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Ken Tracy's Real Estate Blog

By Ken Tracy | Broker in Naperville, IL
  • The Rules of Engagement: Tracy FB Business Solutions

    Posted Under: Tech Tips in Naperville, Agent2Agent in Naperville  |  November 19, 2012 3:27 PM  |  360 views  |  No comments

    Facebook


    I started a business recently named Tracy FB Business Solutions.  I help business grow using social media, as well as a thing or two I learned in my 20+ years of business experience...

    I have been helping people with social media for several years.  Up until last week, I have been doing it for fun.  But for the first time, a local business (Sir Speedy Printing in Villa Park) asked me to go a little bit further than mere page setup, and paid me to get their Facebook Page up and running on Facebook, and a light bulb went off...

    My mission is to help small businesses use social media (especially Facebook) to market themselves, their business, and their products.  I believe the power of Facebook for business is incredible, but needs both knowledge and action to be effective...

    I have been blown away by the engagement and encouragement I have received for my business.  Thank you!

    Anyway, I have been asked a lot of great questions about my business, and would like to address a few early questions on this forum.


    The Rules of Engagement:  Tracy FB Business Solutions

    1. If you want to talk, please call me.
      I pride myself on my availability.  Whether it is on the phone, email, text or by Facebook, if you want to contact me, it is not hard.  I put my contact information on everything, and I make myself as available as possible.  Go ahead.  Try me.  My phone number is 630-697-0536.
      So please, don't send me an email asking me to call you next week.  If you want to talk, call me. If I am busy?  Well, that is why God gave us voice mail...
    2. I guarantee only one thing.
      I will give you 100%.  I am incredibly passionate.  I will focus that passion to your business and building your business page on Facebook...
      I give no return on investment guarantees.  Our working relationship is a partnership, and you have the ultimate impact on what you do with that partnership.  It is after all, your business.  You can bring a horse to water, but you can't make him drink...
    3. Our meetings should be fun. 
      Our initial meeting will be in a coffee shop.  Bring your laptop, because we have work to do.  However, social media should be fun.  Lighthearted.  I like to laugh and drink coffee.  I work best when at ease...
       

    These are my rules of engagement.  If they work for you, I would love to help you get started building your business.  I am ready...

    Are you?

    Ken


    Check out my new page on Facebook: Tracy FB Business Solutions

  • The Power of the Exclamation Point!

    Posted Under: Using Trulia in Naperville, Tech Tips in Naperville, Agent2Agent in Naperville  |  November 16, 2012 12:37 PM  |  451 views  |  3 comments

    I post a lot of comments on various social media sites like Trulia, Facebook and Active Rain.  I try to keep my comments positive, supportive, and inspirational...

    While commenting last night, I chuckled when I realized how often I was using exclamation points.  I know I do it.  Sometimes I will catch myself throwing it out, once, twice, three times in a row!

                                                                                                   


    Overkill perhaps, but the way I live my life.  I am not the quietest of fellows, so the exclamation point is the perfect punctuation for me.  It is the cherry on a sundae...

    I love the exclamation point!  Exclamation points make a big difference, and I would rather use exclamation points freely than not at all...

    When I go out to dinner with my best friend, the waiter will come by the table and ask, "How is everything?"

    My answer?  Usually an "Awesome!" or an "Excellent!" or even a "Delicious!"

    I am not being phony.  Perhaps I am easy to please, but I like eating, so I let the waiter know I appreciate the food and the service...

    When the question gets to one of my buddies, he usually responds, "Good."

    The waiter pauses.  There is an awkward silence...

    I try and smooth things out with a joke, but the damage has been done...

    The waiter walks off wondering just what was wrong with my friend's food.

    So whether living life or dining out, don't hold anything back.

    Life is better when lived with an exclamation point!

