Taking Time to Work on Your Business


There are times when work engulfs us.  Sometimes it’s two steps back for every step forward.  We get buried in our business.  It doesn’t take much of this to create massive stress.

So, what can we do?

In the world of real estate, technological advances can be overwhelming.  Changes in the market also occur at a rapid clip.  In order to stay on top of these changes, you must budget some time to work on your business.

Why not set aside Friday, May 3rd as the day you connect, collaborate, and contribute to your business and your industry?  How?  RE Bar Camp Phoenix No. 5 returns to Scottsdale Stadium.  If you have been to a previous RE Bar Camp, you know the value it provides.  If you have not, it is unlike any other real estate conference you have attended.

The most common descriptor is “un-conference”.  There are a couple sessions scheduled with local and state assocation executives, but the vast majority of sessions are created the day of the event through crowd sourcing.  As you check in, you will be asked to submit session ideas for topics you want to discuss.  This means there are no presenters, instructors, and most importantly, pitches.

Every breakout room will have chairs in semi circles, facing each other.  Those that have knowledge on a topic share with those looking for help and answers.  It’s an organic process that benefits everyone.

Topics range from social to tech to broker issues to market conditions to whatever.  Schedule boards are posted around the stadium so you can pick and choose topics most important to you.

Lunch is available for a small fee and there will be an after party at a nearby Old Town Scottsdale establishment yet to be determined.

RE Bar Camp Phoenix is free to attend.  We do request you sign up so we have a head count in advance.

Grab an agent or two from your brokerage and make the commitment to work on your business for a day.  Looking forward to seeing you on May 3rd!

Coming Soon! REBarCamp Phoenix 5

REBarCamp Phoenix 5.  Yep.  Number 5 is scheduled for 8am on May 3rd at Scottsdale Stadium.  For those of you that are RE BarCamp vets, you know the drill.

No teachers, instructors, presenters, or pitches.

No pre-set agenda.

Attendees will determine the topics to be covered.  At each breakout session, chairs face each other, not the “front of the class”.  The idea is to share your knowledge with others while you absorb what others have to share.

In the world of real estate, this goes against the grain.  We are conditioned to attend CE classes, seminars, presentations and webinars.  Come join us on May 3rd to experience what many have said is the best event they attend all year.  Check out these videos that further explain RE BarCamp.

Click on the Eventbrite button to sign up.  The event is free.  There is an option to purchase a lunch for $10 plus Eventbrite fee of $1.49.

Looking forward to seeing lots of new faces at RE BarCamp Phoenix 5!




What is a RE Bar Camp?

There is generally some confusion among first-time “Bar Campers”… What is it, what can I expect, what will I learn are all questions that pop into one’s head.

We have a few videos that try to explain it on this page. And I just added this terrific video from and REBC held in Brisbane, Australia. Watch it, and you’ll get a good feel about what an REBC is all about…

Phoenix RE Bar Camp 4 is Coming!!

Yep, the FOURTH annual Phoenix Real Estate Bar Camp is coming!

April 26, 2012. At Scottsdale Stadium.

Your dedicated, underpaid event planners are hard at work to make this the best REBCPHX ever.

Stay tuned to this site for more details.

You can register now. Admission to the event is FREE. There is a $10 charge (plus $1.24 ticketing fee) if you want to eat the catered lunch on site. Lunch is completely optional, there are plenty of places to eat within walking distance of the event venue. Or bring a sack lunch. Or go hungry. Whatever!

Register here:

Yep, it’s time for RE Bar Camp Phoenix #4!

Jot this down…

April 26, 2012 — you’ll want to be at Scottsdale Stadium for the fourth iteration of RE Bar Camp Phoenix!

More details soon!!

8 Things I Want To Learn At REBCPHX

Phoenix Real Estate BarCamp is just around the corner, and the emails of support I’m receiving from our growing list of attendees has got me fired up for what I believe will be our best event yet.

With the focus this year on “getting back to the basics” of real industry professionals brainstorming and networking, I wanted to share a guest post that outlines some possible topics for conversations that potential group discussion leaders might consider preparing for.

