Archive for September, 2015

Got Needles In Your Haystack? Search Like An Expert

“With Google I’m starting to burn out on knowing the answer to everything. People in the year 2020 are going to be nostalgic for the sensation of feeling clueless.”
~ Douglas Coupland

Go to your computer right now and Google “real estate.” Go ahead, I dare you. Care to guess how many results you’ll get? Well, I just tried it, and I got 1.1 billion results. That’s billion with a b. Talk about information overload!

You’re pretty sophisticated, though, so you know not to try that kind of a mushy search. And you already know that you can search specifically for images and videos. You also realize that Google is pretty good at guessing what you’re looking for, and it will usually put those results first. But not always: If you search for “bronco,” Google won’t know whether to give you information about cars, football, or rodeos.

Luckily, you can tweak your searches to be surprisingly precise, if you know how. Here are some tricks for searching on Google that I’ve found useful. I’m concentrating on Google because it’s so popular, but some of these will work in other search engines, too.

Use search commands. Let’s say you want to know something about how many people there are in your zip code. A government source would be great, because you’d like some official statistics. Good news! You can narrow your search results to government websites. Try this search: POPULATION 30308 SITE:CENSUS.GOV. This tells Google to limit its results to pages within the Census Bureau’s website. By putting in that extra command, you cut the results from 131,000 to 650.

You can also use the same command to limit your results to a particular type of domain. For example, adding SITE:.EDU to your search will limit results to educational sources. Caution, though: you’ll also get results from student websites, and .edu can be used by some pretty uneducational entities.

Here are some more handy commands you can try: INTITLE: will search only in the title of webpages, which may get you to sites that are specifically about your topic. LINK: will get you websites that have links to a particular web page. If you’re looking for an exact phrase, put it in quotations. Boolean terms like AND and OR also work in Google. Putting a hyphen in front of a word will keep out results that have that word.

Find the missing word. Let’s say you want to use a famous quote, but you’re not sure exactly how it goes: “Something is ______ in the state of Denmark.” (Icky? Smelly? Stinko?) Just Insert an asterisk in the place of the unknown word, like this: SOMETHING IS * IN THE STATE OF DENMARK. You’ll learn that the word you’re looking for is “rotten.”

Take advantage of other search engines. Google isn’t the only game in town, you know. There’s Bing.com and DuckDuckGo.com, among others. (DuckDuckGo, by the way, is the way to go if you want maximum privacy, because it doesn’t keep information about anyone’s searches.) There are also “metasearch” engines that will search other search engines. For example, Dogpile.com will search Google, Yahoo, and others, all at once.

Even within Google, you can narrow your results by using specialized search engines. For example, https://news.google.com/news/advanced_news_search will let you limit your results to news sources. Google Scholar will get you court cases and academic papers.

There are tons of search engines out there. Want a search engine that’s specific to real estate? Try searching “REAL ESTATE” “SEARCH ENGINES” and you’ll find some great resources.

Use the advanced search. Have I given you brain freeze with this information? If it all sounds too “techie” to remember, then forget everything I just said, because Google’s advanced search is for you. Just go to Google.com and click on “settings,” and then on “advanced search.” You’ll get a search form that gives you all kinds of nifty options. Many search engines have advanced-search capabilities of one kind or another – look for a link.

There are many, many more search tricks you can use, and I can cover only a small fraction of them here. But now maybe you have a better idea of what’s possible.

Want to know more? Of course you do, and I’ll bet you know what I’m about to suggest.

Why, ask any ten-year-old kid, of course. They’ll know way more than I do. In the meantime, happy searching!

Don DeRosaDon DeRosa is recognized as one of the nation’s top 21 real estate investors in the New York Times bestseller “The Millionaire Real Estate Investor”. Don, who is a full-time investor, trainer, and mentor, is the first to offer his complete investing system on a mobile platform. Don teaches investors how to Make More and Work Less by being more efficient, productive and competitive, leveraging mobile technology and apps on the iPad, iPhone, Android and other mobile devices.

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How To Use Promotional Items And Event Sponsorships To Locate Even More Motivated Sellers

There are many creative ways to find motivated sellers and promote your business. One of the great ways to get positive exposure for your business and give back to your community is to sponsor events or teams. There are lots of great ways to do this.

You can sponsor sports teams such as soccer, softball, bowling or track. You can also participate in a local golf tournament for charity. One of the ways to do this is to provide uniforms or shirts which of course have your company information on them. Walk-a-thons are another great way to achieve this goal. This is a good way to get advertising out for your real estate investing business and support your community at the same time.

Another way to promote your real estate business in a positive way is to sponsor events or take part in local functions by donating promotional items. For example, if your community is having a local fair or parade, you could donate balloons to be given out to the children which have your company name and logo on them. These are always appreciated and it’s a good way to get your company information out to the public. These events usually get press or television coverage as well. Imagine a news shot of a parade where every child is holding a balloon with your message on it! Or, imagine the winning team getting their picture in the paper wearing shirts with your message on them. What better advertising could you ask for! And what better way to let people know that you buy houses!

Another way to participate in public events is by donating items for events where bags of free gifts are given out such as a health fair. There are lots of inexpensive items you can donate that have your company information on them such as pens, post it note pads, key rings, magnets or mugs. Local associations are always looking for items they can give away. And again, this is a great way to let people in your area know that you buy houses. We buy small items in quantity so we get great discounts and then keep them on hand for these types of events.

You can also sponsor community classes on “How To Sell Your Home Quickly” and invite the public to attend. You could also do this through the chamber of commerce or local associations. Through these free classes, you can educate the public as to what your business is all about.

During the holidays your company could host a toy drive or a food drive for local associations. Not only are you getting great positive advertising for your company, but you are doing something to help those who are less fortunate. We have personally hosted food and toy drives and gotten great positive feedback from it.

Another way to get your company name into the public eye with a short message is to use candy. The wrappers have your company name, logo and a short message on them such as “Let us help you get a sweet deal”. These are usually welcomed in the lobbies of your local newspaper, mortgage brokers, large employers, realty associations, the unemployment office, restaurants, title companies, storage companies or relocation services. You can even put a bowl of your candy on the registration table at your local real estate club or another club you belong to.

Get creative and take a look at your own community to find ways to get your company’s message out to the public. There are lots of ways to do this if you just look. And it’s a great way to let even more people know that you buy houses.

Kathy KennebrookKathy Kennebrook is a speaker, author and has been actively investing in real estate since 1999, Kathy currently resides in Bradenton, FL and is known as the “Marketing Magic Lady” because she is the country’s leading real estate marketing expert on finding motivated sellers using direct mail.

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