    Ken

  • Tracy FB Business Solutions

    Posted Under: Tech Tips in Naperville, Agent2Agent in Naperville, How To... in Naperville  |  November 15, 2012 6:46 PM  |  383 views  |  2 comments

    My father owns a small business, a Sir Speedy Printing in Villa Park, Illinois...

    He tries to stay on the cutting edge of technology, but like many small business owners, can't keep up with everything.  Running a business can be difficult.  Sometimes you need help...

    About a year back, he created a business page on Facebook.  He believed in the power of social media, and it's uses for business development...

    Facebook

    However, like many business owners who have a page on FB, it sat idle, gathering virtual dust...

    This is where I came in.  I dusted off his page, spoke with him at length about FB's power, and got him excited about his page, his business, and his future opportunities...

    And I think I can do the same for you.

    Dad paid me $200.  I told him to not worry about it, but he insisted.  So I took the money, and that was my lightbulb moment.

    Here is my story:

    My introduction into social media was back in February 2008.  I was working as chauffer, supplementing my income as a real estate agent.  Times were tough then.  I was literally in the back of my limo, waiting for my clients to come out of a concert at the United Center in Chicago.  I had my laptop with me, and I wrote the post, "A New Commitment", a virtual oath I made to use Active Rain, and to be a consistent blogger...

    And I did.  I poured my heart out.  Open.  Raw.  Revealing.  It was my outlet...

    To my amazement, people started reading.  And then commenting, subscribing, and engaging.  It was awesome...

    About 7 months later, on the advice of a friend, I found my way to Facebook.

    Wow.  I was blown away.  Sharing pictures, thoughts, jokes and dreams with people I had long before lost contact with.  People from around the world.  Cousins in Scotland.  College friends in India.

    Facebook was what I needed to take my networking to the next level, and I ran with it...

    Within months, Facebook introduced their business pages, and I was floored yet again.  The business page is like a website, email, and broadcasting machine all rolled into one...

    On May 21, 2009, I created my first Facebook page, Ken Tracy Real Estate.  Since that time, I have added 10 pages for various subdivisions in and around Naperville, a 365 Things to Do in Naperville, Illinois page, and even Naperville Scooters, my most recent passion.
     Kymco Agility 125

    Every business should have a page on Facebook.  They are free, and potentially very powerful.  Just having one isn't enough, however.  The power of the page comes from consistent posting of content and the engagement with the audience.  When left alone, the page loses it's power as a marketing tool.  There is no engagement...

    With that in mind, here is what I can do for you:

    1. We will meet at a coffee shop of your choice.  You will buy the coffee.  We will talk business strategy, my thoughts on Facebook and social media, and any ideas I may have for you and your business.
    2. If you don't have a business page, we will create one.  Bring your laptop.  We will build your page at the coffee shop.
    3. After our meeting, we will leverage your existing "friends" from Facebook.  They will likely be your best source of fans for your page early on.
    4. We will engage both your current and past customers.
    5. We will build relationships with local businesses that can become future customers, referral sources, or even content sources.
    6. I will promote your new page on my various social media outlets.
    7. On a case by case basis, I will become an administrator for your page.  I will engage your audience, as well as provide pertinent content for your page.

    I can take your social media efforts to the next level. 

    I love doing it, am passionate about business developement, as well as social medias role in business.

    You can call or email anytime, but why don't you FB me instead?

    Find me on Facebook at Tracy FB Business Solutions.

    I can't wait to get started.

    Ken

     

    Read the following related posts:

    6 Easy Steps to Building a Facebook Business Presence Today

    4 Things You Should Do Every Day with your Facebook Business Page

     

    Like my Dad's page, Sir Speedy of Villa Park on Facebook.  He will get a kick out of it!

