Viral videos are almost always rags-to-riches type stories, and Anthony's story is too. He was one of Fiverr's top rated sellers for his 10 Second Songs that he would produce for (starting at) $5. He is a master at turning a simple jingle into quality music and voice. So I hired him to do the intro for our Seattle Home Buyer Seminar promotional video. It's a good thing I hired him when I did. Because about a month ago he created a video showing 20 different styles to sing a Katy Perry song, “Dark Horse” – and it went viral on YouTube. Not just sorta popular, I mean VIRAL! He currently has over 6 MILLION views and 197 THOUSAND subscribers, all within about a month period. It's made him famous overnight. He's been interviewed and published on The Rolling Stone's website, offered to tour with Boyz II Men, asked to be on “America's Got Talent” TV show, featured in the Entertainment section of the Huffington Post,and the list goes on-and-on. I knew when I first saw his work that my videos would get a much wider audience if I could have him in them. And sure enough they have. I've been able to re-use his intro jingles for all our Seattle Home Buyer Seminars. Here's the one for our upcoming Seattle Home Buyer Seminar in July:
I was on the Planning Committee again for the Seattle RE Barcamp held this Thursday, March 3rd 2011. This was the 4th annual event and we saw an amazing turn out. There were over 600 people there, but we don't have an exact count because many people did not sign in at the registration area. But this was probably the largest RE Barcamp held to date in the whole country! Seattle Rocks!
Our keynote speaker was Jim Marks, a renowned real estate social media and web consultant and developer. He talked about the impact of social media as an expression of humanity and how powerful that has become and why. Then he moved on to talk about how we as brokers can and need to embrace and utilize this change to grow and exist in this new environment. As always, he was insightful and riveting.
We really raised the bar this time (pun intended:-) with a complete separate “Newbie Track” to help guide those just jumping into social media. We estimated perhaps 20% of the attendees focused on taking these sessions to help them with the basics. These were mostly panel discussions with experts in the fields of Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and video.
Having a complete separate room for the Sponsors was a new idea too. And we tried hard to create a place where sponsors could promote their products and services, as well as spotlight them with presentations. Over the course of the day, there were a lot of people who came through the Sponsor area. And given the low cost of sponsorship, we heard a lot of vendors were pleased and grateful to have the opportunity to get in front of so many agents. But the presentations had a hard time getting people to join in. I suspect that most attendees just didn't want to miss out on the main sessions that were running simultaneously. We may need to re-think this when we do another barcamp.
We also had a complementary “Green Screen Recording Studio” for anyone wanting to shoot their own videos or podcasts with a green screen backdrop and lighting. Not as many people utilized this as we had hoped. But a lot of people came by to find out more about how to make these types of videos, or ask about the equipment and software that they would need to produce videos with green screens.
All in all we got a lot of positive feedback about the event and a lot of people learned a lot about social media and how to utilize it in their real estate business models. If you were there and have comments, please tweet us at @REbarcampSEA
at Seattle RE Barcamp 2011
Seattle's landmark burger joint, Dick's Drive-in, recently decided to expand and build another drive-in location somewhere in the nearby Seattle suburbs. In order to decide where to build it they did an online consumer poll. With over 119,000 votes cast, the winner is clearly the Northend, which includes Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, Edmonds, and the South Everett area.
Dicks also had an online video contest in which several winners would receive $100 gift certificates. They used their Facebook Fan Page to promote the contest and the results were staggering. A number of great submissions were placed on YouTube. The First Place winner was my favorite too, titled the “Whiteboard Pitch”. In the video they pitch how building a Dick's in Everett “can make a better world”. You can see also the 2nd, and 3rd place (tie) winners on Dick's homepage, at least for now.
Dicks Drive in Whiteboard Pitch
This is a great real-world example of how an established local business has done a great job of harnessing social media to create incredible market-buzz for next to nothing. And they now have an instant, grateful following of customers in the Northend anxiously awaiting the opening of their new location.
Seems like Barcamps, REBarcamps, Wordcamps, RainCamps, and WhateverCamps are spouting up all over the place! Don't get me wrong, I think it's great! Lots of information is being exchanged and given by the very people who create and use it, not the marketing talking-heads who are just trying to sell us stuff. It seems to be an information explosion of sorts. I never really expected to see many real estate agents chatting about widgets on their blogs or SEO strategies at cocktail parties. But that's what's happening.
I think we are witnessing a shift in how companies reach out to consumers to educate us on their products and services. There is definitely still a need for face-to-face meetups and get togethers. But in these days of downsizing and cost-cutting, traveling to Vegas or New York to attend an expo or convention is quickly being supplanted by local low-or-no cost xxxxCamps. I can learn as much or more by attending these local events and get to meet and network with the people who are at the heart of the process and technology at a fraction of the cost or time commitment.
More power to the Campers!
I don't normally write blog posts about games or entertainment, but this is just too fun to pass up and I have to share it! The Monopoly City Streets is a free, online, worldwide game that went live on Wednesday September 9, 2009 and a mad land rush began to acquire properties. Within a few days all the major streets in major cities around the world were bought up, and clever and unscrupulous real estate tycoons had figured out ways to cheat the system through multiple accounts. It became clear to the developers that they had to clean up some of the issues and close the cheat loopholes or the game would never succeed in the long run.But that didn't stop the hype, or the fun. I found a few smaller streets were still available to buy in Seattle, and discovered I had a much better chance of building my real estate wealth by branching out to lesser known cities and strategizing on maximizing rents.
Since the the whole game is built on Google Maps, you're pretty much unlimited as to where you can become a real estate tycoon! There are even blogs, forums and a Wiki set up to help you figure out how to play.
So the decision to reset the game and have everyone start over. They announced via their official Twitter account and their blog that they would take down the site on September 17th at 15:00 GMT and re-launch it after the reset and testing was completed. For days the developers frantically patched, revamped, and updated the interface of the game getting it ready.But once they relaunched it still took less than a couple of days for most of the streets in the populated cities to be purchased. They did raise the prices of the more valuable streets and that means it will take longer for people to be able to afford them.
If you jump in quick and get some cheaper streets in remote locations you can still have a lot of fun, even if you don't take over the world.