Larry BraunerReal estate brokers are facing very stiff competition, in part as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis and in part as a result of commoditization.

Real estate itself isn’t a commodity, but many of the brokers who sell real estate, especially residential real estate, have been losing their competitive differentiation in the market, as they are no longer the principal sources of listings and property information. Buyers can more easily obtain listings and detailed property information from online services.

What is Hyper Local Real Estate Marketing?

Real Estate MarketingReal estate brokers have long recognized the importance of keeping a high profile in the neighborhoods they serve and of conveying their neighborhood expertise to prospective buyers.

This approach to real estate marketing, with its neighborhood hyper focus, is frequently referred to as hyper local real estate marketing.

Orchestrating a hyper-local marketing campaign is extremely challenging. However, social media, such as social networking sites, blogs and mobile are making hyper local marketing more feasible and more effective, as well.

I’ve given a lot of thought to the hyper-local real estate marketing concept and have sought ways to help brokers streamline their marketing, overcome technical obstacles and create value for both hyper-local businesses and their customers.

Real Estate and Small Business Marketing Program

I’ve developed an affordable hyper-local real estate and small business marketing program that satisfies all three objectives and creates a win for brokers, hyper local businesses and consumers. The program uses search and social marketing within a supervised online environment and includes marketing and technical support.

Real estate brokers can “own” their neighborhoods in that I will only license the program to one broker or salesperson per hyper local area.

If you’re a forward-thinking real estate broker or salesperson, you can benefit by participating in this real estate marketing program and increasing your influence online and offline.

Contact me to learn more about my new hyper-local real estate and small business marketing program or pose your questions in the comments. :-)

Larry BraunerI launched my two new business networking sites with several objectives in mind. One key objective was to make available free social media marketing training, as well as other free and low-cost training to a wide small business and entrepreneurial audience.

Register now for free social media marketing training on the Small Business Networking site.

Subjects will include social media marketing, social networking sites, small business websites, blogging, SEO and web analytics.

There will be strong branding opportunities for expert instructors who wish to participate in this free social media marketing training initiative or others on the way. For free social media training, make Small Business Networking your training resource on the web. :)

Larry BraunerI started this blog, because I wanted to refocus the content of Online Social Networking on social and business networking, yet I still wanted to discuss other topics, such as New York business events, small businesssearch and social media.

Now that I’ve launched two new business networking sites, and both have blogging capabilities, I’m setting up a New York business blog on one site and a small business blog on the other.

In case this post has sounded so far like an Abbot and Costello routine, here’s a simpler breakdown:

You might be wondering whether this article is merely a shameless plug for my new sites. Fortunately for me, there is a takeaway. ;-)

Although we might hope to build a web presence one time and then coast along, adding a blog post here and a social bookmark there, this online strategy isn’t at all feasible. Over time the world, technology and we too change substantially. These changes need to find expression in our web initiatives.

Therefore, since real world and corresponding social media changes are inevitable, we must expect them, accommodate them.. and grow with them.

We must grow with the flow. :-P

Larry BraunerI’ve been working very hard the past couple of weeks and finally launched my two new business networking sites.

A unique aspect of these sites is that they’ll serve to connect offline networking groups, facilitating communication among their group members and attracting new group members online.

These are my new business networking sites:

You don’t need to have a business to join either site. You can join for getting business ideas, searching for a new job or whatever else might make sense.

If you’re interested in business social networking, I recommend that you subscribe to my other blog, Online Social Networking.

Larry BraunerI asked on Facebook earlier today whether every small business should have a blog. My Facebook focus group provided eight responses of which six were affirmative.

Fortunately, I’m not obliged to side with the majority on such matters, and although I praise blogs in 6 Easy Ways to Integrate Search and Social on Your Blogs and elsewhere, I see a blog as one of a variety of marketing tools at our disposal.

Starting a blog requires a commitment that is inappropriate for many small businesses.

You and I can talk about thought leadership, but when an entrepreneur is already wearing five hats in his or her small business, and there’s a family at home requiring attention, starting a blog could be the very straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Outsource it? That could be pricey and, in any case, I don’t know if that is thought leadership.

Back in April, I asked: Is Going Blogless Really An Option?

My answer: “Going blogless is an option. [With some creativity] you can accomplish with a standard website most of what you’d hope to accomplish with a blog.”

If anybody says your small business must have a blog, send them to me with boxing gloves on, and the two of us will duke it out. :-P

Larry BraunerI learned of a technique called hyper local marketing at the REMarTech real estate marketing symposium back in April.

Savvy real estate agents exhibit their expertise in particular neighborhoods by showcasing their knowledge and influence using blogs, video, Foursquare, Twitter and other social media.

Why Hyper Local Marketing?

Hyper Local Real Estate MarketingResidential real estate buyers are buying the neighborhood as much as they’re buying the property.

There are many real estate agents competing and selling the same properties, but don’t you think, all other things being equal, that buyers will prefer to purchase their homes through top neighborhood experts who are capable of answering their questions and addressing their concerns?

Hyper local marketing has gained enough traction with real estate agents that solutions providers like Pegshot have started selling agents services tailored to real estate hyper local marketing.

Other Small Businesses Can Benefit from Hyper Local Too

I see an opportunity for small businesses, especially retail or restaurants, to team up with an influential neighborhood real estate agent to create a hyper local marketing sensation.

Small local businesses could pursue a hyper local marketing strategy on their own, but working together as a group with the right real estate agent seems like a powerful idea.

Larry BraunerA blog site is any website, which has been created and is managed with a blog tool like WordPress — even if that website has no blog at all.

WordPress is called a content management system or a CMS. WordPress was originally developed for the blogging community to make it easy to set up blogs and update blog content. This blog and my other one, Online Social Networking, are both WordPress blog sites.

Over time, WordPress has evolved into a general purpose web development platform. WordPress enables you to create a blog, a conventional web site or a combination of both.

Joomla is another such content management system, but it’s less popular than WordPress and more difficult to use, according to many people.

WordPress Blog Sites for Small Business

WordPress Blog SitesEase of use and flexibility make WordPress an excellent selection for your next blog site, either for your small business or for personal use.

WordPress is so ideal for small businesses that a great number of web developers have started using it to power their clients’ websites.

There’s no cost for using the WordPress content management system, but you’ll have to host your blog site yourself, or as I do, pay a web hosting service $5 to $10 per month to host it for you.

Although WordPress is easy to use, setting it up can be complex, especially if customization is desired. I recommend that a social media consultant, myself or another, set your blog site up for you and show you how to add content and maintain the site.

You’ll be able to manage your blog site by yourself without enormous effort and won’t require a webmaster — unless, of course, you prefer a hands-off approach.

Say good-bye to expensive web developers and big-ticket websites. Say hello to WordPress blog sites, affordable online homes for small businesses.

Larry BraunerThe Internet and social media marketing are helping small business owners to level the playing field and compete more favorably with their larger counterparts.

To compete online, a business needs to invest in developing, optimizing and promoting websites. Online advertising costs money and, as I wrote earlier this week, Social Media Marketing is NOT Free either.

However, the cost and risk associated with doing business online are tiny compared with those of running a brick and mortar business, such as a Macy’s or an H&R Block.

Building an offline presence like that of Macy’s or H&R Block could stretch the resources of many large businesses. On the other hand, building a powerful online presence using social media marketing and search should be affordable, even for small businesses.

Offline, less is more, but online, bigger is er — bigger. There’s no limit to how large you can build your web presence.

Now, one little favor — forget the Super Bowl ad you were intending to place for your small business and make the check payable to yours truly. You can expect a stronger return on your investment. ;-)