure there will be, and the more likely the home will be sold for its true value.

Get True Market Value for Your Home

When you sell fast, or have fewer buyers, it means the market doesn’t know about your house for sale.  You won’t be getting true market value.  True market value isn’t comps or your home market evaluation.  That’s the price that other unwise buyers had to settle for.  That’s not you. If you don’t get impulsive or desperate you can get a big price.

And don’t be too impressed with over asking. With homes selling $1 million overasking price, all cash, the asking price is meaningless.

Tell your Agent you won’t hire them, unless they hire me!

Let’s Get Educated so You Will Guarantee a Higher Selling Price

The overall strategy is to: 1) improve your house, 2) use a digital marketing Realtor, 3) and let as many buyers across the country know you’re selling. Because it may be income property investors who will pay more for your old property, you want to hire a professional to help sell it. The additional cash from doing it this way could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. One realtor recently got $1 million over asking for an old house in Toronto.

Photo Courtesy of

But hold on, not all Realtors have the top selling power.  I hope you don’t assume that going with the most well known Realtor in town is the only way to go. Because Realtors are having an easy time selling right now since there’s so many buyers.

It may look like they’re doing a knockout job, when in fact, they often rely on the MLS and their small list of potential buyers. “Comps” or market evaluation might be code words for “sell fast.”  Keep in mind, that competent Realtors know about the Internet, Google, Facebook and top notch content.

Even top Realtors rely on the small pools of contacts of their team. But that won’t get you a big over asking price. For that, you need strategic digital real estate marketing and pull in big crowds of qualified buyers.

Maximize Reach > Create a Great Message > Filter Unqualified Visitors > Engage with Real Buyers > Close

Here’s the Best Ways to Sell Your House Quick and for More

  1. Check out your realtor’s website and review these home selling tips
  2. Check out their real estate marketing provider for their effort and performance
  3. Ask them how they will improve your house for selling
  4. Ask them how they will achieve ‘over market value’ and if they’re not out to maximize your selling price don’t hire them
  5. Offer the chosen Realtor a higher selling commission if they get way over market value – they’ll be worth every penny
  6. Ask them to provide a complete breakdown of their marketing and sales process and the marketability of your home
  7. Ask them what makes the most difference to selling at a higher price and how they will focus on that key tactic

While you might thinking that selling fast involves a quick paint job and covering up stains on the carpet, the real strategy is good marketing. And if you’re holding off paying a Realtor a commission because you resent all the selling costs and their 5 to 6% commission, relax. If you choose a digital real estate agent, they will give you a fantastic return on your investment.


Those who shop the MLS listings are often bargain hunting. Are they going to have the resources to step up the price? Not likely, which is why you need to expand your reach and make your home look like a million dollar listing. A digital Realtor offers much better reach to buyers all over the planet and throughout your city and can elevate the value for the buyer.

Hire a modern professional and you’ll be rewarded many times over with a no hassle transaction from a qualified, eager and willing buyer. No haggling and your old house will sell fast enough. Don’t sell your place in 3 days. You can reach tens of thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands by being patient and selling it professionally.

This blog enjoys a rate of 1 Million visitors per year and you are one of them! I reached you and I can reach anyone who goes online. Get smart about digital marketing and you’ll get more than you could hope for.

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Up or Down. How Will the Foreign Buyers Tax Affect Toronto Condo Prices?

Toronto Condos – Still a Smart Investment?

Screen Cap Courtesy of Pier 27 Condominiums, Toronto

The Toronto Condo Market couldn’t be more difficult to comprehend right now after the Liberal’s pushed their unwise Foreign buyers tax and rent controls. With availability of condos squeezed, prices in Toronto rose to record levels. What will happen this year and 2018 in Toronto’s condo market?

Toronto Real Estate Boards latest facts:  Condo availability down 18.8% and condo prices were up 24.3% compared to last year.  Demand for condos is expected to stay strong or strengthen while sustained lower availability should keep prices strong 2017 through to 2020.

Questions: Which way will prices and condo supply go in Toronto? Will reduced condo construction offset any rent controls now in effect? Can investors and condo developers still make a good ROI despite the rogue foreign buyers tax? Will the Ontario’s measures push the province into recession? 3 housing experts weigh in with their views below.

Should I Sell my Condo Now?

Urbanation’s Shaun Hildebrand

Urbanation senior vice-president Shaun Hildebrand suggested that rent increases had leveled off recently due to a new supply of condos hitting the Toronto market. His beliefs correspond with many experts belief that a lack of supply is the problem and that new supply tames the price increases.

In the Urbanation post: “While the market remains undersupplied, the report says the 11,315 newly completed condos that reach closing in the past six months helped to alleviate recent pressure on rents.”

The new foreign buyer tax is expected to kill demand from foreign investors. Kathleen Wynne has characterized these foreign investors as speculators as “undesirable” parking their money. She didn’t comment on whether immigrant investors are coming here to launch their business to give their kids a great education. She failed to specify why foreign investors parking money here is wrong or illegal. And she provided absolutely no data regarding how much foreign investment actually takes place in the Toronto Housing Market.

A number of Realtors and experts say foreign investment is only a small portion of the Toronto housing market.

If that’s the case, Toronto condo prices similar to Toronto detached home prices will likely not fall much and will recover probably by late summer. Some say this will be a brief market letdown and if new condo projects dwindle in number, it will only drive up condo prices in 2018 and 2019.

As you can see in these stats from TREB below, condo prices in Markham, Vaughan, Toronto West, Richmond Hill and even the hot zone of Toronto central, are reachable for many buyers. Adding 20% should still make them affordable.

Emporis, a research firm that specializes in Condo development reporting says there are 154 condo projects currently in construction in Toronto with another whopping 364 planned and 382 unbuilt. Ontario’s depressing tax could put prevent many new projects from moving forward which will constrain development and lower condo availability. That will move Toronto condo prices higher in the long term, assuming Ontarios economy can continue improving.

Barry Fenton, CEO of Lanterra Developments

Lanterra Development is a major condo developer in Toronto forecasts that condo prices will rise another 40%. Here’s the video interview with Catherine Murray of BNN.

Brad Lamb of Brad J Lamb Realty

In an early interview with Brad Lamb, a well known Realtor specializing in downtown Toronto Condos, Lamb suggested the Foreign Buyers Tax could conceivably lead to recession in Toronto and across. Lamb was then quickly rebuffed by Doug Porter, Capital Markets Chief Economist of BMO Capital Markets.  Porter blurted, “And I have eaten, drank and slept the Canadian economy for more than 30 years,” which look a little like a smackdown of Lamb’s credibility and capacity to speak with authority on the matter of housing economics. However, Bank representives to tend to align with current government positions on these types of decisions so we have to question Porter’s credibility as well.

In that same BNN interview, David Madani, of Capital Economics said that Toronto new housing construction accounts for 1% of Canada’s GDP:  “Accordingly, a moderate slowdown in Toronto housing construction wouldn’t put the entire economy into recession… It would take a much broader negative shock to national housing investment and personal consumption to put the whole economy into recession.”

But as we know now, the US is beginning to apply border taxes and we have to wonder when Trump will tax Ontario’s lucrative auto industry. The 1% that foreign investment in real estate provides, suddenly looks large. Now that the tax has been announced, foreign investors and our own condo development companies won’t trust the government.


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How To Improve Visitor Engagement | Customer Engagement Strategy Tips Website Social Media

Build Your EPIC Engagement Strategy for 2018

Is your website strangely quiet? Do your visitors from Adwords, Google, Bing, and Facebook leave quick? Well, you’re not alone. Do they hit your landing page and evaporate?

Most websites suck because the content is shallow and not engaging. It generates no emotion and moves the visitor nowhere. These are the issues a content strategist resolves (join me on Linkedin for updates).

To fix that, you will design a better visitor engagement strategy. Many other areas of business are into engagement strategy too, from shopping mall and retail store design, to urban planning, to software UX de

sign. Engagement is very important and can significantly improve leads and revenue.

While the website traffic you’re getting from SEO and PPC channels is wonderful, it’s useless if you can can’t generate the customer action you need. This post describes in great detail how you can power up your content and site design to make your site more “sticky.”

Let’s Explore Website Engagement (and social engagement)

You’ll enjoy discovering how to rearrange your content strategy and prospect journey to convert more leads and raise your revenue.

You’ll be able to peer into the depths of customer engagement strategy. This one improvement, might be the most important thing you’ll do in 2018.

Do we have to do it all in EPIC fashion? No, that’s just my branding thing. You’ll be able to pick out the most relevant engagement tactics and fill the holes to make your content engagement and converations super pleasant and easy to consume.  You can come back to this post forever and I’ll have new info for you.

Engagement is an Exploratory Process Leading to a Conversation

When you hear the word engagement, you might think of videos or chatbots and something interactive.  Actually,  engagement is a process of creating a conversation or experience with your visitors, so it’s actually what’s happening via the content or media.

Content won’t do it by itself, even if the content is very, very good. I have plenty of experience in creating deep, informative, helpful, sharable content and I still lost prospects. Even good content can fail if the engagement funnel process isn’t clear and achieve the conversion goal.

