Author Archives: JHawker

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going it Alone in the FSBO Business

Have you ever built a business before?

  • It takes a lot of time and is especially hard to do alone.  Tony and Justin (FSBOFox owners) spent thousands of hours building FSBOFox to the point where it can be run in any market by an individual working part time.  Let FSBOFox focus on new site features and developing marketing strategies while you concentrate on your customers.  An internet business is not as simple as tossing a site online and photographing houses when people call.  Tony and Justin meet every week, talk marketing strategy and ideas for the site and with each meeting come away with a list of items to work on.
  • As a FSBOFox franchisee, you will be part of a team.  Our goal is to speak regularly with each franchisee and find ways to improve the overall company as well as your market.

How much time and money is it going to take to establish a brand?

  • Have you looked into domain names and what is available?  Most anything with the word FSBO in the title is taken and you may have to pay a premium to someone that already owns the domain name to get a good domain name.  That is what we had to do with FSBOFox.com.
  • What about a logo, color scheme and feel of the company?  How long is it going to take to develop that and what are you going to have to pay for it?
  • Once the branding is complete, what if it isn’t effective?  Are you going to spend thousands more to rebrand yourself?

What’s it going to cost to setup a website and will it have all of the below features that FSBOFox has spent thousands of hours developing?

  • Self Service: ability for customer to create own listing themselves
  • Printable Flyers
  • Built in maps and mortgage calculators
  • Integration with Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter and over 20 other sites
  • Open House Calendar
  • Shopping Cart Checkout
  • Email Notifications for buyers on new properties
  • Favorites: ability for buyers to save properties to a favorites list.
  • Page View Counts: so sellers can see how many views their property has had
  • Photo Slideshows
  • Sharing Tools
  • School and Neighborhood Profiles

Who is going to maintain your site and ensure that it keeps up with technology?

  • Technology and features change.  If we do nothing to the FSBOFox website, it will be completely out of date within 3 years.  We are constantly adding new features to the site that you will get for your site for free.  Going it alone, you would have a hard time keeping up with technology.  You have to first know what the latest and greatest is in order to add it to your site, and then pay someone to add those features which will cost thousands of dollars.

What marketing strategies are you going to use and how much are they going to cost?  How do you know what is and isn’t effective?

  • We’ve spent a lot of time and money figuring out what does and doesn’t work.  There are cost effective strategies we have developed with proven results.
  • We have developed letterhead, business cards, radio jingles, email marketing programs, flyers, postcards, yard signs and much more.  All of which you would have to pay someone to design going on your own, but you will have at your fingertips for free using FSBOFox.
  • Once these items are designed, who is going to print them?  How much time are you going to spend pricing out the cheapest option?  We’ve already done this work and continue to come up with new marketing ideas.

How much is it going to cost to form a company legally and put together the necessary documents (terms of service, privacy policy etc)?

  • Lawyers aren’t cheap.  FSBOFox has taken care of this all already.

What questions are customers going to ask and how do I answer them?

  • We have been asked them all and can coach you on the answers as well as how to approach different circumstances you will find yourself in.

How are customers going to find your site?

  • Do you understand search engine optimization and pay per click advertising?  Are you going to have the time to put into this?  FSBOFox can take care of a lot of this work for you and coach you how to do the rest.

Will you have time to write Buying and Selling articles for your customers?

  • Your customers are going to crave this information.  Legally you can’t copy and paste from other sources.  Writing and posting this information takes not just time but expertise.  With FSBOFox, you’ll automatically have this information on your site as we add it.

If a Subway and Joe’s Sub Shop open right next to each who’s most likely going to do better?

  • The Subway owner has a national company behind it.  He’s not learning on his own and is not going to make the mistakes that the owner of Joe’s Sub Shop does.
  • Customers know and trust the name Subway.  They will have to learn to trust Joe.  This is amplified 10x in an online business.  People are especially skeptical of online businesses.  With FSBOFox, you will be able to show your customers from day one that you are a company with proven results.  Our testimonials are your testimonials.

Are you going to be able to compete when someone else opens a FSBOFox franchise in your area?

  • Our goal is to build a national brand.  We believe if we build the brand, our profits will come later.  We believe strongly that it is not a matter of if, but when, we go into each market we target.
  • In the initial market FSBOFox launched in, we launched on March 1st 2011.  Come November 1st 2011 we’ve had over 150 listings.  That’s right, in just 6 months we built it from a non-existent business to one with 150 active property listings.  Also consider the fact that the market we launched in had 4 other competing FSBO websites, three of which had been in business more than 10 years.  To get to 150 listings, we had to steal a lot of market share in a short time.  We project even higher listings totals in year two as our brand becomes more established in the area.

FSBOFox License

A FSBOFox license provides you…

Exclusivity to Your Market

  • You own your market and we won’t open another FSBOFox in your area

Full access to the FSBOFox website and its constantly growing list of features

  • Our website software makes it easy to post and edit listings. We are constantly adding features that make managing your listings and customers easy

Email

  • You will be provided a @fsbofox email address. We’ll show you how to set it up on your phone, via Microsoft Outlook or access via webmail. We’ll provide you standard signatures and templates to use when emailing customers.

Knowledge Base Software

  • Our FSBOFox Knowledgebase provides customers “how to” articles on selling FSBO. As a FSBOFox partner, you’ll have a special login account that provides you a ton of articles on how to manage your FSBOFox business. All of our marketing materials are also available at the click of a mouse.

Mapping Software

  • We’ve integrated our site with Google Maps to provide map based search results for your customers as well as any easily accessible map and directions to each property.

CRM (Customer Relationship Manager)

  • Our CRM system that we developed makes it easy for you to identify potential new customers. We’ll teach you the strategies behind populating it and using it to target new customers.

Marketing Solutions

  • We have developed email marketing programs, mail marketing programs, web advertising, TV campaigns, a radio jingle, and a ton of different print materials such as business cards, post cards, flyers, apparel, magnets and more. You’ll have access to all of this information to use in your market.

Reporting Software

  • Need a report of how many listings are about to expire? Or maybe you want to know which customers have not returned their For Sale signs back to you? How many listings did you get in March 2012? We’ve made this type of information as well as more available at the click of a mouse through our reporting engine.

Analytics Tracking

  • Want to know how many people visited your site on a particular day or over the course of a week or month? How about where those customers are coming from and how they found you? How long are they staying on the site and what pages are they visiting? We provide this information to you and teach you how to leverage it to make better business decisions.

Search Engine Optimization Tools

  • Be at the top of the search engines is important for any market. We provide an interface to help you track where you are at as well as strategies to help you move up in the search engine rankings.

Decades of Real Estate and Web Design Experience

  • Whatever it is, we’ve been there and done that and are here to help when you have questions or ideas for new site features. Our goal is to continue to innovate, add new features and be on the cutting edge of technology.