  • 6 Easy Steps to Building a Business Presence on Facebook Today

    Posted Under: Tech Tips in Naperville, Agent2Agent in Naperville, How To... in Naperville  |  November 13, 2012 2:57 PM  |  349 views  |  3 comments
    Facebook
     
     
    I wrote a post last week titled, "Four Things You Should Do Every Day with Your Facebook Business Page."  It was very well received, and many of my readers asked great questions.  As I responded to the questions, I realized I needed to write another post.   So here goes:
     
     
    6 Easy Steps to Building a Business Presence on Facebook Today
     
    1. Create a page
      If you don't yet have a page, steps 2 through 6 will have no value, so create a page.  It only takes a few minutes.  But before you go, just a few thoughts about creating the page:

      Choose the page's name wisely.  There is much in a name, and your marketing success may hinge on the choice of name.  After your Facebook Page reaches 100 fans, you will not be allowed to change the name, so pick a good one.

      Select a Username.  When you set up your page, you will be asked to choose a username.  This is cool.  You can use this username on your marketing material like business cards, fliers, and signs. 
      Your username will look something like Facebook.com/TracyRealEstate (my real estate page's username).  Again, once you choose a username, it can't be changed, so pick a good one. 


      Select a nice picture for your page
      .        Ken Tracy Real Estate - Naperville, IL
      Don't spend too much time choosing a picture, because you will be able to change it at any time.  However, the picture you choose will be on every comment and post you ever make, and FB is a visual medium, so choose a nice one.

      Now please, if you don't have one, go Create a business page on Facebook, before proceeding to steps 2-6.


    2. Invite all of your friends to follow your page
      All of them.  This is no time to be shy.  If you don't invite all of them, you will spend days deciding who you should ask and who you shouldn't.  Save yourself the time and mental agony.  Invite them all.  This will only take a few minutes, depending on the size of you friends list, so do it now.

    3. Post something on your page
      They say content is king.  Not so sure about that, but I do know the power of the page comes from posting regularly.  Every post you make is a commercial for you and your business.  If you are a realtor like me, use this for today's post:  Bouncing Back from Foreclosure

      I posted this yesterday on my Ken Tracy Real Estate page.  Taken from Sunday's Chicago Tribune, you can use it also.

    4. Thank those who commented or liked your post.  Engagement with your audience is key.  When you respond to their comments, you are inviting your audience to continue the conversation.  Be friendly and genuine.  Address them by name. Your readers will appreciate the acknowledgement.

    5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 every day


    6. Watch your page grow.


    It is that simple.  If you followed my process, it shouldn't have taken more than 30 minutes. 
     
    I love social media and business development, and love talking shop.  So whether you are a real estate agent or any other business, if you have any questions, feel free to call, email, for FB me at anytime.
     
    My phone number is 630-697-0536.  My email is Ken@KensFeaturedHomes.com
     
     
    Thanks for reading!
    Ken
     
     
     

    Check out my pages on Facebook:
    Ken Tracy Real Estate
  • A slippery slope: Accepting Paid Advertisers on your blog or website

    Posted Under: Using Trulia in Naperville, Tech Tips in Naperville, Agent2Agent in Naperville  |  November 11, 2012 1:58 PM  |  484 views  |  No comments

    Are you considering selling ad space on your blog or website?  If so, I understand...

    I have been writing a real estate blog for 5 years.  I also have several different Facebook business pages, and am active on several forums...

    For whatever reason, my posts are gaining momentum.  I have a rapidly growing and engaged audience.  I write about antyhing I have passion for.  Business developement, social media, exercise/yoga, scooters, and my soon to be scooter dealership.

    At one point, the thought crossed my mind to monetize this activity.  Selling ad space perhaps...
     
    Therefore, I understand the temptation a successful social media writer may have to make money out of their following.  We all look for business opportunities, and this may seem like a natural extension of your success.
     
    But I will caution you this.  Accepting paid advertisors to your website/blog is a slippery slope...

    Here is my related story:
     
    As you may know, I purchased a scooter a few months ago, and what started as cheap form of transportation, became a hobby, than an obsession, and now a dream.  I want to open my own dealership, Naperville Scooter.
     