Even the smallest interruption in the conversation, could end it. That’s very frustrating when you’ve worked so hard on your copy and visuals. To do engagement strategy well, you need to really know your customers. Study them, meet them, ask questions, take notes, get feedback, and understand their views and pain points very intimately.

That’s the only way you can optimize this website content process to convince them.  And convincing them is more than making the solution laser clear andhelpful.  Making them feel good is the  last phase of a process, which may be complicated. That’s why an engagement consultant might be in your future.

Focus Means Not Confusing Them

As many startups, freelancers and SMBs discover the hard way is that visitor engagement needs a specific goal. As a digital marketing specialist, I’ve fallen into the trap myself by being too many things.

What the customer actually wants is a clear vision of the solution to their pain, and a direct route to it. Offering multiple, value-added paths could confuse them.

That’s why many companies just present “their stuff” on their site and let the visitor decide for themselves. Given how competitive the market is now, that’s not sufficient anymore.

The Visitor and The Customer Journey

The visitor’s journey begins on Google. They have intent. They’re following a path to find a solution. They’re looking for a practical entry point, one they can comprehend, and then building their confidence.  If your UVP or the goal is transparent, undertandable, and inviting, they’ll continue their exploration.

The goal/solution must be apparent and clear in their terms or the conversation will end


If they leave, it could be your content itself, lack of a clear solution, or perhaps how it’s laid out to be experienced. It’s this on site experience that may be the problem.

What I find with many sites and on those I’ve worked with, is that there is no invitation to a conversation. Lacking that invitation, visitors feel the company really isn’t sincerley interested in their needs.  The conversation afterall, is to explore the visitor’s needs.

For us marketers, the engagement is about finding out what they need and then clarfying and customizing our solution to them.

How Do Your Customers Feel?

Engagement is a general term marketers created to describe how people feel about your website and your content. Engaged means they like being on your site, find value in it, and are pursuing the path to become your customer.

Engagement is the New Scorecard

And if they are already your customer, highly engaging content will help to keep them away from competitors. And remember, your customers are always searching and interacting on social media.  Engagement is good business sense and ultimately big profits.

Strangely, so little is available online about this important topic and how to do it, that it’s driven me to write this ultimate guide to visitor engagement.

We’ll cover why it’s important, what engagement is, how to make content engagement your new strategic focus, why your site sucks, what are content engagement metrics, and lots of tips to optimize your content engagement strategy.

Don’t forget to come back because in typical evergreen content fashion, I continuously update and improve my blog posts. Please be sociable and pass this onto your friends using the share bar!

What do the Lifestyle People Know?

Speaking of social and engagement, take a quick first example look at these Twitter/FB posts from a lifestyle blogger. Consider how much effort lifestyle bloggers put into their posts and how focused the visual message is in them.

We can learn a lot about social media and blog engagement by studying the lifestyle bloggers. They show us that connection can happen via simple things like a bowl of salad and a tasty dipping sauce.

Practical, down to earth, visual, sensual, and people are what they’re all about. They focus on a consistent pain point of people – creating interesting, tasty and healthy meals.  The food begs a conversation in so many ways. But the focal point or goal is, “what’s in this and how do I make it?”  The conversation is launched, yet a good blogger will be constantly interacting via Facebook and asking visitors what ingredients they like, how they categorize this food, what dietary issues vistiors have, and what’s their favorite food.

Prospect Engagement is Critical to Sales Conversion

Customers don’t buy until they have a clear, positive feeling of confidence. So engagement is a process of creating that feeling of positive confidence. Engagement isn’t empty interaction and clicking, it’s purposeful movement like exploring, learning, assessing and deciding.

Engagement builds emotion, buyer intent, and sales velocity. It’s the most important element in marketing yet very few business people want to know about it.  It gets little respect even among marketers who are hard pressed to create an engagement plan or strategy, or to measure engagement performance.

The reason engagement was rated 3rd in importance in this survey below is because marketers are confused by engagement and how to quantify it.  Aren’t lead generation and brand awareness hollow goals if the audience isn’t engaged?

So why don’t we start solving this audience engagement challenge right now?

How to Improve Visitor Engagement

This post offers 22 useful tips, some infographics, examples, and more insight into powering up your new website engagement strategy below.

However, engagement shouldn’t be a hackathon. Hacking is in vogue yet that could reveal everyone has no plan or strategy and are making unwise choices. Better results come from a good plan and a powerful engagement strategy. Then you can hack your improvements.

Understanding visitor/customer engagement can make your job more fun, increase customer retention and grow your sales revenue for many years ahead. It shouldn’t take long to see results but you’re likely to see massive improvements over the years ahead. Have faith, you can do it.

What if Engagement is the New Focus of Your Website?


Why aren’t websites and social pages engaging?  Because everyone uses them for “show and tell.”  But websites shouldn’t be an Amazon shopping page or like a museum where there’s no touching and no talking.

Your product and service pages are probably the focus of your website currently. What might be better is your very best content such as an informative blog that makes visitors feel they will solve their need and then contact you for the next phase of becoming your customer.

You can deliver engagement via a great video, amazing product pages, or a blog post with data, using compelling facts and stories. Even if visitors are visiting from other channels such as Facebook, or Pinterest, or Linkedin, immersion in your epic quality content is likely the clincher. Poor quality posts however can destroy your credibility so always — quality first.

Connecting with Your Visitors

Videos, podcasts, Facebook pages can be engaging if they provide real value and if they align with the prospect’s problem. The challenge of course is that each customer has a different problem and need. Your content strategy would then create a different engagement path for each major type of prospect.

Okay, so now you know you’re going to have to put your thinking cap on and map out these paths of fulfillment for all the people coming to your website and social pages. The goal is to peak their intent and create a 1 to 1 relationship.

Regardless of the media channel, we have to create an emotional commitment within them to connect with us. Depending on the nature of your service or products, you may need to find to find some simple pain point to make an initial conversation. That simple conversation piece builds a bridge between you and them. It could be a common experience (e.g., a shared travel destination) you mentioned that gives them the emotional justifciation for continuing to read your website. One more such connection, and they’ll pick up the phone!

One thing about Facebook is that it seems to put those events, people, places first and foremost, rather than the business side of things. Avid social media users seem to excel at conversations.

“Companies and brands need to recognize that social media is the best way to engage their customers. What other media allows them to have one-on-one conversations and address customer service in real time?  Social and blogging done right, is an opportunity to show the human side of your brand and generate emotion. Take the time to develop a relationship with customers and use your social media soap box effectively”.

— Maureen Turner, Public Relations Manager at Homewood Health.

Video can be engaging. As you can see in this short video, the Realtor gives a spontaneous  “on the go” tour of available homes for sale in the La Jolla California area. And on the go busy buyers like that approach.


Engagement is the strategic process of connecting with visitors/customers on an emotional level and making them feel that they are fulfilling their purpose


An Example of Creating Engagement Channels

Let’s look at a practical example of engagement.  Let’s say you own a kitchen design and renovation firm and you’re wondering how your content strategy might be organized.

You need an overall plan. And you don’t need to be a genius. You do need to understand what your customer actually wants, what drives their interest, and how they make decisions (and all decisions are emotional).

The visitor, a homeowner has searched for kitchen renovation Toronto in Google search and they click through to arrive at your designer/renovator website.  The website is ready for them because it was designed not for presenting “here’s our stuff” but rather to let them choose the path and to experience the solution they’re looking for.

The prospect wants a better kitchen, but they’re not sure what style, layout or cost. The best approach might be to give them a general slideshow, video, or before and after pics of a typical kitchen reno so they can visually experience the design/renovator firms ability to solve their need.

Giving them a picture gallery might only confuse them and they’re not ready to fill out a quote form. That’s not respecting this wonderful, emotional journey they’re on.  Content strategy means patience and a kind of romancing of the visitor.

Artisan Kitchens of Calgary, Canada uses a simple solution of showing the step-by-step process right away on their homepage. This strategy suggests that homeowner education is the top problem to solve, and that you should get them to contact right away.

But is this enough of an experience where the visitor is ready to make that call?  Consumers want to be 80% through a process before they contact sales. Otherwise they’ll feel awkward, confused and vulnerable to high pressure tactics. That step-by-step process just described however does lead them to a high res gallery of kitchens. Have they answered the visitors vision, concerns and generated emotion?

This video shows a little more engaging approach with an interview with an actual customer.

After this, the prospect could be directed to a design studio for design ideas where they can click on features they want. A video is nice but it can’t possibly carry a whole engagement strategy by itself.

Once Fully Immersed in Your Content You Can Gently Move Them Forward

Once they’ve filled their imagination with design possibilities, you can move them onto kitchen layout plans, materials, and your pain-free construction solutions.

So now they’ve gone through a solution experience and are ready to ask questions, check your credibility, and contact you.  The solution experience helps to focus their thoughts and emotions in the direction you need.

You’ve built an expectation of fulfillment and they’re starting to feel emotionally ready to go through with a kitchen reno.

