By Melissa Dittmann Tracey
Being a celebrity — if even in your local market — gives you a major edge over your competitors, says PR guru Steven Van Yoder in his new edition of Get Slightly Famous (Bay Tree Publishing, 2007). Be that one person that prospects think of when they hear the word “real estate.” But you’ll need a special marketing plan aimed at generating fame. In Van Yoder’s 304-page book, he shares strategies for boosting star power, from becoming the media’s go-to person to creating buzz from speaking engagements. Along the way you’ll also read informative mini-profiles on how small businesses found fame.
FROM THE BOOK: 5 WAYS TO GET SLIGHTLY FAMOUS
Your top objectives in becoming a local celebrity: boost your visibility and establish credibility. Here are ways to accomplish those goals, according to Van Yoder’s book:
1. Be a media favorite. Local news coverage offers instant credibility, enhanced status, and expanded consumer reach. But getting reporters to listen to you is a different story. When introducing yourself, let reports know your expertise and tell them you’ll be reachable on tight deadlines. During interviews, focus on being quotable: speak succinctly and conversationally, avoid professional jargon, keep your message simple, and be enthusiastic. Keep in mind that reporters are turned off by sources who merely promote their company and make statements with no inherent news value. Instead, view your business from the media’s perspective and provide reader-centered, timely information.
The Staircase Principle Applied to the Salesperson
By Terri Dunevant
—Kim LaMantia, GRI, Windermere Professional Partners, Spanaway,
Success is a Choice: Ten Steps to Overachieving in Business and Life (Broadway Books, 1998)
By Rick Pitino
— Bill Fields, president of Bill Fields and Associates in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Four-Hour Work Week (Crown, 2007)
By Timothy Ferriss
Your Successful Real Estate Career (AMACOM, 2006)
By Kenneth W. Edwards
— Jennifer Allan, GRI, author of Sell with Soul: The New Agent’s   Guide to an Extraordinary Career in Real Estate (AuthorHouse, 2007)
Half of a Yellow Sun (Anchor, 2007)
By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
—Kathy Miller, Prudential Preferred Properties, Winnetka, Ill.
Tell us what you’re reading. Send an e-mail to email@example.com that includes the title of the book you’re reading and the author, along with your name, contact information, and your photo.
Here are today’s top sellers on real estate, according to Amazon.com:
1. The Pre-Foreclosure Property Investor’s Kit: How to Make Money Buying Distressed Real Estate — Before the Public Auction, By Thomas Lucier
2. Rich Dad’s Advisors: The ABC’s of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss, By Ken McElroy
3. Saving the Family Cottage: A Guide to Succession Planning for Your Cottage, Cabin, Camp, or Vacation Home, By Stuart J. Hollander
4. FLIP: How to Find, Fix, and Sell Houses for Profit, By Rick Villani and Clay Davis
5. Real Estate Investing for Dummies, By Eric Tyson and Robert S. Griswold
6. Home Buying for Dummies, 3rd Edition, By Eric Tyson and Ray Brown
7. Flipping Confidential: The Secrets of Renovating Property for Profit in Any Market, By Kirsten Kemp
8. Rich Dad’s Real Estate Advantages: Tax and Legal Secrets of Successful Real Estate Investors, By Sharon L. Lechter and Garrett Sutton
9. Flipping Houses for Dummies, By Ralph R. Roberts and Joe Kraynak
10. What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow … And 36 Other Key Financial Measures, By Frank Gallinelli
Real Estate Investments and How to Make Them (Fourth Edition) (Prentice Hall Press, 2007)
By Milt Tanzer
— Walid Muhammad II, Exit First Choice Realty, Indian Trail, N.C.
The Real Estate Professional’s Handbook for Starting and Running a Successful Business (Kaplan, 2007)
By Tim Baker
The Secret (Atria Books/Beyond Words, 2006), By Rhonda Byrne
Dress Your House for Success (Three Rivers Press, 1997)
By Martha Webb and Sarah Parson Zackheim
— Terri Camp, DFW Texas Homes, Southlake, Texas
Billion Dollar Agent – Lessons Learned: Success Secrets of Top Real Estate Agents (Best Agent Business, 2007)
By Steve Kantor
— Paul Pastore, ABR, GRI, RE/MAX Achievers, Chandler, Ariz.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007)
By J.K. Rowling
— Phyllis Beedle, Carlson GMAC Real Estate, Winchester, Mass.
Tell us what you’re reading. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the title of the book you’re reading and the author, along with your name, contact information, and your photo.
Real estate legal expert Barbara Nichols, author of The No-Lawsuit Guide to Real Estate Transactions (McGraw-Hill, 2007), responds to your questions.
What’s the most common reason agents get sued?
NICHOLS: The most common reason agents get sued is failure to disclose material facts related to the transaction. These usually relate to physical defects. Buyers do not like surprises. They want to know what they are buying before the deal closes.
Is there a statute of limitations after completing a transaction where a buyer or seller can no longer bring a lawsuit against you?
NICHOLS: In most states buyers or sellers have two years after the deal closes to sue for misrepresentation. If the accusation is fraud, they have three years after the fraud is discovered. I recommend holding all transaction files at least five years.
Can you really get sued if you don’t tell a buyer the house is rumored to be haunted? Would that really stand up in court?
NICHOLS: When I ask agents attending my risk management course if they have haunted houses in their area, they almost always say yes. However, I have never consulted on a lawsuit which involved non-disclosure of a haunted house. I don’t think most courts would consider that claim reasonable or provable. Continue reading »