Are you going to Vegas?

or more interestingly, are you going to my presentation on Tuesday morning?

If so, I’d love to know. I’m just finishing up the presentation now and would love to include a few screenshots of people’s blogs who will be in the audience.


By the way, the impetus for this blog post is that I like to localize my presentation. But considering most of the people in the audience will not be from Vegas, I’m looking for another way to personalize the show… Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t… but it won’t do much harm to try.

And there are lots of clues for what the talk filed under the seminar tag

I have no intention of turning this into…

a blog about southern California real estate, but I do have a non-fire related update from Southern California.

Brad Inman and I are going to be speaking at Beverly Hills REALTOR Association’s Head of High Office Tea this Thursday afternoon. From everything I can gather, it is going to be a pretty posh set-up at the Peninsula Hotel. The plan is for Brad to speak about the status of the industry for about an hour, myself to speak for about an hour and tea and conversation making up the last hour.


Tickets are $40 and just about sold out.

Also, I shouldn’t admit this, but I honestly have not given much thought about what I’m going to say just yet… Conveniently, back in August I did a presentation on using blogs to build up an online brand for the KW Mega Technology Camp that came off well (and took about 45 minutes including questions from others who were on stage). I think I’ll adjust that presentation a bit but go with that general outline. If anyone who was at that presentation wants to give me feedback, I’d love to hear it! ūüôā

From 'A&E's Flip This House' to You!

[photopress:REIA__Image_Download__flip_this_house_logo_jpeg_from_mhv_reia_1_.jpg,thumb,alignright]Have you been watching the current real estate market and wondering how¬† to find the pot of gold in it? Fix and Flip guru Than Merrill from A&E’s Flip this House will show you how right here in Seattle on October 11.¬†Than, like many other¬†saavy investors,¬†is building his business taking advantage of sellers in trouble.¬† Even though Seattle seems to be somewhat¬†insulated from the current trend across the nation, there¬†are still¬†great opportunities to grab up distressed properties.¬†Banks are looking to unload properties as are many homeowners on the brink of foreclosure.¬† These often become the inventory and¬†raw product for the ‘fix and flippers’.¬†But how do you find these elusive properties?

My husband and I have¬†been involved with about 2 dozens ‘fix and flip’ properties, but¬†finding the right properties at the right price, i.e., below market, is a challenge. As a realtor, I live and breathe the mls, but once a property hits the mls, it’s generally going to be sold at retail, and¬†paying retail¬†is not the way to make a profit on a ‘fix and flip’.

There are several real estate investment groups in the Puget Sound area that will help you get started and offer advice in marketing, legal¬†issues (recently, state law¬†passed¬†requiring a¬†flip in less than one year to require a contractor’s license.¬† More about that later) and tips of the trade. Says Shirley Henderson, President of REIA, ” flipping is profitable and a lot of fun if it’s done right”.¬† And the members want to help you do it right.¬† Usually they have monthly meetings and from time to time offer educational events to help their members.¬†Members are happy to share their knowledge and are there to help each other.

On October 11, The Real Estate Investors Association of Washington (REIA) is hosting¬†a fabulous Special Event straight from television land.¬† Than Merrill of A&E’s ‘Flip This House’ will be speaking at a this very low cost event ($15)¬† to show you how he and his team did 30 deals his first year and after that, double each year over the next 2 years.¬† The¬†team has 260 deals under it’s belt at an average of $27,000 profit per deal.¬† $7,000,000 in three years, I could live with that!

If you’re interested in learning how he did it, join REIA on October 11 from 6-9pm to hear about Than’s systems and marketing to find those distressed properties and fix them for the best financial return.¬† This will be my first ‘fix and flip’ seminar and I’m anxious to hear from the best. Of those 2 dozen flips my husband and I have done, we’ve had varied results (yes, some were losses) because we didn’t have the systems in place to find the bargains.

Hope to see investors from Seattle turn out in big numbers. Make some great connections. Maybe you will decide that this could be your next career.

Inman has Gone Blog Wild

and it is a good thing!

Looks like they just published the first of a 4-part series on real estate blogging (only by subscription after today!). Lots of good stuff from some of today’s heavy hitters!

It was great to see Todd of Lenderama get some exposure for his (very cool) REMBEX search tool.

Also want to say thanks to Greg… I think he’s running one of the best real estate sites on the web, so it means a lot to me when he gives credit to RCG for some of his inspiration.

While I’m talking about Inman, I thought I’d mention that, like many other real estate bloggers, I’ve been invited to participate in their Blogger’s Connect at the very end of July. I’m definitely looking forward to it as I had a lot of fun last year in San Francisco… From the overview:

The content, speakers and workshops are being designed in the blogosphere. We have invited 20 leading real estate bloggers to use their blogs to reach out to their readers to invent the program.
Imagine the first “user-generated program” including panels, topics and sessions. Could be silly, could be interesting — certain to be fun.

Bloggers Connect will begin on Tuesday, July 31 with a party and then all-day sessions on August 1. Fun and crazy events are being built into the program including the Dive Bar Tour, the Haight Asbury experience and the blogging romp.