Their next action is to resolve their post-purchase anxiety, get the price, consider financing, choose the right kitchen design/features, and arrange the date for renovation.

That’s a lot of issues and tasks. Fortunately, your website content made it easy for them to progress from beginning to end. You painted the picture they wanted, resolved anxieties, and created focus for them. That created one single pleasant emotion and that’s what everyone wants before they push the buy button.

2 Aspects to Engagement: your Content and your Interaction.


  • your homepage, blogs, tweets, videos, pictures, data, etc is the experience and the your brand promise. If you can somehow discover what it is your visitors actually want to experience online (learning, purchasing, certainty, validation, confidence building, esteem, empowerment, getting rid of conflicts and problems) you might be able to research and develop richer content for them to read or view.
  • They  expect content that is relevant and significant to them and which is somehow personalized to their unique perspective and needs. The term significance is important to ponder.


  • this begins with scrolling, reading and clicking, and progresses  to them using their imagination and making some calculations
  • the next is to move them to content that creates excitement, surprise, delight, and awe, and it should have a good mix of emotion-laden content that suggests promise of satisfaction.  That’s why pics of kids, pets, meals, birthday events, and construction workers doing their wok makes sense. The next interaction should be with a real human being.

Monitor your Engagement

Assess your engagement success via your Google Analytics reports. See which links they’re clicking on in your page, where they go next on your site, how long they read the page, how many pages they visit, and whether they’re returning to your site.

If your engagement is low, you need to discover which of these root causes are suppressing it:

  • weak value proposition
  • ugly website with some unpleasant material
  • poor flow to the copywriting and other content
  • low quality, poorly qualified visitors
  • ranking on the wrong keyword phrases
  • hard to read and navigate content
  • negative or boring tone to content — too stiff and unimaginative
  • content too deep for shallow audiences – have some light stuff for them
  • irrelevant value proposition – they don’t want your stuff
  • lack of content – you have to have something for them to read or view
  • poor quality content – get a content strategist/writer/videographer to help
  • lack of credibility – your site, credentials and linkedin profile may be hurting you
  • lack of color and zest in your content – find something interesting — curate some content
  • lack of personal presence in your content – why aren’t you in your content?
  • lack of engaging stories to tell – you need to get out and about, travel, network and engage with others yourself so take some time out for those activities

Do You Need Better Sources of Visitors?

Sometimes websites are drawing the wrong crowd. You might have low Google rankings, your email lists might not be great, and your social traffic is flighty. Take at  look your analyitcs reports for info on what your visitors are interested in. Are these the customers you want? Could you incorporate something into your content to warm these people up?

Engagement Metrics

How do you know your website or social media content is interesting and engaging to your visitors? Are there any metrics you can use to assess whether you are moving them toward your goals?

We need to look deeper into the stats to see how people feel about your site, your content, your brand and whether they’re moving from stranger to friend.

Engagement metrics isn’t something most companies do well. It’s actually a complicated visitor statistics thing. Most peruse their web stats looking at single statistics which really isn’t good enough. Others just count how many sales or sales inquiries they get.

You get a lot of traffic to your site however, so plucking out the data is something you need a good analytics expert to set up.

They would drill down, by eliminating those visitors who came in and left right away. Those are poor quality leads, customers who needed a phone number or part number, or those you couldn’t impact right away. Those visits don’t tell us anything.

Experts would measure the engagement of those who spend at least a few minutes because they’ve been on the site long enough for you to have affected them somehow. To learn the most, we might only track those who reached certain pages or did certain things, and then track back to what they did on the site to get that far.

We might find out what interested them and moved them to the next phase.

But What to Measure?

In your Google Analytics reporting tool for instance, you’ll a bunch of stats to look at, plus other stats you can gather with other tools from social media and stuff out there on the web.

Here’s some of the metrics to examine:

  • time spent on site
  • time spent on your key pages
  • number of pages viewed on a specific topic (drilling down)
  • scroll depth – how far down the page do they scroll
  • click through paths – are they progressing through pages like you want?
  • video views and amount of time spent
  • reaching key target pages
  • downloads
  • subscriptions
  • blog comments left
  • return visits
  • visit frequency – time between last visit and most recent visit
  • pageviews per visit
  • direct visits (bookmarks)
  • social media shares
  • phone calls
  • actual purchases and amount of revenue

So what is it in all of this that you’re actually measuring anyway?

You’re measuring attention, interest, satisfaction seeking, relevancy, significance, involvement, commitment, information gathering, calculation, assessing, verifying, action, goal completion, and much more. You’re assessing whether they’re really checking you and your product/service out.

You can’t measure an emotion, but you can calculate how many purchases and phone calls you get. If they followed through, you must have made them feel pretty good.

A Visitor Engagement Formula!

Some believe everything in life can be reduced to a mathematical formula. Well, turns out that an engagement formula is exactly what we’re after if we want to improve measurement.

How about this homemade engagement formula:

number of interactive clicks x minutes spent on site / number of unique visitors.

This formula responds to the percentage of visitors who click a lot and stay awhile. Then we filter it further by applying it only to those who view any of this certain key content such as testimonials, product specs, price packages, contact and about us pages, key blog posts, and downloadables and who actually send an email or make a phone call.

A good programmer could set this tracking up on your site. Once you get into this, you’ll begin to see which customer touchpoints are the ones that result in more leads and revenue.  New AI marketing software is promising to not only do this for you, but also to experiment with your content to find out what works better. Learn more about AI marketing software solutions.

Marketo is a marketing platform that offers some engagement scoring.

Screen Capture courtesy of

At this time of writing, I have discovered no analytics solutions that track engagement at a serious level. So there’s a big opportunity for an analytics software firm here. If you know of any, please leave a comment below.

23 Tips on How to Increase Engagement

  1. Know what your conversion goal is before you begin creating the content that will take your visitors there.
  2. Know the specific type of client/customer you’re targeting. Are they serious and professional, fun and light hearted, ambitious and driven, insecure and cautious, or
  3. Know the specific type of client/customer you’re targeting. Are they serious and professional, fun and light hearted, ambitious and driven, insecure and cautious – include some content or an interactive widget (a game, test, or photo) to let them exercise that personality trait
  4. Remember why your visitor is visiting you since it’s your starting point
  5. Use visual content graphics video original relevant photos
  6. Ask them questions in your copy and in some graphics – warm up their decision making muscles
  7. Ask them to share or connect on social media and give them something to shre and react to
  8. Create more, deeper, helpful, spirited, open-ended content that invites visitors to explore. It’s content that beckons, surprises, and fascinates. Being fascinating is very hard work, yet customers love a fascinating person, brand or product. They talk about it, share it, and become a brand ambassador.
  9. Give your content some embellishment since content that’s too efficient is to dry and doesn’t build intent. And it could turn visitors off.
  10. Use relevant symbols and people to elevate your brand or make it more fun (e.g., the Charmin toilet paper Bear cartoon characters increased social shares 585%)
  11. Be distinct and memorable. Make your dialogue and voice distinct and relatable yet sound like someone who actually can help make their dreams come true by linking to your explicitly professionally worded services page.
  12. Create stories if you can but they must be very relevant — a story about how you helped a client with that very problem or how a person was made happier or more successful is always effective.
  13. If they like some of your content, create more of it, go deeper with insight and ask them if theyd like to ask you a question
  14. Stimulate emotion because people make decisions based on emotion
  15. Get them to visualize forward to how their dissatisfaction and future success will be impacted if they don’t get involved with you
  16. Create likability and empathy by discussing what you do for others, use humor, and tell them why it’s so good to do what you’re talking about — enthusiasm!
  17. Trust, crediblity and authority is important to readers so ensure youre building credibility with facts they can quickly verify so link out to relevant, high quality articles on other websites
  18. Create content continuity by publishing content that adds value to previous posts but all points to some key post/offer/event off in the future
  19. Toward the end of our posts/content, have links and leads to your social pages. This gives them a fuller view of you right now and what you’re up to.
  20. Have a good call to action. The body of your engagement should lead to a contact, but it’s okay to ask them to move forward and ask for a free consultation of some sort on a pressing issue.
  21. Use a contest and an online survey where possible. This enhances the visit and makes it more memorable.
  22. Ask them to email you for something for free such as special guide to solving a problem
  23. Ensure you link to your relevant content throughout your posts – in fact this is a key part of your content and SEO strategy.

Engagement Isn’t Isolated Events – It’s a Process

Engagement isn’t really a goal, it’s a process of achieving your goal of getting visitors into your content and to become emotionally connected to you.

Don’t be perfect. Show sincere intent to fulfill their need. Be interested in their need for fulfillment — your content will generate the spirit of following through on their intent or mission whether it’s to buy your product, buy a house, sign a mortgage, or travel to exotic locations.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this immersion in visitor engagement. Bookmark it for future reference because if there is one improvement you can make to your sales and marketing efforts, it’s engagement that matters.  I’ll be updating this post regularly. Check out the recent post on social media strategy.