Las Vegas Real Estate agent, Mark Madsen, packed a ton of valuable links into the following article in order to help lay a comprehensive foundation for his bullets, as well as to give any social media novices an opportunity to do a little research before we all meet.

8 Killer RE BarCamp Conversation Ideas:

Since I’ve only been given a 72 hour pass from my daddy day care duties to hang out in Phoenix with some of the brightest bloggers this industry has to offer, I prepared a list of the top eight things I want to learn more about while at REBCPHX.

This will be my third Real Estate Bar Camp, and it’s been exciting to watch the movement evolve from the first REBC I attended a few years ago in San Francisco.

My favorite aspect of the REBC un-conference style is that all attendees are responsible for the ultimate success or failure of the content provided.

However, since time and gas are not cheap these days, I thought I’d prime the pump a little by offering a few suggestions for conversations that I would gain the most value from.

My perfect REBCPHX 2011 experience would be more along the lines of a REFooCamp prepared for a real estate social media manager.

Not in any particular order:

1. Facebook Security –

My wife called me at the office in a panic a few weeks ago because she received a message from one of her friends on Facebook about the HTTPS security settings. Sure enough, after logging in to her account, it appears that eight people from different IP addresses all over the world had been snooping through her stuff.

And, after reading Mike Mueller’s post about our personal lists being exposed, I pretty much locked everything down on my Facebook settings so that my own mother isn’t even able to see the recent photos of our new twin daughters.

If somebody “in the know” at REBC could show me what I need to pay attention to, I’d love to put together a public service announcement, on company letterhead of course, and email / mail the professionally designed update to our clients and business partners.

Agents talk a lot about connecting with clients on social networks, so maybe this will give us a valuable reason to invite our family and friends over to the company fan page once they’ve updated their security settings on Facebook.

2. Managing Multiple Twitter Conversations –

While Gahlord Dewald is talking about the importance of listening vs engaging, I’m in the process of canceling out the noise that overwhelms me on Twitter.

However, I would probably be better at following a local target audience if I understood how to leverage specific social media monitoring tools.

The next step, from a productivity and time management perspective, would be knowing how to measure the results of my Twitter activities.

3. Real Estate IDX Best Practices -

The forced registration debate has been going on for years, and we can save the purpose driven blogging conversation for another group discussion.

What I really care about is how to maximize my hyper-local SEO efforts using an IDX plugin to direct a lazer focused target audience to my registration page.

Steve Jobs said it best, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

So, if a buyer doesn’t register on my site, it’s hard for me to reach out and and help them personalize their listing and neighborhood real estate search experience.

Or maybe, the best strategy would be to simply show my visitors how to actually use our technology to customize their own criteria.

4. Designing Killer Contact Forms And Auto-responders -

In my experience marketing to buyers, sellers and borrowers over the past five years, someone who is motivated to do business with me will either look for a phone number on the site or fill out a contact form.

Designing a contact form that actually works is an art form that the graphically challenged agents can simply hire out.

However, setting up an auto-responder to trigger based on specific sales activity, knowing the best times to send emails and understanding how to properly segment lists is a perfect conversation for REBC.

Not to mention, there’s also a routine contact form checkup system that most of us forget about.

5. Anti-Spam WordPress Comment Plugins That Drive Traffic –

Building a real estate blog that encourages “Good Karma” from its readers is challenging, especially with all of the spammers that overrun our comment moderation panel.

I’m noticing more and more lately that my track backs aren’t even acknowledged by other bloggers, mainly due to the fact that they’ve probably given up at even monitoring inbound links.

What I’m the most interested in at this point is learning how the Facebook comment and social plugins will create opportunities for bloggers to attract new readers, as well as expand their conversations to other social network platforms.

As a content creator, I’d like to help empower the curators with an easier way of sharing my info within their own communities.

6. Real Estate & Mortgage WordPress Plugins –

What are the top 5-10 mandatory plugins that will help my blog kick ass in the search engines, provide more value for my clients and give me a competitive advantage?