Web2.0 is About You

Wonderful video from a Kansas professor…

(via ProBlogger)

I’ve been told I move a bit fast in my seminars (more than once!), but I found this guy to move at light-speed! Interestingly, if the video makes complete sense to you, then you will have no need for my presentation. However, if you’d be interested in learning a bit more about how consumers matter in this web2.0 world (i.e. “you matter”), and how you, as an agent, can flip this logic to use these web2.0 tools so that you matter (i.e. “brand you”), then I’d love to see you at my Seattle seminar on February 20th! (Or in Oakland, CA the next day!)

So far, the feedback from the seminars has been overwhelmingly positive. I was a little hesitant to make a big deal out of the seminar before I ran a few trials because my presentation is more-than-slightly unconventional and I started to doubt myself. It wasn’t until I heard from some of the attendees that it was one of the best real estate presentation they had ever been to that I started to feel more comfortable that I might be on to something big. ūüôā Also, both Jeff, Rudy and Brian give some encouraging feedback that will definitely keep me presenting at a few more seminars!

By the way, my presentation style was highly influenced by a short presentation given by Chris Smoak where he was able to move at the speed of light because the presentation moved with him. (Chris is the guy behind one of my favorite mash-ups ever, Bus Monster.) After witnessing Chris in action, I just knew I’d have to create a similar presentation some day.

Finally, Greg has been posting the audio from my presentation over on the Bloodhound blog (Part 1, Part 2). Personally, I think the seminar is simply too long for an audio presentation (it NEEDS the visuals!), but some may find it interesting, nonetheless.

New seminar in Los Angeles this week…

Last time I ran a seminar with Russ Cofano, I mentioned that I was considering creating a new seminar by slightly adjusting the topic… Instead of the seminar being “all about blogging”, or a “bloginar”, I really wanted to focus on the bringing an understanding to how online technologies are radically changing the industry and how agents can not only adapt, but thrive in this new environment.

After a few conversations about this idea with Errol Samuelson of Top Producer, he also showed a huge amount of excitement in the idea and offered to organize, promote and sponsor the entire thing. The result is that this next Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll be giving the new presentation (50% how the competition is changing the industry, 50% how agents can use online technologies to build up their online brand) in Los Angeles. We have tentative dates set for the end of the month in both Oakland and Seattle (to be announced soon) and assuming the seminars are well received, there’s no reason I couldn’t travel around the entire country giving advice to agents on how to enhance their existing business with social networking technologies.

If you are in the LA area, then consider visiting the seminar website to sign up (or the blog I created for the seminar). The event has already been picked up by both Greg and Brian, and from the comments on both sites, it looks like there should be more than a few people from ActiveRain and the in attendance! ūüôā

Hope to see you there!

Blogging at Ed.Con 2006

Yesterday, Russ Cofano and I gave another blogging seminar, this time in Seattle as part of Ed.con 2006 put on by the Washington Realtor Association.

[photopress:elvis_and_liberace.jpg,full,alignright]I thought the day went over really well and considering it was the first seminar we’d given to the “home town

Thanks to SoCal Agents for Another Successful Bloginar

Russ and I just returned from giving a Bloginar in Bel-Air today and it was a blast!

I’d call it a success as the audience seemed engaged and there were lots of side questions and side discussions during the breaks. It is obvious to me that blogging in real estate is still in its infancy, and while it may not be an appropriate tool for all agents, the technologies involved are here to stay. Personally, I have a lot of fun at the seminars as I enjoy engaging others in a conversation about how real estate professionals can use blogging to create a community around real estate.

Note that if you’re looking to see how a blog post can generate a fascinating discussion around a real estate topic, check out Russ’ post from two days ago where he inspires people to discuss real estate commissions with a simple two paragraph post (and a link!).

By the way, if you were one of the attendees at today’s seminar, please consider leaving some feedback on how you think it went. Your feedback is crucial for us to know how to improve the seminar into the future!

Thanks again for everyone who showed up for making it a success!

Free Bloginar in L.A. for 200 Agents!

Russ Cofano and I are giving our 2nd Bloginar for agents next week on how to use blogs to effectively generate leads. Interestingly, the sponsor of the event, Coldwell Banker, decided to open up our seminar to all southern california real estate agents and not just Coldwell Banker agents (WOW!)… Not only that, but they decided to make the even free (Double WOW!).

The catch is that the facility can only hold 200 people and they’ve decided to offer seats on a first-come, first-serve basis! The only place to register is on this fancy flash page they created for the event! (A little bird has told me that there are already over 50 people 70 people 80 people 100 people registered for the event, and the organizers are expecting a full house!)

The event is scheduled to start promptly at 9:30am and last until 12:30 on July 19 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Brentwood.

Last time, we ended up rushing things (and skipping one of two planned breaks) because we really have four hours worth of material we’re trying to condense into three hours. I’ve attempted to filter things a little more this time, but with the inevitable (and valuable) questions that real estate blogging encourages from the audience, I’m sure we’ll be rushing to cover everything in the end this time as well!

Some of the reviews we had from our first bloginar were very encouraging…

Dale Crockatt:

Dustin and Russ, your first bloginar class was awesome! I have not been so excited about a new idea in years. We have been searching for an idea for the fourth generation of our website and I am convinced this is it! I was surprised you were not selling something at the end of the “show