Further Material on Online Engagement






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Ontario Foreign Buyer Tax Short Sighted and Harmful to Economy

Foreign Buyer Tax Doesn’t Help Housing Crisis

As Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the new Foreign Buyers Tax in Toronto recently, she ignored recent stats that showed Vancouver’s use of the money grabbing tax was wearing off.  

And she ignored discussion of housing supply and support of builders, and how housing investment creates jobs and helps pay off our massive provincial debt.

With Wynne’s 14% approval rate, not many of you believe in her and the liberals any longer. They are involved for only one more year yet they can do some damage during that time. The foreign buyer tax, rent controls, and the 14 other housing hacks to suppress Toronto home and condo prices which she’s announced, could have grave long term effects for us all — suppressing investment, drying up rental availability, and raising GTA home prices to ridiculous levels. It’s actually an alarming situation that makes people more concerned about a housing bubble.

Screen cap courtesy of the Globe and Mail

The real problem: Toronto doesn’t have enough housing, people are going homeless or must pay exorbitant rental rates and they can never hope to own a home. Those who want to sell, have nowhere to go. I think it’s obvious, Wynne is the culprit and the reason why home prices are so high.  Wynne takes voters for granted, and takes the tenuous Ontario economy for granted, and she could ruin that too. There’s no time for professional administrators with weird agendas in government anymore. Rent controls have been studied before and pronounced as failures. We need creative entrepreneurs, smart small business people with lots of ideas.

New development in Aurora built on several hectares of scrubland is making home buyers very happy. See ore about new home development in Aurora, Newmarket, and Bradford.

The Solution: we need investment money to build new homes and we need Ontario scrubland freed up for new home development. There’s lots of it – miles of empty vacant land that’s not even good enough for farming. And as I explain in this post, moving investment outside of Toronto is good for everyone.

The so called speculator-fueled housing price fire she blames, is actually fueled by a lack of housing supply in Toronto, which she created and big multidimensional demand from buyers. Speculators know Toronto is desperate for housing and will be for some time. Still investors believe Toronto is a great place to invest.  Not so says Wynne, who pushed her regressive 16 point housing hack. Not freeing up land for housing is a dangerous ploy that could contribute to a recession and make finding a rental unit impossible for millions of house and condo renters.

Quite the contrary to what Wynne stated, real estate investors, house flippers, and land developers contribute a great deal to the economy.

More commentary on the Foreign buyer tax:

ANALYSIS: Beware unintended consequences

BC foreign buyer tax:

Ontario Minister tight lipped:

Will investment money move out west to Calgary?

Impact of B.C.'s foreign buyer tax wanes as March sales surge almost 50 per cent


I like how one writer called Wynne’s housing plan a Potpouri of Politics seemingly to lower rents and ward off a housing crash – destined to failure. And the growing homeless will see no relief.

The problem will never go away, because Toronto is hot. It’s an International mega city and nothing can stop that. Her government’s perversely named Places to Grow legislation — artificially limits housing supply which raises prices. And the new Toronto foreign buyers tax also increases Toronto housing prices since sellers will just add the tax cost to their selling price.

The question really needs to be asked: “Who pushed Wynne to support this ideology of stopping urban growth around Toronto?” Why aren’t the media questioning her ideology and who is behind it?

Currently, real estate is the only sector bringing investment money into Canada and Ontario. Shooting the Golden Goose just seems like a bad idea. If homelessness and lack of hope are a problem now, it’s going to be worse in 2 years.

We don’t need data to know that Foreign investors contribute to our economy.

Toronto is Where the Jobs Are

And Toronto is where Millennials aged home buyers (and new immigrant buyers) are and work. Whether they choose to live in Toronto condos or detached homes in the GTA, they want to live within commuting distance. Wynne doesn’t represent this generation’s quest for the life they want. She’s got an “alternate lifestyle” for all of us featuring poverty, big mortgages, and higher taxes.

Let’s face it, if Kathleen Wynne was your doctor, her special medicine that would shoot your blood pressure to 1000 / 860. After your head explodes she’d prescribe ice packs. The Liberal’s housing hacks are going to stifle investment and lead to higher prices by 2019. But then, she and her government won’t be around to experience the consequences. They’re the most unpopular government ever and will be heading out in the coming election next year.

Som Seif Speaks with Catherine Murray of BNN about Toronto’s future:

Lack of Housing Supply Will Keep Prices High

People have to live somewhere. Hundreds of thousands of new immigrants arrive in Toronto every year looking for homes. They’re not speculators. They want to live here and have their kids educated here. Think about how valuable a North American education is to these new foreign migrants. It’s life changing and gives their kids a big life advantage — perhaps bigger than native Torontonian kids (the forgotten).

Who Will Pay Ontario’s Whopping Debt of $318 Billion?

One way to help pay the whopping Ontario debt would be to graciously approve of foreign investment. Foreign real estate investors are already being taxed and are helping grow our economy by buying in the Ontario housing market.

Wynne also announced a new Mincome program to test out a minimum level guaranteed income for a few select Ontarians. This is probably due to her sponsor’s belief that the future looks grim for Ontarians. Her Apocalypse plan is to contain the Zombie’s within the GTA.  Why not build a fence like Donald Trump is?

Unfortunately with poor Free Trade deals, the picture for our youth is troubling, low waged, insecure, and poverty is growing visibly here in Ontario. With the exception of marijuana and tattoo shops, we have little to brag about. And with tight credit and NAFTA issues looming, you’d have to wonder how Ontario will create jobs.

Wynne’s support of the controversial Places to Grow program is at the bottom of rocketing Toronto home prices. Without land to build on, our thirst for “Places to Live” will never be quenched and prices will keep pushing upward. So her list 16 anti-investment tactics is wrapped within a failing overall strategy that will actually cost Ontario future growth and lead to higher prices.

The Toronto Housing Market Solution is Simple

Freeing up land around Toronto is the solution. There’s tens thousands of hectares of scrubland available for new housing developments (and it’s happening in Bradford, Vaughan, East Gwillimbury, and south of Barrie).

Wynne could create a new program to decentralize the economy away from Toronto and send jobs and good fortune to areas that need it.

The one good thing about the Toronto housing market boom is that money is being pushed outward to places such as Oshawa, Guelph and Barrie infusing those communities with new money. Prices in Barrie have risen 44% in the last year and this migration of investment money is giving Barrie something it rarely gets — investment and hope.

Solving the Housing Crisis

In a previous post I covered 10 ways the Toronto housing crash could be avoided and that Wynne’s government is forcing this housing crisis. The gist of the solution is to use this housing crisis as a reason to encourage investment in smaller communities outside the GTA. Instead of the current housing price spillover effect, why not actively move investment money and jobs outward to places like Barrie, Orillia, Orangeville, North Bay, Sudbury, Belleville, Gelph, Waterloo, London, Sarnia and Windsor?

The Liberal’s Places to Stop Growth plunges these communities into poverty and unwisely pushes intensification in places that don’t need it. These places are intensifying are their own.

Toronto Canada is in demand and the Investment money is already parked here.  Toronto and new incoming millennials intend to get married and start families, and new immigrants will keep adding price pressure. The 16 measures she took won’t work and in fact could stunt Ontario’s economic growth. Soon we will be battling higher rents, higher taxes, higher utilities (if we can find a place to live).

How would you rate the Wynne government’s support of small business? What are the key features of her small business growth support plan?

The foreign buyers tax was used in Vancouver which is much more Asian buyer influenced, and prices are already starting to rise again. They know how it’s all a matter of supply and demand.

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Toronto House Prices

Toronto House Prices – Rise or Fall in 2018?

Toronto house prices in 2018 have taken a somewhat similar downward path as the Real Estate market in Vancouver did in 2017.  This depression may not last long.

Condos in Toronto on the other hand are home buyer’s soup du jour for 2018, 2019, and 2020 because of new mortagage rules and limited availability.  Constructions starts are down due to rent controls and buyer worries over government behanviour.

Both provincial governments took credit for the sales and price drops, but the truth is, is that buyer psychology caused the market to moderate in sales only. Whether buying or renting, prices are high and it’s still a seller’s market.

The Toronto real estate market hasn’t lost much in the way of price even though sales have dropped.  The worrisome aspect of this sudden roller coaster ride of prices is the effect on the Canadian economy which is highly rated, but somewhat insecure.

In Toronto and Vancouver, the downpayment for a home/condo alone, is enough to buy a property outright in most other places across Canada.  Rising private debt, stagnant wages, and low interest rates could be enough to form a bubble and lead to a crash. But most experts feel the Vancouver and Toronto real estate markets will be just fine.

Why these politicians are so adamant in their opposition to housing growth isn’t known. As the NDP government comes into power in BC, prices in Vancouver have begun to advance. As long as housing is in short supply, the price pressure will always be upward. That’s a good cue for all real estate investors.

According to TREB, the MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark price rose 9.7% YoY, in October.  The average selling price for all home types was $780,104 – up by 2.3% compared to the average of $762,691 in October 2016.

