Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoys the long weekend!  Be safe out there on Black Friday!

Keith Bennett
Santee Real Estate

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Branding | Real Estate

How important is branding to you and your business?

Branding is probably even more important today than ever before.  There was a time in the past when it was much easier to get by with less focus on branding; that time has come and gone.  Today, branding is one of the necessary components in your overall marketing strategy that will separate you from your competitors.

Being mediocre in the real estate industry is commonplace.

On the other side of the coin, we have the real estate agent who provides uniqueness and valuable services to their clients.  This type of agent has found and exploited their niche to its maximum potential and still continue to squeeze out every remaining ounce of value with all their effort.

How can a real estate agent implement a marketing strategy to mitigate mediocrity and increase leverage by changing how they promote their brand and self image?

Finding a niche is one way to ensure you are effective as an agent as well as having fun.  Generally speaking, most find a niche that suits their personality and that they enjoy.  It is much easier to be successful on a day-to-day basis when one enjoys what they do.  This is why many real estate agents don't consider their real estate business as work.

Websites & Domains:

When creating a website for clients to visit or to generate and cultivate leads, it is important to remember that the name of the website should be related to your business as well as memorable.  Trying to keep the domain name shorter may also help clients and online searchers remember who you are and what you do.  Meta tags are not new, but should be used appropriately.  In the past, meta tags were more important to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Today, content is king, and like everything in the real estate industry, consistency plays a significant role.

There are many ways to be unique when creating a brand for your company (many more that I have listed).  Remember that often people fail before they succeed.  Failure is not always fun, but it often a positive learning experience and a stepping stone to future success.


Keith Bennett
DRE# 01869992
Premier Mortgage & Real Estate
9225 Carlton Hills Blvd. Suite #3
Santee, CA. 92071
Direct Line - 858.344.4512
Fax - 619.312.1621
Email -
Web -

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Search Condos for Sale in Santee, CA

If you are looking for condos for sale in this market, you are in luck!  Condos for sale in east county, San Diego, CA are some of the lowest priced condos available on the market today.  Keep in mind that low priced condos do not last long on the market, and the ones that do may have hidden issues with the condo itself or the complex.

Be wary of condos that have unusually high Home Owners Association (HOA) dues for this reason.  Generally this is a signal of deeper problems.  However, this may also mean that issues are being resolved and the HOA has taken action by implementing a special assessment to bring the HOA current.  An experienced REALTOR(R) will be able to contact the HOA and or management company in order to inquire about the condition of the HOA.

That said, there are many great areas in Santee and El Cajon to find these diamonds in the rough.  It may take some time (more than you think) and the competition may be tough, but try not to get discouraged.  Keep searching, there is light at the end of this tunnel!


Keith Bennett
DRE# 01869992
Premier Mortgage & Real Estate
9225 Carlton Hills Blvd. Suite #3
Santee, CA. 92071
Direct Line - 858.344.4512
Fax - 619.312.1621
Email -
Web -

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When it's "OK" to Show Homes to the Non-Qualified Client

I showed some homes to a client in the El Cajon and Santee, CA area when I knew he was not qualified.  I was not even hoping I would get him into a home.  I was however refining some skills with my new found friend.  This could be (and often is) perceived as a waste of time by some real estate agents, I wanted to take this lemon and made lemonade.

Here are some of the benefits:

*There is nothing to lose if you effectively control your time with this client, you will win.
*Go see listings that you want to see.  Go see some areas outside your normal or identified marketplace.
*This client knows people and though he cannot buy a home (even if he thinks he can), he still knows people that may be able to, ask for a referral
*Ask your client to conduct a survey, post it to the internet (LinkedIn), but this also to helps you build your communications skills.

Of course, this is not an everyday event, but take it for what its worth, if you find yourself without any clients or if you have some free time.  Ultimately, use every resource you have at your disposal, you never know what will become of it.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

When Real Estate (Social) Networking is not Networking

I wasn't thinking about social networking until recently.  In fact, I am still a little skeptical about social marketing (as it is advertised).  I do believe in social networking, however, when done right.

So, what is wrong with social media when it comes down to doing business?  I "think" most people perceive that social networking means to collect as many contacts as they possible can.  In this perceived theory, it makes sense, kind of.  For example, the more contacts I have in my social media network means a much larger audience.

However, if I learned anything while earning my marketing degree, it was to identify the target market.  I think the question should be asked, who in my social network is in my targeted market?  I am sure that number is quite small, but I do have some ideas to mitigate wasting time pretending I am networking via social channels.

One example would be to ask clients to conduct a survey on LinkedIn or Facebook (Company Page).  This would be the truest form of social networking, and one of the ideas behind LinkedIn that I like.