Not a widget that links back to a monster competitor’s site, or an iframe that looks cool…. but a real estate plugin built for WordPress that the non-geek agents in my market won’t understand the significance of.

This is probably opening the door for a vendor or two, but I’m cool with paying for something that will give me a #winning edge.

An important topic for this conversation would be to cover the technical issues that will more than likely break something on my site the next time there’s a WP upgrade.

Since I’m not savvy enough with WP development to know how to troubleshoot most of basics, it would be awesome to share some war stories with other agents who have also lost hundreds of hours bumping around forums trying to solve minor css or php issues.

7. Google Places And Client Reviews –

Our Las Vegas Property Management page dropped 7 spots on page one as soon as Google started displaying local listings.

Ouch! Google evolved, and we weren’t ready.

So, besides getting on Yelp, how many other client review tools and strategies do we have to master to use the recent changes to Google’s SERP to our advantage?

With so much to read about local SEM, I’m hoping to meet a few agents that have created an efficient system for getting client reviews and testimonials to work for them on the web.

8. Real Estate SEO and Keyword Research –

2010 was a busy year in SEO, especially with the most recent Panda update.

It’s always interesting to hear how our real estate blog contributors conduct their basic keyword research to determine the best anchor text to use for their link building strategies.

But, do the big trophy phrases really pay the bills, or do the long-tail niche articles do most of the heavy lifting for online lead gen?

I guess it boils down to your systems for analyzing SEO and ROI.

Either way, I’ve heard people talk about getting on page one of Google, but I’d love to have a private “transparent” conversation with a few other agents who are supporting an office with their blogging efforts.

Let’s compare traffic to conversions and come up with a few real numbers that can be used to measure our performance goals.

Bonus – QR Codes, And Other Social Media Marketing Ideas That #Fail

I can’t think of a more selfless act of giving back to the real estate blogging community than saving others from making the same mistakes that nearly cost you your business, house, car, spouse….

If you’ve invested your time and money over the past year on a web marketing strategy that turned out to be an utter failure, please share.

Even Google embraces failure, and tries to move through it as quickly as possible.

I’ve had plenty of disasters online. Some had to do with my approach, the market, a change in technology or simply being stubborn.

I saved this top for the end of my list because it’s probably a better conversation to have with a group of people at the real bar after the event.

RE Bar Camp Phoenix is THIS FRIDAY!!

The BIG day is almost here! Some things you need to know:


Check-in: 7:00 – 8:00am
(Yes, you can arrive any time you want, but the first 400 to check in get lunch — for free — and a tote bag with sponsor information, and maybe a give away too).

Opening Remarks: 8:15 – 8:45am

Morning Sessions:
9:00 – 9:50
10:00 – 10:50
11:00 – 11:50

Lunch: Noon – 1:15pm
(on-site, catered by Joe’s Real BBQ. Cost = $0)

Afternoon Sessions:
1:30 – 2:20
2:30 – 3:20
4:30 – 4:20

Wrap Up: 4:30 – 4:45

After Party! At Salty Senorita’s. There will be a shuttle bus running between the stadium and Salty’s, so leave your car parked at the stadium. Thanks to After Party Sponsors, Solutions Real Estate and Cobalt Mortgage, there will be a few free drink tickets and some free light snacks. Additional drinks (Happy Hour prices) and full menu available on your dime.

Dress Code: Suit and tie for the gentlemen, dresses for the ladies. <-- Kidding!! Dress is VERY casual. VERY. There is nothing wrong, at all, with shorts, t-shirts and flip flops. The only clothing requirement is that you wear clothes. You want to be comfortable, it's going to be a long day. The main session rooms are indoors and air-conditioned, but you will be outside walking between session rooms, and there are usually small group gatherings on the patios and in the stands. WERE COMFORTABLE SHOES!

The weather forecast for event day is partly cloudy with a high of 79. Sounds just about perfect! (We are ignoring the 10% chance of rain. Should it rain, the event will go on).