Graphic courtesy of

House Prices in Toronto’s MLS Districts in 2017

Average Prices and Price Growth – Detached Homes TREB 
City October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2016 Price Change Last 17 months Price Change Last 6 Months
Burlington $895,457 $974,446 $944,564 $921,434 $1,071,980 $1,083,144 $961,502 -7% -17%
Halton Hills $787,517 $706,500 $984,812 $819,770 $789,094 $825,058 $828,719 -5% -5%
Milton $884,144 $853,790 $866,650 $875,123 $965,488 $932,899 $765,973 15% -5%
Oakville $1,482,620 $1,393,860 $1,314,363 $1,368,523 $1,312,370 $1,561,514 $1,191,503 24% -5%
Brampton $775,170 $766,132 $766,831 $750,856 $801,246 $871,052 $660,015 17% -11%
Caledon $952,466 $918,712 $1,028,591 $1,083,138 $1,102,645 $1,190,527 $755,494 26% -20%
Mississauga $1,034,338 $1,023,207 $1,066,015 $1,113,952 $1,067,449 $1,136,083 $966,467 7% -9%
Toronto West $1,102,379 $1,015,711 $919,916 $1,131,637 $1,118,602 $1,142,292 $944,422 17% -3%
Toronto Central $2,051,481 $2,302,146 $2,113,130 $2,080,982 $2,199,630 $2,488,673 $1,983,187 3% -18%
Toronto East $931,239 $961,805 $887,620 $949,712 $956,883 $991,509 $860,814 8% -6%
Aurora $1,280,888 $1,458,481 $1,144,094 $1,201,830 $1,225,236 $1,360,696 $1,155,487 11% -6%
E Gwillimbury $1,013,350 $895,119 $966,047 $867,833 $1,074,667 $973,263 $764,055 33% 4%
Georgina $524,735 $600,791 $604,838 $548,543 $652,508 $766,273 $548,886 -4% -32%
King $1,887,696 $2,252,933 $1,768,333 $1,529,767 $1,455,423 $1,756,387 $1,283,432 47% 7%
Markham $1,468,221 $1,358,328 $1,319,860 $1,477,487 $1,423,179 $1,580,570 $1,363,887 8% -7%
Newmarket $916,350 $895,191 $901,055 $901,720 $919,855 $990,592 $841,593 9% -7%
Richmond Hill $1,345,898 $1,401,922 $1,466,884 $1,439,065 $1,675,661 $1,584,327 $1,412,443 -5% -15%
Vaughan $1,280,906 $1,392,781 $1,348,649 $1,273,340 $1,333,412 $1,479,774 $1,191,632 7% -13%
Whitchurch Stouffville $928,551 $1,159,545 $1,024,941 $1,096,864 $1,255,011 $1,343,913 $1,048,658 -11% -31%
Ajax $684,011 $696,604 $708,185 $679,180 $752,997 $814,521 $646,370 6% -16%
Brock $432,318 $513,579 $508,615 $734,896 $706,307 $531,986 $419,758 3% -19%
Oshawa $516,459 $516,904 $550,677 $508,039 $530,780 $570,536 $467,981 10% -9%
Pickering $790,733 $869,546 $812,643 $810,351 $897,685 $668,723 $772,399 2% 18%
Scugog $614,678 $594,062 $719,375 $673,489 $675,887 $673,314 $545,804 13% -9%
Uxbridge $1,031,295 $957,221 $792,233 $793,853 $896,281 $931,841 $798,749 29% 11%
Whitby $695,352 $745,222 $733,811 $765,260 $815,993 $804,322 $618,032 13% -14%
Orangeville $538,518 $594,636 $612,974 $566,438 $585,717 $591,279 $490,825 10% -9%
Innisfil $525,685 $541,274 $549,492 $593,208 $575,940 $762,901 $476,756 10% -31%

Stats above courtesy of TREB Market Watch Report

Toronto House Prices — MLS City Districts Home Price Comparison
TREB District City of Toronto Avg Price October Avg Price Sept Avg Price August Average Price April 2016 Avg Price April 2017 Avg Price Mar 2017 Avg Price Feb 2017 Price Change Since Feb 2017
Toronto W01 $1,709,593 $1,652,600 $1,146,500 $1,405,442 $1,506,333 $1,543,961 $1,496,501 14.2%
Toronto W02 $1,273,391 $1,280,867 $1,172,250 $1,331,780 $1,538,546 $1,381,945 $1,269,501 0.3%
Toronto W03 $741,391 $771,142 $692,125 $666,904 $854,316 $829,396 $819,572 -9.5%
Toronto W04 $840,110 $850,621 $846,775 $786,951 $1,024,908 $1,073,531 $1,049,570 -20.0%
Toronto W05 $874,660 $805,031 $823,767 $749,333 $930,876 $1,073,531 $889,235 -1.6%
Toronto W06 $922,286 $992,023 $797,392 $795,840 $974,420 $1,128,584 $966,571 -4.6%
Toronto W07 $1,474,725 $1,277,336 $973,250 $1,112,233 $1,484,406 $1,352,042 $1,437,219 2.6%
Toronto W08 $1,356,671 $1,247,374 $1,161,882 $1,204,013 $1,544,869 $1,610,163 $1,491,329 -9.0%
Toronto W09 $975,778 $922,000 $1,139,211 $839,479 $1,197,627 $1,115,970 $1,019,588 -4.3%
Toronto W10 $688,011 $661,357 $665,268 $613,488 $831,579 $802,909 $758,259 -9.3%
Toronto C01 $1,393,875 $1,430,667 $1,005,000 $1,528,085 $1,646,240 $1,694,333 $2,352,876 -40.8%
Toronto C02 $2,313,611 $2,242,400 $2,242,750 $1,580,181 $2,710,038 $2,170,853 $2,443,750 -5.3%
Toronto C03 $1,880,584 $1,742,200 $1,317,111 $1,761,787 $2,246,734 $2,473,608 $2,747,397 -31.6%
Toronto C04 $2,220,546 $2,212,838 $2,200,398 $2,033,140 $2,583,667 $2,245,813 $2,469,565 -10.1%
Toronto C06 $1,243,727 $1,327,467 $1,445,556 $1,318,750 $1,625,779 $1,811,183 $1,516,558 -18.0%
Toronto C07 $1,741,987 $1,903,632 $1,776,771 $1,657,822 $2,004,585 $2,155,365 $1,922,347 -9.4%
Toronto C08 $814,000 $1,700,000 $1,603,333 $2,100,833 $1,625,000 $1,999,000 -59.3%
Toronto C09 $3,414,450 $2,916,750 $3,500,000 $2,998,401 $3,246,445 $4,481,000 $4,160,891 -17.9%
Toronto C10 $1,807,154 $1,747,079 $1,473,125 $1,864,333 $1,945,104 $1,786,091 $2,146,833 -15.8%
Toronto C11 $1,895,636 $2,137,000 $1,547,000 $1,542,867 $2,275,117 $2,201,462 $2,162,613 -12.3%
Toronto C12 $3,775,636 $5,160,518 $3,910,000 $3,141,244 $3,969,281 $4,420,370 $3,986,692 -5.3%
Toronto C13 $1,520,151 $2,110,709 $1,788,465 $1,926,266 $2,606,111 $2,108,137 $2,204,960 -31.1%
Toronto C14 $2,001,750 $2,249,879 $3,055,823 $1,996,137 $2,554,047 $2,673,112 $2,746,606 -27.1%
Toronto C15 $1,944,667 $1,832,921 $1,602,033 $1,766,219 $2,144,120 $2,108,137 $2,145,518 -9.4%
Toronto E01 $1,135,156 $1,196,542 $1,224,440 $1,164,343 $1,747,894 $1,206,359 $1,221,833 -7.1%
Toronto E02 $1,494,639 $1,625,074 $1,414,357 $1,333,475 $1,458,167 $1,507,090 $1,622,159 -7.9%
Toronto E03 $1,023,487 $1,038,377 $956,448 $947,611 $1,099,537 $1,121,847 $1,134,094 -9.8%
Toronto E04 $768,002 $794,523 $772,883 $717,890 $897,304 $889,018 $928,362 -17.3%
Toronto E05 $1,019,362 $979,800 $995,190 $991,136 $1,249,824 $1,303,892 $1,262,751 -19.3%
Toronto E06 $766,159 $926,615 $841,995 $766,782 $1,051,918 $1,102,286 $940,073 -18.5%
Toronto E07 $897,653 $1,025,444 $922,600 $874,280 $1,164,819 $1,142,611 $1,111,507 -19.2%
Toronto E08 $1,014,526 $852,070 $872,641 $810,560 $1,066,868 $1,092,667 $1,025,958 -1.1%
Toronto E09 $739,871 $690,382 $699,646 $664,378 $855,363 $895,417 $855,064 -13.5%
Toronto E10 $897,856 $944,666 $883,852 $821,126 $1,067,925 $1,069,906 $981,789 -8.5%
Toronto E11 $758,288 $778,100 $780,618 $720,672 $842,414 $851,750 $761,409 -0.4%

If you examine the latest house price trends in the GTA, you’ll see moderation, yet not all TREB districts saw reductions. In some areas, they’re still climbing almost in defiance of any market meddling.

