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Cross-Marketing

Flip Kenyon
When you want to reach worldwide prospects, you need a variety of marketing tools, each of which burns a path to another.

Sales associate F. J. “Flip” Kenyon found that was the case when he decided to broadcast his real estate expertise using a book that’s in both paperback and digital format, a Web site and an online video promoting a multimillion-dollar property.

Kenyon markets the same way he runs his real estate business: by cross-building on his strengths. His approach seems to have paid off. Customers have found him from far-flung places like Denmark, Germany, Ireland and throughout the United States. These aren’t your average buyers, either; they’re interested in high-priced Florida investment properties. On average, Kenyon, president of Kenyon Real Estate Appraisal & Investment in Odessa, makes just two sales per year. But given their six-figure price tag, his over arching marketing efforts are worth it.

Here’s his approach:

Showcase Your Expertise
“With cross-marketing, you have to ask yourself, ‘How can this one product help another product?’ A book leads to a Web site, which leads to book sales, for example,” says Kenyon. His book,  “A Sunvestor’s Guide to Owning a Great Home and a Great Investment,” started out as a question-and-answer document for his customers. His wife, who had studied journalism, suggested that he expand it into a book. It took him about 18 months to write the book, which he self-published in 1999. By advertising it online, he sold out 5,000 copies that were taking up space in his garage. The book includes his contact information and his Web site address, www.sunvestor.com.

Kenyon expanded the book availability by using www.Lulu.com, a print-on-demand company that prints books as the author receives orders. He paid a flat $100 fee for the book distribution, and then Lulu takes $9.03 of the $14.95 sales price per book. The book is also available through Amazon, www.amazon.com. To get the word out, Kenyon sent the book to reviewers nationwide.

“One investor from Germany who didn’t know anything about America wouldn’t have found me if it wasn’t for my online presence,” Kenyon says. “He bought a multimillion-dollar property in Bradenton.”

If you don’t have time to write a book, Kenyon suggests posting a small document on www.amazonshorts.com (a site where people post written pieces). You can also write newspaper or magazine articles, create a newsletter—anything to get the word out that you are an “expert.”

Make Use of Web Trends
Kenyon visited “YouTube”, www.youtube.com, the Web site where viewers can share original videos, and he discovered that another sales associate had a video there. “I didn’t see a lot of Florida [sales associates] doing it, but large developers [were],” he says.

He put together his own video for a $1.745 million property,using Windows Movie Maker software, and posted it on YouTube (it’s free to post a video on the site). In one month, calls about the property tripled, and Kenyon has already received four offers. “There was a good amount of interest before, but once the video hit, it was amazing,” he says, adding that the video currently online is one of a string that he produced.