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“Ahem, I Don’t Need A Door”

No DoorSo, if you have visited this website you know that I often talk about “stories”. How they are a great way to convey information in a way that most people prefer. Done effectively, stories are engaging and interesting and certainly entertaining. I love stories. I love stories so much that I either begin or end each blog post I write with one. Today I would like to tell you a story about “why I don’t need a door”.

Lets Back Up

Ok, so let’s back up about a year ago. I was working for “a national title insurance company in Phoenix Arizona”. Sound familiar? It does if you have seen any of my real estate marketing videos from early 2011. I had to say “I am a title rep for a national title insurance company in Phoenix Arizona” because the title company I was working for did not want their brand mentioned on the internet. I find it interesting that they called it a “brand” because in my opinion title insurance is as far from a brand as I can imagine, in fact ‘commodity’ comes more to mind than a definable brand does when I think of it. Nothing tangible, regulated rates – most consumers have no clue who they closed with.

So, like I was saying. . .

It was in March 2011 that I decided to leave title for awhile. I left because I co founded an inbound marketing company called PRO-Found Marketing. They say necessity is the mother of all invention and I can tell you this is absolutely true in PRO-Found’s case. After 10 years in title watching horrible real estate marketing idea after horrible real estate marketing idea present itself I decided there had to be a better way than the traditional real estate marketing products:  postcards, fliers, magnets, fly swatters, print and email newsletters, print real estate books, bus stop ads, billboards, wrapped hummers, pumpkins with business cards attached and all the “cute” tag lines like “Everything I Touch Turns To SOLD” and “Don’t Make A Move With Out Me”.


So I and a few SEO NINJA’s spent the last year planning and developing an Indexable IDX [internet data eXchange] built specifically for WordPress real estate websites. In fact, it’s the 1st IDX that supports video. An IDX allows consumers to search for homes for sale on your real estate website. WordPress is fast becoming the real estate industry standard, but this is another story altogether. The IDX created thousands of indexable pages on a real estate agents website, pages that unlike the traditional IDX products on the market; the search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing could see. It became obvious that I could not stay in title and focus on building PRO-found and our GETFOUNDIDX at the same time so I took a leave of absence [if you want to call it that]. I can’t really say I missed the title business back then, 80% of the sales here in Phoenix were distressed sales, either REO or short sale and the “national title insurance company” I worked for didn’t really have a short sale division and I didn’t have an REO account. Frustrating was an understatement. Starting to see the BIG picture here yet?


So, in December of 2011 the GetFoundIDX was done  [in reality, you are never really done with software]. Let me tell you that starting a company is like having a baby. There is the excitement and joy that soon gives way to the fear, uncertainty, anxiety and doubt. It is not for the faint of heart. When the IDX was done I was offered a job as the Director Of Sales Technology for Lawyers Title here in Phoenix. My job? To teach and train real estate agents about the Internet and HOW to get “Found” on the internet by your ideal client. I taught 16 real estate marketing classes that by all accounts were STOOPID, [where I come from, Upstate New York,  STOOPID is good by the way]. Check out the class testimonials.  STOOPID is Sick and Sick is Good. Following me? So where am I going with this?

Tough Love

Well, real estate marketing has changed. I believe in tough love. Why beat around the bush when I can just say what I need to and be done with it? It is with the love in my heart and the twinkle in my eye that I tell you [the real estate agent] that consumers do not want to be SOLD or MARKETED to. In fact, they hate it. Over 80% of consumers NO LONGER trust conventional advertising. Conventional advertising is that In YOUR FACE, Outbound Marketing that real estate agents LOVE.  Postcards, Fliers, Fly Swatters, Coffee Mugs, Sports Schedules, Cold Calls, Email Blasts, Newsletters, Photoshopped Images on Business Cards [COME ON NOW, YOU KNOW YOU DON’T LOOK LIKE THAT!!!} and all the other stuff that fills my poor mailbox every week.

They Don’t Care

My message in my real estate marketing classes was simple:

“Consumers DO NOT CARE about you and your experience and your knowledge and your designations and how EPICALLY AWESOME you think you are. They don’t. How could they, they don’t even know you exist? They do not want to be SOLD To by a SALESPERSON. Do You?  They want to find you when they need you not when YOU NEED THEM. And that means the Internet. The Internet is where over 94% of consumers start their home search, the Internet is where 80% of consumers will choose the 1st real estate agent they come across WHEN THEY FINALLY HAVE A NEED. Don’t believe me? How many times has a buyer told you that they were going to buy through you [THEY PROMISED!] only to find out they bought an open house on their way to or from the grocery store /church/PTA/Soccer game from a new real estate agent?  The likely truth is, they did not buy from you because YOU were not there when they needed you and that my friends is a lot of the value that consumers see in you. Being there!”

I Don’t Need A Door

So why am I telling you this and what in the world does any of this have to do with the title of this post “Ahem, I Don’t Need A Door”? Great question. You are not the only peeps that are struggling to understand this new paradigm shift in marketing.

The other day I was talking to a title rep at another [competing] title company. As we made “small talk” he asked me what I was up to now. When he found out I was back in title he said something I won’t forget for a long time, something that makes me smile from ear to ear as I write this post. Are you ready for it? He said “well since you are back in title, competing, I am not going to let you in the door of XYZ real estate company” [where he is the preferred title company]. As he smiled at me with a sense of satisfaction like he had just shown me, I looked at him and said “Ahem, I don’t need a door:” 


Get Found Online

Help Your Ideal Client Find YOU Online


I broke out my iphone and showed him the leads my website [this website] gets from not just real estate agents here in Phoenix, but around the country. As he looked at me with skepticism I explained rather confidently

“I don’t go into real estate offices to solicit agents anymore”, “I don’t pay to be the preferred vendor and I don’t chase real estate agents around because I know they [like most consumers] do not appreciate being cold called and emailed and SOLD TO,  They find me online when they have a need for information about real estate marketing or video marketing or HUB Marketing. They find me online when there is pain in their business, when the pain of doing nothing is greater than making a change, when they are actively looking for what I do and how I can help.” 

So to the real estate agents out there that are still throwing something at the wall and hoping it sticks and to the title reps that believe chasing real estate agents around and annoying them or reminding them that you deserve an escrow because you [or your company] paid for lunch or are the preferred title vendor I tell you this: “Ahem, I Don’t Need A Door“. 

Are you a Phoenix real estate professional what wants to learn HOW to get found online? How consumers can find you instead of you having to annoy them? From WordPress to Screen Capture, IDX Solutions to HD Video, I help real estate professionals get found online. You don’t need a door either. Please fill out the form below. A cup of coffee and 20 minutes could change the direction of your real estate business.

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Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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