For sellers, the agonizing questions of whether they should sell now, is being solved. They held on to get the highest price and are eager now to unload their property. Some got too greedy and are accepting up to $300k less than last spring’s offers. Timing is everything in real estate.

A lack of housing supply will keep prices up for many years ahead. The Ontario governmet is more concerned with rising rents than it is in encouraging new construction.  Rent contorls are already drying up up the availability of rental properties.

Currently, the condo market is thriving, however once the new construction condos have been sold and occupied, prices overall will climb.

Home Price Index for Toronto vs rest of Canada courtesy of Terranet National Bank housing index.

Toronto Home Prices june 2017

That Old House means so much more to buyers. They have the vision, the dream and they’re willing part with $1.5 million to live the dream. If you’ve got a home to sell right now, you need to hire a Realtor and capitalize on this glorious market opportunity.

The Mindset of Homeowners Who Need to Move on

Realtors need to be more psychologically aware and effective by adopting the mindset and vocabulary of the very people who move on. What words, phrases, images and activities do optimistic home sellers use? Retirees and 45+ people have priorities. Find them and speak their dreams.

And if you’re thinking of selling your Toronto home you need to use that vocabulary too. There is an incredible array of lifestyle opportunities for you. The world has never offered so much for the International home buyer. No homes in Ontario? No problem, beautiful places such as Costa Rica, Belize, Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile, and Dominican Republic await.

Why do people settle for a lesser life than they can have?

When Will Toronto’s Market Crash?

There may not be a crash, but no one is saying that for sure.

The Toronto Housing crisis is one partly of homeowners never dreaming that they get this kind of ROI out of the old house they bought. None of us were trained or educated for this opportunity. The result is too many older people hanging onto their homes, more out of being confused and unprepared to progress with their lives.

If you have a good Toronto Realtor, you really can sell your home at above expectations. Above asking is easy. Don’t even mention above asking, since everyone is using the lowball strategy to create bidding wars. Houses are selling for outrageous prices because Realtors are smart about building big demand from the right people.

Best Return Ever in Toronto

Even with foreign buyers out of the picture, demand for housing is huge in Toronto. From Mississauga, to Newmarket to Vaughan and Oshawa, people crave homes. And single detached homes with yards are the holy grail. So rare, so pleasant and rewarding some will sell their soul to the devil to be a homeowner. You don’t have to sell the joy of ownership theme to them.

So what are you doing right now to move forward and capitalize on the “Best Investment Return ever?” It’s not too late. I hope you’re contacting a good Realtor right now and beginning the selling preparation process.

Don’t sell your house in 3 days. Take your time and sell it for $75,000 more. It’s your hard earned investment and you deserve the best. Always think highly of yourself. Your Realtor will have lots of ideas about how to make the buyers very happy and contented. The improvements on your home for instance will add value and carry them forward.

I’ve written a variety of posts on selling your house, how now is the time to sell your house, and about retiring pleasantly in Central America. Time to travel, time to really enjoy life away from the city, and your time to celebrate your life. Sell that home!

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14 Ways to Improve your House Selling Price ⌂ Home Selling Tips 2018

Should I Sell my House in 2018?

With the spring season straight ahead, this may be the best time to sell your house. Demand for low rise condos and detached houses is strong and with good marketing and sales strategy, you may be able to push your selling price up high through enticing rental income property investors.

Where will you move to? How about where you’ve always dreamed. Stats show babyboomers aren’t selling their homes because they have nowhere to move to. If a Realtor can solve that problem, they would be millionaires quickly.

A Realtor can help you determine what repairs are necessary and with the key task of finding your next home. And it’s not just a process of finding a home to buy, it’s more a process of gracefully moving into a new exciting phase of your life.

Why Should You Sell This Spring?

  • highest demand season from buyers (April/May/June)
  • prices are good and potential for multiple bids is strong in most cities
  • mortgage rates are low and you can lock in for 10 to 20 years
  • construction has been brisk so new homes are arriving on the market
  • if you’re a babyboomer you need a new home that suits your needs and lifestyle
  • the economy is excellent and looking strong so you can take a chance
  • waiting for price peaks is not wise (e.g., Toronto homeowners have seen their home values plummet recently admidst the rising fear of a crash)
  • forecast is good (check the outlook for houses for sale)

The point of selling your home is in getting the best price with good marketing, and exploring the options you have. Are you looking for a new job? Wages are rising and each month 200k new jobs are being created. Would you like to move south? Florida home prices are in a lull. Good time to buy there. Would you like something with a rental income suite or granny suite?  Now you’re getting smart.

In this post, you’ll discover 14 tactics to improve your selling price. We’re in a digital world, so please don’t rely on a traditional Realtor with no online presence. Maximum price depends on your ability to reach home buyers. That’s marketing. Everything’s about marketing.

Make sure you read the housing crash factors to zero in on issues in your local market or wherever you’re investing.

Let’s Not Get Greedy

Miami, Denver, Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, New York, Miami, and Houston homeowners are making the decision sell their homes and move onto their retirement or to a better life. Some are driven by the spread between the big price they can sell their home for, and the cheap prices they can buy elsewhere.

For some, perhaps yourself, this 2018 winfall is hard to comprehend.  So keep your composure, take a look at the top 10 best house renovations to do before you sell your house in 2018.

If you’re wondering how to sell your home for more, here’s some home selling tips that might help you get to 100% more on your investment.

14 Ways to Get a Better Price for Your House

1. Find a Realtor with a great online marketing presence and then ask to be featured on that site. Make sure they advertise your home on Google and Facebook. Build preference right away. Exposing your home directly online is excellent because your selling proposition or offer is right in front of them. No vague promises but a real home for them to obsess over!

2. Promote your home for a while before putting it up for sale — set the foundation for getting a lot of bids. It takes time to get the message out to all potential buyers who may include foreign buyers. A fast sale will likely be below asking price.

3. Ensure your agent spends a lot of time contacting other real estate agents in your city since you want to access as many networks as possible. Ensure your agent is as accessible as possible to show the home and answer questions. Your agent should use SMS as much as possible because it enables fast communication.

4. Ensure you have a top notch video of your home highlighting its best features and about your great neighborhood and feature the prices of nearby homes too. Give the prospects the best context possible to see your home as the most desirable.

5. Hold a selling party and invite all your neighbors, family and friends. This is a very important event and you want the very best results. Any prospects showing up can meet the neighbors and that can be a good selling point. Don’t invite your crazy neighbors and ensure your family are nice and sociable.

6. Research local comparative homes for sale and previous solds and determine what was wrong with them and what features buyers liked.

7. Leave behind something really cool that they would like. If it’s a 55 inch screen TV, or buy a tasteful, new chandelier or expensive barbecue — something they’re bound to like. People are impressed with generosity. An instant heating water heater might be another feature that’s not expensive but highly desirable and influential.

8. Fix everything including broken faucets, door handles, floor squeaks, and make sure nothing annoying or embarrassing is visible which can ruin the mood of your showing.

9. Get your home professionally cleaned. Professional cleaners have super effective steam cleaning machines and solutions that get carpets, tiles and grout very clean.

10. Paint the interior rooms a neutral color. Given what you’re going to get for your home, don’t skimp on covering up the old, gloomy, or weird colors.

11. Clean up the yard and exterior surfaces of the home. Curb appeal is no joke. The buyers mood is set upon seeing your home from the street. Do a little landscaping, green up the grass, fix broken side walk pieces. Buyers are affected by how relaxing the yard, patio, or deck looks.

12. Have the home professionally staged. Home stagers know how to make homes look really inviting. They’ll increase the apparent value and make visitors want to linger in the home. The longer the buyers stick around the more they build their intent to buy.

13. Fix the roof and clean it. Getting the dull look out of the roof can make it look newer and reduce worries about it.
14. Promote and Sell your Home soon because for many people selling theirs and moving is easier in the May to August period.

Good Luck on the sale of your home. It is a wonderful thing you will be rewarded for all the years of hard work you spent in employment to buy it. I hope you view your home as an investment and not a keepsake.  It’ll help you achieve the right frame of mind to the results you hope for and need.

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Get More Google Traffic

Capitalize on Google’s Fantastic Gift of FREE Traffic

Google is still tops in online reach and vital to succeed with.  I want to share my enthusiasm for big Google exposure. Check out their ad revenue, stock value and marketshare growth to confirm they are King of the Castle. When it comes to website traffic, there isn’t much else to talk about, so let’s focus on the King.

Google is the traffic bringer and it’s the kind of traffic that is actually looking for your product or service. How great is that?!  So let’s clarify in this post why it is so wise to recommit to Google and how it underscores Internet marketing success.

Graphic Courtesy of Search Engine Land

Forget what else you’ve heard about Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. It’s all bunk. Google delivers far greater value which is why the smartest executives and small business owners focus on Google to build awareness, brand equity, and even direct sales.

Google is simply fantastic, so avoiding competing for search traffic because it’s competitive is a poor business decision. Neglecting Google could be that one bad decision that Tony Robbins often talks about in his seminars, the one that takes you down the road to nowhere.