    Before buying my bike, I came across various websites...
     
    One was a site based out of Minnesota named Just Gotta Scoot.  Run by David Harrington, a passionate scooter enthusiast,  the site offers reviews on scooters,  accessories and various other scooter related topics.  I have devoured his reviews, and they shaped my scooter purchase.  When it is time to add another bike to my stable, I will return and re-read his reviews.  They are great...
     
    Early on, I learned that David didn't accept money from advertisers.  He felt that, if he was taking on paid advertisers, how could he truly be an unbiased reviewer.  I respect his opinion.
     
    A few weeks after purchasing my bike, I found a forum that was dedicated to scooters.  I was excited, and wanted to absorb all the info I could.  So I joined.
     
    I noticed that they had various ads all over the site.  It didn't bother me.  The ads generally had pictures of scooters, and I could look at scooters all day...
     
    After checking out their site, I shared my experience with Dave up in Minnesota.  I explained how the ads didn't bother me, and thought he should perhaps reconsider his stance.  David stuck by his guns, and again I respected his decision, although I didn't fully grasp it... 
     
    6 weeks passed, and as mentioned above, my cheap transportation has developed into a passion and dream of mine.  I hope to open my dealership within 6 months.
     
    I have a business plan.  I have been looking at locations, inquiring about financing options, and am in talks with various scooter distributers about what brands to stock in my dealership...
     
    I am passionate about this, and again, I write about my passions.  My readers seem to enjoy this...
     
    My goal when writing is to inspire others to pursue their own dreams, as well as to share mine...
     
    I have posted my writings on various scooter forums, as well as two real estate sites, Active Rain and Trulia.  Real estate is my primary business.  I am a Realtor, was first exposed to social media on AR, and therefore, write most of my posts there.
     
    My posts have been extremely well received, and I have received invaluable input from literally around the world.
     
    The sharing of ideas and thoughts inspires me, feeding my passion.  Even Trulia and Active Rain have no complaints.  No one has even asked, "What does this have to do with real estate?"  Again, I write my posts hoping to inspire, and I hope it does.
     
    Unfortunately, one site has been the exception.  The moderators of the site (the site police) have set upon
    like a pack of harpies...
                  
     
    They say I am plugging my page, my business (which is at this time really more of a dream), have mocked me, and even made fun of my bike.
     
    They look at my posts as an effort for free advertising.  They suggest that when I get my business going, I  am welcome to pay for ad space.  Again, my contributions are met with disdain, and they make it clear my posts are not welcome or appreciated...
     
    I don't get it.  If I can't share my passion about scooters and my dream of a dealership on a scooter forum, where can I?
     
    Again, there hasn't been the slightest complaint on any other site.
     
    I believe this forum has lost it's way.  I am sure when it started, they had noble intentions.  They hoped to bring like minded individuals together to share thoughts, ideas, and dreams.  
     
    Now, due to their pursuit of the almighty dollar, they don't embrace me, my passion, or my contributions...
     
    They chased me away.  At worst, I was an active participant that could draw others to their site.  At best, I inspired.
     
    So again, my thoughts are this...
     
    If you have an active website or blog, I tell a cautionary tale.  Don't chase the dollar.  Accepting ad revenue is a slippery slope.
     
    Instead, I choose to follow the path of Dave Harrington or even Facebook's own Mark Zuckerberg.
     
    If you chase money, you may end up sacrificing your soul.
     
    Ken
     
     
     
    Read my related posts:
     
     
     
    And check out these links:
     
     
  • 4 Things You Should Do Every Day with Your Facebook Business Page

    Posted Under: Tech Tips in Naperville, Agent2Agent in Naperville, How To... in Naperville  |  November 4, 2012 6:57 AM  |  478 views  |  3 comments
    Facebook

    I love Facebook.  It is easy to use, fun and free.  I have been active on it since 2008, and have watched the site grow from less than 200 million users to over 1 billion during that time.

