Nope, I haven't completely left the real estate game. In another recent project, I've been building the full social media/real estate experience with a company from my home town of Charleston, the South Carolina Property Pros. In this post, I will explain a little bit about the various way that the Pros are different than other real estate firms in their area and how I came to know them.
I met Mr. James "Jimbo" Thompson late last year and from our first encounter, I found myself actually impressed with his depth of knowledge about both real estate and construction. Historically, Jimbo has been a residential home builder with years of experience creating anything from bridges to assisted living facilities. I had almost convinced myself that real estate was something I should depart from, having become fed up with working in Brooklyn and even more frustrated with the experience of working with other real estate agents (aside from the Loftninja, of course). Nevertheless, talking with Jimbo inspired me to take on a new project involving real estate which has opened new mental doors and forced me to dig even deeper into developing social media applications. After that first meeting, I decided that the best way to build this company with Jimbo is to do as many things as possible that had never been tried before in the real estate industry. I realized that Jimbo is more like an unRealtor than a REALTOR, as there are few (if any at all) real estate agents in South Carolina who can walk into a property and not only properly represent its features, if the damn thing fell down while he was showing it, the customers could go sit in their car while he rebuilt the damn thing. The stuff that this guy has swimming around in his head about property is unReal! This guy (and his team) can truly build anything. They can look at a property from the street and tell you more than the owner probably even knows.
What is a SC Property Pro?
- Certified property inspector
- Licensed Home Builder
- Licensed Real Estate Agent
- Licensed Broker
- Property Blogger and Social Media Enthusiast
- You Name it!
My first goal was to get The unRealtor excited about blogging and teach him the fundamentals of that game. This, fortunately happened almost instantly. I built him a blog and he went right to town. Jimbo was already active on several social networks, such as Facebook and Myspace, so what i needed to do was develop a branded presence for the Pros on those as well as Twitter, Picasa, Flickr, Etc. You can see most of the places where SC Property Pros are active here:
The SC Property Pros Website
This is where it got really interesting. These days many people operate under the impression that it is now too late to start promoting a new company on the internet (especially in the real estate industry) as the top rankers in search have been there for so long that it seems virtually impossible to climb the SERPS. Plus any new domain will take 6-9 months to get ranked in Alexa and other engines. I had to basically set out to kill years worth of indexed sites based on structure and content. If you know anything about me at all, you know that I am not frightened by a challenge. In fact, with a bit of calculated effort and the time to do it, it is possible. The largest hurdle for me, having worked in New York as an agent for close to 8 years, was learning the ins and outs of an MLS database. Because New York doesn't have an MLS, I had walked around for years with my own personal database of available properties which noone else had access to (except Loftninja) unless I liked them. And because I had maybe 5 real estate agents that I cared for ever, this happened very rarely.
What I noticed right off was the fact that other agents in the Charleston area know zippity-do-da about social media and when they happened to try to implement it in their marketing, they did it all wrong. Cramming property data down your friend's throats will not sell a home-most often it will cause you to lose friends. What we needed was a well connected (social) real estate site with MLS, which broke down into sections for Construction/Custom Home Building Services and Property Inspections. This was (and still is) a difficult task, as its one thing to have your website show up in SERPs for real estate niche, but to become highly indexed for construction services and property inspections too is unheard of. Nevertheless, the unRealtor is a Jimbo of all trades and excluding these areas of focus would have been a shame.
Our First #1 Search Result
Yesterday, Jimbo and I tasted our first slice of SERP success, showing up #1 in the Google search in Charleston. Well, can't say i did it alone. We employed quite a bit
of help from the Loftninja. Although it is for Sunrooms in Charleston, it is a HUGE marker of progress in the construction aspect of the site. Search Engine Optimization is an art more than it is a science. If you think you have it down to a science, you need to look again and get creative. Now we are moving into PHASE TWO, which unfortunately I am sworn to secrecy about and cannot disclose the details of this regional search takeover at this time (please subscribe and come back). What I can tell you is that we will be flying the Loftninja down to Charleston to help with putting the gears into motion on this next phase of development. You can see his influence on the project with this latest ad on Craigslist, where he managed once again to accomplish something never tried before. This time having a little bit of real estate fun, embedding the SC Property Pros tag cloud in a post.
Jimbo Thompson is like the older brother that Loftninja never had-quite a bit more professional than Lninja and waaay more low key. I doubt if Jimbo will ever attempt to learn how to rap, but if you happen to be looking for a real estate guru, construction expert or a certified property inspector in the greater Charleston area, you'd be insane not to call Jimbo Thompson of the SC Property Pros. If his middle name wasn't "Jimbo," it should have be "property." We're almost there Jimbo! Keep up the great work my friend! And by the way...Happy Birthday!