Visit the Googleplex in Mountainview California

This snippet from my blog’s analytics report shows that in the last 2 months, 91% of traffic arrives via Google (Yes, Facebook referrals are growing strong too and working the two together is great).

Current Pageview total: 1 Million per year. Goal: 5 Million per year. You can have this kind of ambition and success too.  Believe it. No time to waste because it takes time.

What About Facebook and Linkedin?

Facebook and Linkedin can be useful when used in concert with Google SEO. Where Facebook and Linkedin come into play is after you’ve established yourself on Google as trusted and authoritative with value to share. That value can be distributed to create impressive effects via social media and Google rankings. The trick is to use them together strategically with a feedback loop, to make impact, engage, build intent and share the message. Google sees all this and will reward you with impressive web traffic.

Google Facebook Marketshare
Infographic Courtesy of Visual Capitalist – Google and Facebook Dominate Internet Marketing

Larry Kim and Neil Patel

If you’re an Internet marketer, you know who these guys are. They built their impressive companies by creating high quality content. They built their awesome businesses on FREE traffic from Google. Their success with Google has launched them into completely new opportunities they could never have dreamed of. Larry started in Winnipeg, Canada and moved to Boston to build his business empire, Wordstream.  And he was a developer with no interest in blogging, but when he got into it, he found a reward he couldn’t imagine.  This should be your story too!

And Neil Patel is the pentultimate Google and content marketer and owner of KissMetrics. I didn’t say he was the best. But he certainly made the smart decision to capitalize on Google intelligently and he offers some excellent content to small business owners. He’s quoted his site’s traffic from Google, and it’s about a million a month. Ask him if Google is King.

15 Reasons Why Google is So Important – Courtesy of Syed Ali

Why is Google Still King on the Internet?

Google gives consumers and other searchers what they’re looking for – information, inspiration, justification and a sene of mastery about a topic, product, service, industry, technology, etc. People want to feel in control, that they’re making good decisions and Google has always focused on solving that need.

Everyone turns to Google, not Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or Bing. And can they turn to the major media publishers? Increasingly, with the presence of biased media coverage, fake news, and other propaganda, people are turning away from the news organizations.

How about 3,000 visitors per day from one single blog post?

Blogs are the Core of Internet Marketing for Good Reason

People read blogs for deep, unrestrained, and intimate exposure of topics, details, and solutions. Blogging will grow in influence, so if your blog sucks, you risk being left out entirely. And that means ad campaigns will be your only source of new customers. Successful blogs looks simple and free form, rough around the edges, yet the content is purposely created, linked, and promoted socially to maximize performance.

As you’re planning your Internet marketing campaign and budget for 2017 and 2018, reconsider devoting more effort to your content strategy and SEO efforts. The stats in the first graphic above says it all about who is delivering customers and generating sales — Google. And Google wants good content, and their indexing process knows how to tell which is high quality content.

I have epic blogs that draw ridiculous traffic, and visitors come back to those posts and they share them online. Google is very page specific now so you can think of your amazing content as a collection of single pages that must be written and promoted in a particular way. You’ll have to consider whether Google believes your content satisfies user’s typical quest for learning and fulfillment.

How Do You Create Awesome Content?

The best way is to hire me to create it. I know what Google is looking for and what keeps visitors engaged. If you have an awesome designer, videographer, researcher, and graphic artist, wow, that’s a dream. Most often, I’ll be finding people for you to get everything done. If you have a budget to create the format, then we can create EPIC content that will deliver ridiculous traffic from Google and people will share via social media. How about 3,000 visitors per day from one single blog post? (That’s my current best).

Regardless of where you’re getting your online traffic from, it’s your online content which greets, impacts, engages and creates purposeful action. Put together content that is truly unique, interesting, trustworthy, informative, and which makes an impact, keeps the visitor engaged and gets them to return, and gets your value or selling proposition across, and they’ll gobble it up. You’ll get that phone call sooner or later.

You know marketing takes time to generate leads and sales. If your content is bland, typical, conforming, and uncontroversial, then it will take longer.

Time To Take Intelligent Risks and Get Better Results

Think and go outside the box on content, SEO, and engagement and give visitors something unusual, exciting, unsettling, and which invites them into a conversation. Definitely respect Google, the King of Online marketing.

I’m Gord and I create high quality, high ranking, big traffic content combining well chosen topics, keyword phrases, semantically rich copywriting, linked powerfully with a laser clear value proposition:

gord2Content Strategist: Call me at 416 998 6246




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Is Your Real Estate CRM Solution Giving you Nothing?

What to Look for in your Real Estate CRM Solution

The purpose of a customer relationship management solution is to help you create leads. So how’s yours doing in that regard? Some reports suggest both corporations and small business are seeing their CRM fail.

Why do CRM solutions fail? Which CRM solutions should you try? Some experts believe a lack of planning is the reason. Quite possibly the issue for small business is a lack of leads and traffic to their website. There just isn’t enough for the system to work with and add value to.

If you have enough traffic, then you can begin to draw some conclusions about where the best prospects are coming from (Google) and what content, value proposition, and communications get the best results. A really good CRM system does make a difference to your customers — and it reflects your respect for them.

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An Endless Sea of Possible CRM Solutions

There are endless varieties of CRM solutions available out there, from Salesforce to Agile CRM to Follow up Boss, offering a bewildering array of promises and actual features. So how do you formulate what’s essential for you? You’ll get some helpful ideas below.

I had the good fortune of working with a client in Calgary who used Real Estate Webmasters CRM system. I was impressed with the range of information it provided from keyword tracking to lead scoring. Of course, when you’re spending $30 to $40k for a real estate website, you’d expect to have all the bells and whistles in your CRM service too. Yet even if with all that power, a lot of the actionable intelligence comes back to your own content and engagement strategy. If you don’t have one, there’s not much to measure.

Your CRM can do it a lot for you, however you might not be getting much out of yours. The bigger your realty business, the more likely you’ll need a good CRM solution. The key to CRMs is improving your understanding of prospects and your engagement with them.  That’s because you need real estate leads and improve conversion and closing rates.

What should a CRM system give you?

  • make customer relationship management very easy
  • excellent lead management using SMS, email, and web forms all in one solution
  • ability to send custom responses to inquirers
  • track visitors from landing page to ongoing engagement via email
  • ability to run promotions
  • ability to do A/B testing and assess performance
  • provides a customer scoring system
  • prospect nurturing – helpful, no hassle tools to nurture your leads

The REW CRM is awesome. And they offer good customer support. All in all, REW has what I call an awesome unique value proposition. Although some people aren’t as impressed about the UVP, I pivot all digital marketing under the significant, personalized and unique value proposition.

Real Estate Webmasters
Screen Capture courtesy of

Automated Mediocrity = Annoyance and Brand Damage

Before you get carried away with the CRM solution euphoria and automation, focus on what messages, value proposition and epic level content you’re going to deliver via this system.  I hope when you’re deciding which real estate customer relationship management system, that it’s the system that lets you deliver unbeatable value to your clients that will win you new business. Treating your CRM as an administration tool might make your marketing mediocre — it has to be to discover what messaging and content will move the needle for you.

Automating your marketing could also destroy your credibility, sincerity and brand, so ensure that it is a helper for a real relationship with clients and prospects. Trust and competence I believe are the 2 things that convince. The accent shouldn’t be on automation. Instead, it’s about improving timing of manual messages and improving engagement.

Here’s Tom Ferry with his Opinion on CRM Choice. He says the CRM’s purpose to “be the Hub” rather than trying to be the Realtor with the best unique value proposition. Which do you think is more important?  Hey Tom, I do know a Realtor in Palm Beach!

Besides REW, other evolved CRM’s exist out there. One good one you might consider is Realvolve, and when you visit their website, you’ll be confronted with their UVP right away. That shows they’re on the ball. No monkeying around. They communicate right away how their system will nurture and deepen a natural/responsive relationship with your prospects. And it lets you communicate your value proposition more effectively though all touchpoints with those visitors, prospects and clients.

How to Choose the Right CRM System

As Travis Robertson talks about in this video below: you need to break the CRM selection problem down by identifying your needs first. Then with that established, you can find a solution that fits your business. Don’t skew yourself or your business to suit someone else’s system and priorities.

Here’s a List of CRM Priorities You Want to Consider:

  1. ease of lead management – is it easy to learn and manage?
  2. ability to build rapport and be helpful to prospect
  3. ability to collect information from prospects
  4. powerful search features including fuzzy logic to find things you can’t remember clearly
  5. geo location segmentation – give prospects information relevant to where they’re living
  6. prospect interest segmentation – disocvering their preferences/interestes to enable better engagement with the prospect
  7. manual tagging of leads – tag whatever might be meaningful to conversion
  8. integration with your website mls listings and content — a standard feature
  9. analytics integration –  with Google or other 3rd party analytics solutions
  10. analytics quality and insight – lead tracking, visitor reports, member activity, knowing what generated a lead and what actions tend to maintain a prospect, time of day activity reports, content overview reports.
  11. integration with marketing automation – ease of creating and managing email campaigns
    quality of forms and pop up registrations
  12. integration with SMS/mobile applications
  13. A/B testing of email and marketing content and incentives
  14. client meeting and event management
  15. drip campaigns and nuturing
  16. integration with other apps (realvolve doesn’t give any examples of apps)

The key to Realvolve Solution is its CRM analytics – such as prices of homes and neighborhoods clients look at, any notes they made, content viewed, where they came from, and the ROI on those prospects. You can also A/B test your pop ups and other marketing collateral and personalize your email campaigns. Find out what works fast, and refine it.

