I don’t want to be a Secret Agent

A little over a year ago, in June of 2015, my wife and I moved from our small town home in the mountains of Idaho, to the Las Vegas area.

We knew it would be a big adjustment – moving to a big city, desert climate, and away from our friends and family, however, I didn’t realize the impact it would have on my business.

Secret Agents

Our move to Las Vegas was percipitated by an offer to join a Property Management/Real Estate team here – my wife would become a full-time member of the team (she had always been interested in Real Estate), while I continued my business part-time, and provided marketing services for the team. In time, we would take over ownership of the business and pay the current owner a “retirement annuity” – seemed like a win-win situation.

My Business

Until moving to Las Vegas, my full-time job was online marketing through Advisor Web Marketing – I worked with financial advisors, and specialized in Search Engine Optimization. To help with “Brand Awareness” and to provide an outlet for my SEO interests,  I created this blog.

While on the surface things seemed to be going well with business this past year – new AWM clients, hired as a writer by Search Engine Journal, invited to speak at NAPFA, then FinCon, and XY Planning Network (all long-time goals of mine), it was a very challenging year.

I found it very difficult to manage a business “part-time”, while trying to learn and grow another business. I like to be very focused and engaged in my work, but found I was being stretched between them, not giving either the attention I wanted, or that was required. I was blogging far less frequently than either deserved or needed, and was generally not feeling good about either business.

and then . . .

Have you heard the two cliched warnings: “Don’t go into business with family”, and “Get it in writing”? Yeah – so had we, yet we foolishly (and regretfully) ignored both.

We quickly realized that things here were not as we expected they would be in Las Vegas, and were miserable. We tried to continue to negotiate changes, and to get them in writing, but by that time, had lost all leverage – we were already moved, and now were dependent on the owner for our livleyhood. Finally, in May of 2016, less than a year after our move, we quit.

Now What?

Although we didn’t know how all of the peices would fit together, Katie and I quickly moved our real estate licenses over to Keller Williams and dived into trying to make real estate work.

At a minimum, I would market for her as she worked to build up a real estate business, while I continued to work with Advisors. Another option would be for us to both jump into real estate full-time. There were pros and cons with each choice and I agonized (dramatic but true : ) over them – changing my mind and direction almost dailey. What would be best for me, my wife, our future life vs getting through now? If I went into real estate, what about all of the time I’ve spent creating a business, and my goals to continue speaking and writing about marketing?

The Decision

Finally, after 3 months of indecision, I/we have a plan. : )

I am a REALTOR® with Keller Williams of Southern Nevada.

Advisor Web Marketing: I will continue to work with a small number of advisors, but the big news at AWM is that I’m going to be creating an DIY SEO course for advisors. I’m hoping to have it ready by the time I go to FinCon in Septemeber, and will use that site as a platform for continued education and to sell the courses.

Brent Carnduff Blog: For most of the decision making process, I assumed that this blog would be shut down (as you may have noticed, I have not been writing/publishing here as of late). However, finally, with the help of some friends, decided how I could continue to use this blog. My plan is to continue to write about SEO and digital marketing, but from the real estate perspective.

While there are numerous 3rd party marketing support platforms in real estate, and most agents have a website and Facebook page, very few are effective at online marketing – most do not even try. The industry is still strongly based in traditional prospecting – cold calling and door knocking – as the best way to build a business. My hope is to change that, or at least offer a viable alternative to those that are not comfortable with traditional prospecting.

There . . . I’ve done it! I’m no longer a secret agent (worst thing for a real estate agent). Hope you’ll join me on my adventures in marketing and building a real estate team.

Thanks for reading.

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Brent is a REALTOR with Keller Williams in Henderson (Las Vegas valley) NV. He has a background in digital marketing and is a nationally recognized SEO expert. In addition to this blog, he is a VIP contributor to Search Engine Journal and has been syndicated through SteamFeed, Social Media Today and B2C.
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