    I have my personal profile which allows me to stay in touch with friends and family literally from around the world...

    I also have several business pages.  I have my Ken Tracy Real Estate page, a 365 Things to Do in Naperville page, several neighborhood pages, as well as a page for Naperville Scooter, my most recent passion (obsession?).

    I enjoy developing these pages and watching them grow.  They have tremendous business potential.  

    If you don't already have a business page, you should. Create a business page on Facebook.  It takes about 10 minutes, and your business will be available to over 1 billions potential customers.  

    Once you have it set up, there are several things you can do to maximize your results:


    4 Things You Should Do Every Day with Your Facebook Business Page

    1. Post
      Every day we have the opportunity to use Facebook to market ourselves, our business, and our pages. Take advantage of this.  Every post is a little commercial for your business, so post regularly.  If you don't, your page will be "Out of sight, out of mind"...
      Facebook posts are best when short and powerful.  Post pictures, links, articles relating to your business, or any interesting events or activity your business is involved in...
       
    2. Engage
      When people comment on my pages, I respond.  How?  I answer any question they ask, thank them for stopping in, or at a minimum, click like on their comment.  I want them to engage in further conversation.  None of us likes to be ignored, so respond to those that took the time, and keep the conversation going...
       
    3. Analyze
      One of Facebook's neat features is Facebook Insights.  This feature allows you to track the results of your page, as well as the results of every post you make.  Use Insights to learn what type of posts your fans enjoy, comment on, and engage in...
       
    4. Advertise
      Use Facebook Ads.  You can budget as little as $1 per day, and you can bid on the amount of money you spend on each ad. 
      I run ads for several of my pages, and Facebook allows me to track the results of each ad.  Tracking the results allows me to improve on my ads.  The better the content of the ad, the more exposure they bring my page.

    Thanks for reading, and please check out my pages on Facebook:

    Ken Tracy Real Estate

    365 Things to Do in Naperville, Illinois

    Naperville Scooter

    Naperville Neighborhoods on Facebook


    Thanks again!

    Ken

  • What is the value of a Facebook fan?

    Posted Under: Entertainment & Nightlife in Naperville, Tech Tips in Naperville, Agent2Agent in Naperville  |  February 2, 2012 6:55 PM  |  792 views  |  3 comments

    What is the value of a Facebook fan?

    Facebook

    Wall Street has been a buzz this week with Facebook's announcement of it's pending IPO (initial public offering).

    As a former stockbroker who worked for both Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, I am fascinated to see Wall Street debate the merits of Facebook as a business, as well as putting a dollar value on what the company may be worth...

    Some estimates put Facebook's value as much as $100 billion.  $100,000,000,000.  That is a whole lot of zeros...

    Facebook has over 800 million users today.  That is a value of $125 per user...

    KW

    What is the value of a Facebook fan?

    Last September, I created a Facebook page titled, 365 Things to Do in Naperville, Illinois. 
     

     -Naperville's Moser Tower on a fall day...

    The page has been lots of fun (and work too!), and has grown rather quickly.  It recently passed 350 users, and adds another 20 or so every week.

    While I enjoy staying up to date on events in Naperville, taking cool pictures, and promoting the city...

    I do find myself wondering "What is the value?" of the page and it's fans for my real estate business.

    How to monetize?  And when?  With a fan pool totalling 350, there probably isn't a whole lot to monetize...

    But what if I get the page to 5000 fans?  10,000 fans?  That would be worth something...

    Using the value Wall Street is giving Facebook of $125 per user, 350 fans would be worth $43,750.  10,000 fans of the page could be worth up to $1,250,000.

    Wouldn't that be nice!

    For the time being, I will continue to focus on growing the audience. 

    But what will be ultimate value to my real estate business?

    What is the value of a Facebook fan?

    Ken


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