Please, please consider supporting our designated charity, the Desert Mission Food Bank. You can bring non-perishable canned food such as tuna, soups, vegetables, canned meat, peanut butter, etc. as well as essentials such as diapers, laundry soap and toilet paper, razors, baby formula, etc. We will take care of getting food & essentials donations to Desert Mission. We will also be collecting cash (and personal check) donations.

This event is free for you to attend. Please consider paying it forward by helping this wonderful local charity that helps so many people in need from our community.

Putting the RE back in RE Bar Camp

We will be making a concerted effort for this year’s REBC to “get back to basics” and encourage open discussion and dialog among all participants in every session. There will be no “vendor pitches”, and no individual vendor tables. Of course we appreciate our sponsors, for without them this event wouldn’t happen. We encourage you to look through the materials they provide and consider using their services when you can.

Gone are the “classes” and “presentations” — there are plenty of places to take classes, many of them at little to no cost. You get out of REBC what you put into it. So participate, share, network, and learn.

And for the love of fluffy bunnies, HAVE FUN!!!


Two Weeks Away!!

Some of the organizers walked the venue for Phoenix Real Estate Bar Camp #3 today.

If you’ve attended REBCPHX in the past, you know the venue is Scottsdale Stadium.

If you haven’t attended, you may be saying, “A conference in a baseball stadium???”


And this year will be better than ever.

In addition to the stands, the Team Shop, the Press Box, and the cool porches and patios, we’ve secured — for the first time ever — both the visitors and Giants clubhouses — aka the locker rooms.

And no, they don’t smell like locker rooms.

In fact, they provide us with two more very cool, and very large spaces.

This will put to bed the chief complaint we’ve had in the past — that some of the session rooms were too small.

And yes, we’ll do better with directional signs to make it easier for everyone to find all the session rooms.

We’re stressing “Put the Real Estate back in Real Estate Bar Camp” this year.

No vendor presentations (no vendor tables either). Not so much of the “101 Training” classes. We want group participation and discussion.

It’s going to rock your world.

Also, we’d previously announced that lunch would not be served. Well, thanks to our generous sponsors, we WILL be having lunch catered by Joe’s Real BBQ.

There MAY be a nominal charge for lunch (no more than $2 or $3). It depends on whether or not we can secure a couple more sponsors. Odds are really good lunch will be free.

And of course the event is free to attend.

We do ask though that you support our chosen charity, the Desert Mission Food Bank. They need our help. Please bring some canned food items and/or a small cash donation.

More later!

RSVP here!!

Tell your friends!

Get ready for the PRE-EVENT!!

You don’t want to miss this…

On April 7, the day before Phoenix RE Bar Camp 3, we’ll be having a little gathering at RETT East (RETT = Real Estate Tech Tank).

Please join us for some **great** bar-b-que, courtesy of Smokin Aces BBQ. We’ll also have some beer, wine, water and sodas available.

The cost for all of this?

Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. IT’S FREE!

Free thanks to Thomson Law’s Mortgage Mediation Group — the pre-event sponsor.

The Details:
Date: Thursday April 7, 2011
Time: 6:18pm – ???
Place: RETT East. Northeast corner of Val Vista & Baseline in Mesa. Next door to Chicago Title. 1959 S. Val Vista Drive, Suite 113. (Map)

PLEASE RSVP so we can get an approximate head count. Either comment below, or RSVP on the Facebook Event Page!

Coming from out of town? Hotel discounts available

If you are coming to Scottsdale on April 8 to attended Phoenix RE Bar Camp (and to bask in what promises to be glorious weather) then we have, thanks to the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors (SAAR), some discounted room rates for local hotels.

HERE IS A PDF FILE that lists hotels in Old Town Scottsdale (where the REBC event site is located). Yes, the PDF says you have to be a SAAR member — but you don’t. SAAR is opening up these rates for out of town Bar Camp attendees.

So now you have NO EXCUSES! Come to Scottsdale, participate in one of the best REBC’s in the country and soak up some sun!!