All social media channels present the opportunity to be productive, when used correctly.  So, if social media has not paid off for you, re-think who your contacts are and if they are in your identified target audience for the product you are marketing.


Real Estate Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is a strategy used by marketers to spread the word about a product or service.  Typically, consumers would be doing the work for marketers when the value in the product or service speaks for itself, so to speak.....

We often see this occur in the real estate industry when an agent receives a referral from a past client.  This is one form of viral marketing.  The agent has intentionally or unintentionally marketed himself or herself in such a manner that the client discovered value from services provided by the agent.  Naturally, the client wanted family and friends to benefit from the value this real estate agent could provide.

It is always essential to keep viral marketing in mind when working with clients.  Of course, viral marketing can also cause a lot of damage when real estate agents do not provide value to their client.

In cities such as Santee and El Cajon (California) which have a very small population, this type of marketing will provide noticeable leverage.  There are many other marketing approaches and this is only the surface of how viral marketing can benefit the real estate agent.

Marketing Yourself

How do you think about marketing your product?

When your marketing is not as successful as you anticipated, think about marketing yourself vice your product.  You are sure to be successful marketing yourself as unique and interesting.   You will see that marketing yourself vice your product will also win over your target market.  Keep it simple.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Real Estate Related Terms | Violations

California Laws: Business and Professional Code 10176 & 10177
Google the California Codes to find more!


10176(a). In real estate transactions this is when a broker or salesperson fails to disclose to his or her principal material facts of which the principal should be made aware.

False Promise

10176(b). A false promise is a false statement about what the promisor is going to do.  According to the California Department of Real Estate (2000), "Many times a false promise is proved by showing that the promise was impossible to perform and that the person making the promise knew it was impossible."

Dual Agency

10176(d). Failure to inform all principals that the licensee is acting as agent for more than one party in the transaction.


10176(e). Commingling takes place when a broker has mixed the funds of a principal with the broker's own money.

Definite Termination Date

10176(f). Failure to include a specified termination date on all exclusive listings related to transactions for which a real estate license is required.

Secret Profit

10176(g). "Secret profit cases usually arise when the broker, who already has a higher offer has a higher offer from another buyer, makes a low offer, usually through a dummy purchaser.  The broker then sells the property to the interested buyer for the higher price.  The difference is the secret profit" (California Department of Real Estate, 2000).

Negligence or Incompetence

10177(g). Demonstrated negligence or incompetence in performing any act for which he or she is required to hold a license.

Inducement of Panic Selling

10177(l). Solicited or induced the sale, lease, or listing for sale or lease of residential property on the ground, wholly or in part, of loss of value, increase in crime, or decline of the quality of the schools due to the present or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons having any characteristic listed in subdivision (a) or (d) of Section 12955 of the Government Code, as those characteristics are defined in Sections 12926, 12926.1, subdivision (m), and paragraph (1) of subdivision (p) of Section 12955, and Section 12955.2 of the Government Code.

Failure to Disclose Ownership Interest

10177(o). Failed to disclose to the buyer of real property, in a transaction in which the licensee is an agent for the buyer, the nature and extent of a licensee's direct or indirect ownership interest in that real property. The direct or indirect ownership interest in the property by a person related to the licensee by blood or marriage, by an entity in which the licensee has an ownership interest, or by any other person with whom the licensee has a special relationship shall be disclosed to the buyer.

Other California codes that are relevant to the real estate industry are as follows:

10137, 10138, 10140, 10141, 10142, 10145, 10148, 10160, 10161, 10162, 10163, 10165, 10167, 10176, 10177, 10178, 10475.

Make your Move from Agent to Broker.

Have you been wanting to fire-up your real estate career?

Those in the real estate industry who know me well also know that I firmly believe real estate brokers and agents should continue to practice real estate to the best of their ability.  I was told once by a very wise person that "if we are not progressing, we are regressing."  Since that day, I have always tried to find new ways to ensure that I am not stagnant (i.e. regressing).

How long should a real estate agent remain an agent before making the push forward to become a broker?  My suggestion is simple, why wait?  The best way to ensure one is progressing in the real estate industry with personal and professional goals is to continue moving forward to the next higher level.  Even when an agent is not ready to start their own brokerage, I still believe it is beneficial to become an associate-broker.  Most real estate agents will need to meet the requirements listed below to become a broker:

2 years full time (or 4 years part time) experience
Eight real estate/business related college courses (outlined by the California Department of Real Estate (DRE))


In lieu of experience it is possible to meet the qualification standards by earning a degree from a four-year university or college.  The eight real estate/business related college courses still apply and are considered by the DRE to be equivalent to a minor in real estate.

Any active broker or agent should have the desire to act in a progressive manner though both experience and education.