1. Real Relationships
2. Actionable Intelligence
3. Limitless Automation

These 3 keys to Realvolve’s value proposition are excellent. How many agents wish their FB and content strategy was genuine and of true personal interest to visitors and clients? How many want real insight and better yet, actionable insight?

In this video, Mark Stepp of Realvolve gives you an insightful introduction to the Realvolve interface.

What Realvolve might do is help you deliver your epic content to prospects which gets your value proposition across clearly. The best significant, personalized unique value proposition with timely deliver is what maximizes the prospect’s intent.

Delivering the right content at the right time at all customer touchpoints. That’s the real value of these CRM solutions.

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Local SEO Mastery – Dominate Your Local Market

Local Search Optimization is Serious Business for some Industries

What if I told you I doubled the traffic of a major hotel? Well, it happened. From 1.2 Million visits per year to 2.5 Million per year. A lot of people travel and search for hotels online and they often book with the first few they see. Being ranked at the top of Google search results is very important.

Fast forward a few years, and consumers are becoming very dependent on their smartphones, often using them in the retail stores, while walking, driving and dining. Whether driving around a neighborhood looking for homes or while in transit and looking for a restaurant in town. Local search is a big deal. And Google maps is seeing a lot more use and it is tying in local businesses to map users.

Google serves up local business results as you can see the 2 screenshots below.  These results are separate from the regular search results and are a key FREE source of the very best traffic and leads online.

This post on Mobile search growth  shows smartphone use is trending higher. Visibility in local search results and being mobile friendly is vital. It all ties into the local and smartphone connection.

Graph Courtesy of comscore:

Local Search is Worth Winning

If you run a Hotel, Restaurant, Clothing Store, plumbing or auto repair shop, or real estate agency, you’ll want to show up in these local search results. Not only does your website come up right at the top left of the page, but Google gives them driving directions right to your store. How nice is that! Gotta love Google.

Local Search Results for Chinese Restaurants in San Diego
Local Search Results for Los Angeles Hotels

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It’s Part of the SEO Solution

I wanted to bring this local search visibility opportunity to light for you. I’ll spare you the deep stuff. The point here is to see the opportunity for a local business to grab really good quality local, easy to convert sales prospects. Getting into the top of Google’s search results is very rewarding. These are the best leads possible — prospects who are eagerly searching. That’s a hot lead. So when you believe it, stop reading and get into action.

Millions of Searches for Hotel Rooms

My client, the major hotel chain in Canada for many years, Delta Hotels, had 35 locations across Canada. You may have booked a room via my hotel SEO work and didn’t know it! Delta Hotels rooms and services are top notch and they charge a higher price for bookings. In my stays throughout Vancouver, Banff, Toronto, Mississauga, and other cities, I found Delta’s hotels to be very high quality. Unfortunately, Marriott Hotels bought Delta Hotels and the past is gone.

It was a challenge to get visitors to choose Delta Hotels over Motel 6, Super 8, and even Best Western. Hotel bookings are competitive and price sensitive. In hotel SEO, you’re up against tough competition including and expedia.

I have to mention that I created new top rankings in the local search results for Toronto hotels, Vancouver hotels, Montreal hotel, hotels in Mississauga, and Calgary airport hotels and tens of thousands of other keyword rankings.  I ensured we dominated the 10 Pack with several hotel locations in each city.  That actually helped double their amazing website traffic and leads. Doubling a hotel’s traffic has a big impact on the bottom line. I can’t divulge numbers, however I can say what I accomplished in terms of SEO.

Of course, a hotel’s unique selling proposition, its branding, lead conversion strategy, content strategy, website mobile friendliness, and other supporting elements contribute to a converted lead. SEO brings them in and the content generates the booking and converts the lead.

You don’t just sign up with Google local business listings and see the traffic roll in. No, you must prove to Google’s algorithm that your site content and service is relevant to that location. Yes, there’s a number of factors that Google processes to determine rankings. Leave that stuff to me including the Google+ misery. Your job is your business, mine is getting you that great local traffic.

Here’s a couple of local search infographics though to tell you why you don’t want to think about it:

Graphic Courtesy of Local Search Factors Survey:
Local Search
Local Search Ranking Factors Infographic Copyright

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How to Convert Internet Leads – Real Estate Lead Generation Tips for Realtors

Kevin Ward’s 5 Point System for Converting Internet Leads

I like Kevin Ward’s educational videos.  He’s the real estate trainer, speaker and coach and CEO and owner of YesMasters, a service that helps Realtors sell more real estate and build a better life.  You’ll find his videos engaging, granular, informative and well explained. He targets many of the biggest problems facing modern Realtors today.

Even if you hand off all your online marketing strategy to someone such as me, it’s really important to understand the process and appreciate what’s being done on your behalf.

I mentioned one of his videos last spring on the topic of Realtor Differentiation.  Kevin’s well aware of branding and the unique value proposition for Realtors. He’s risen from the bottom up to the top and really likes to help Realtor’s achieve their dreams. Definitely check out his site:

“If you’re selling a ton of houses, but your working 24/7 and never able to take a real vacation…or you’re missing all your kid’s soccer games…that sucks. That’s not real success for most people.” from

He begins this Youtube video below by saying the Internet isn’t everything in the world of real estate and real estate marketing. However he does say the Internet has changed real estate forever. And he considers online leads worthy enough to create an Internet lead conversion system.

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The Internet can make your lead generation and lead management a lot easier so you can have a life and see your kids soccer games.  He should probably have added that an Internet lead is as good as you make it. You can create junk leads, unmotivated leads, disappearing leads or converted sales. In fact, it’s up to you and your website content strategy. Don’t blame the Internet. Blame yourself. If you have no respect for content strategy right now, it won’t take long to see how your content strategy is what serves your visitors.

It’s not that Internet leads can’t be converted well. The real issue is the source you’re accessing (Google, Facebook, lead generators,,,,, etc.) and whether you have the content and system to get them to call you.

Kevin talks about how building trust, communicating, and connecting are still key real estate agent skills. What he doesn’t mention is how your Internet marketing strategy creates the setting for the kind of relationship you want. Your content shapes everything and magnifices the intent the possess. Conversion transactions may happen offline, but prospects are online and they are reachable when they’re online. You can reach people, bring in traffic and get them to reach you with a solid high performance content, PPC, SEO and social media strategy.

As you’re watching the video consider how valuable good content is in creating visitors and turning them into prospects and a closing. If you had 70,000 visitors per month as I do, how many could you convert to a sale?  Big traffic and very persuasive content = a primed and juiced up visitor. Maybe you could make millions. Kevin is going to explain his funnel process below.

Kevin’s 5 Point Funnel Process for Converting Internet leads (and my 2 bits too):

1. Prequalifying and Distinguishing between Lead and Prospect – will they make their decision now or later? You can create content and get your visitors to indicate when they’re expecting to make a decision. The content they choose to read tells you what phase they’re in.

2. Get them on the Phone Fast. Yes, the goal is to get them to phone, to talk to you right away. It’s the most immediate and engaging medium and the prospect wants to speak with you now. Forget CRMs for now. This is where your phone skills save the day.

3. Speed and Urgency: Speak to them within 2 minutes. People are searching and don’t want to interrupt their search experience. If you don’t answer right away, you’ve ruined their experience. The velocity of that person’s online reading and engagement translates to their sense of urgency. They’ll be drilling down into your listing or content and that’s when the urge to speak with happens. You can stimulate or launch that urgency and get them to call you with your content. Kevin says it may take you 6 to 24 months to convert, but I have to argue that prospects don’t call an agent until they’re 80% of the way through the process so they’re more ready to get going on this than you think. It’s your online website content that does the hard work to generate that phone call.

4. Patience and Preparation. As Kevin says, it’s not a churn and burn process. They’re not going to buy or sell right away, so what do you do in the meantime? Your website content can also help you prime the visitor/prospect beforehand, so they stick with you. They want to know what’s going to happen ahead of time and they want to be in control. You can use the power of suggestion to prep them for nurturing.

5. Use A Nurturing System. Kevin recommends a good lead nurturing system (doesn’t call it a CRM) that takes them from their in limbo phase and keeps them moving toward their decision. He suggests talking to them once per month and never pressure them to do anything they’re not ready to do.

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So now your next step is to figure out what is the type of content that creates high Google rankings, gets shared socially, gets your value proposition across laser-clear, keeps visitors engaged and wanting to return to your site, and what urges them to make contact with you. If you get that phone call and they’re eager, then your EPIC content has done the job.

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