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The Best Of Investing Radio Show From January 11th CEO of Stephan Piscano

Best of Investing Radio Show January 11, 2014 guest Stephan Piscano

Stephan Piscano reviews the benefits of the site and a lot of exciting updates on the real estate industry



Furman Investments To Sell Domain Name on ListedBy Gets Auctioned On

It’s certainly a milestone to see high value intellectual property assets related to real estate, but not exactly property, notes or timeshares, get auctioned on ListedBy. Here is the full announcement.

“NAPA, Calif. – Oct. 09, 2013 – ListedBy (, the first free online real estate marketplace and social network with live bidding residential and commercial public real estate auctions and ‘Best Offer’ functionality today announced that Furman Investments, a North Hollywood company has listed its domain name for auction on

The high value asset is listed for USD $700,000 under the Own It Now category on ListedBy, which enables buyers to secure the asset at the specified price. Prospective buyers can also send in offers for the seller’s review, acceptance or countering, directly through the site.

“With ListedBy’s reach continuing to grow, it’s great to see more asset holders turn to to market real estate related properties from REOs and Notes to now intellectual property, to tap global buyers in an efficient and meaningful way,” said Stephan Piscano, CEO and Founder, ListedBy.

“ is an extremely powerful and commanding domain name that must represent very significant value over the long run,” said Scott Furman, President and CEO, Furman Investments and CEO and Founder, “The auction market is seeing sustained expansion and is expected to continue to grow for years to come. We believe the next owner of stands to be at a strong competitive advantage.”

The auction is now open and ends at 04:58 PM, PDT on October 11, 2013. Interested buyers can view the auction at and participate free of charge by first registering on”

Low Inventory Drives U.S. Real Estate Prices Higher By 11.9% In June

U.S. Home Prices Jump 1.9% from May to June 2013

Low real estate inventory, including distressed assets, was a key catalyst to a nearly 12 percent increase in property prices across the U.S. in June, compared to the same month last year, according to CoreLogic. Prices also increased by 11 percent, excluding distressed assets, which reflects an overall low impact of distressed asset inventory on prices.

This would be the 16th consecutive monthly increase in property prices in the U.S., according to the report, with prices rising in 48 states and falling in just Delaware and Mississippi. Only one of the 100 largest cities tracked by CoreLogic recorded a drop in prices in June.

Month over month, home prices managed to jump 1.9 percent, from May to June.

Nevada scored the largest gain across the nation with 26.5 percent followed by California at 21.4 percent, Wyoming with 16.7 percent, Arizona at 16.2 percent and Georgia at 14.3 percent.

While national price levels remain nearly 19 percent off the lows recorded in 2006, the impact of relatively low interest rates is expected by some analysts to continue to fuel price increases for the foreseeable future, with an accelerated rise in mortgage rates necessary to slow down the momentum.

The CoreLogic Pending HPI also indicates July 2013 home prices, including distressed sales, are expected to rise by 12.5 percent on a year-over-year basis from July 2012 and to rise by 1.8 percent on a month-over-month basis from June 2013.

The continuous move higher across the board is in line with ListedBy’s CEO and founder Stephan Piscano’s prediction in January 2013 during the INMAN Connect conference in New York.

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Building A Brand In The PPC / PPL Era

Brands Built On A Unique Value Proposition, Not Price And Promotion, Stand The Test Of Time

No matter how hard anyone tries to convince themselves, the same people who look at their computer screens or smart phones today are the same people who would have spent that same time watching TV or listening to the radio, a few years back. They react the same way and internalize information the same way.

So the base a brand is targeting today is pretty much the same it used to target ten years ago. Except the channels for delivering the message have evolved.

Building a solid brand has always required the application of fundamental building blocks. Thinking, strategies and activities that have stood the test of time and remain central to this day.

The challenges of building a powerful brand like Coca Cola, BMW and other mega brands include the relative shortage of marketing professionals with the background and experience that can only be cultivated around the offices and boardroom tables of marketing giants like these and the multi-national advertising agencies that service them.

Knowledge imparted throughout these organizations represents many, many decades of experience, trial, error and learning. You just don’t weave your way around this kind of experience coming out of university with a marketing degree. Or a diploma that may be taught by individuals who do not have the depth of a proven brand builder who spent decades building mega brands around the world.

Today’s PPC (Pay Per Click) driven thinking, combined with widespread lack of deep marketing experience, compounded by an instant gratification generation and mentality are making it extremely hard to build true brands and brand equity.

PPL (Pay Per Lead) has now gained serious traction too. A click through is no longer enough as a measure of campaign ROI. Marketers are calculating and evaluating an advertising medium based on cost per lead, or even conversion. If I don’t sell this many tools, then your medium doesn’t work!

The worst part is that as marketers we tend to forget that the concepts we create and the ideas we generate are critical to advertising and marketing results. Click throughs, lead capture and conversion.

At, a growing online real estate auctions marketplace, we constantly remind ourselves of these basic fundamentals as we work to build the next mega real estate venue on the Web.

A new age marketer, reporting to a superior who relies on the young professional’s ‘knowledge’ of new Web technologies and trends,  may find it easy to default to blaming the advertising medium or channel, before they look internally at their own work. Like their landing pages, lead capture incentives or their lead incubation and conversion systems.

This spells trouble for the brand and the organization over the long haul.

Unless we put a stop to promotion driven PPC / PPL advertising and focus on messages that build brands, we will continue to drive our brands and sales primarily based on price and events. That is a recipe for failure. And often, disaster.

Price and promotion driven marketing is the antithesis to building a brand that stands for value – and the test of time.




Making Your Real Estate Auction A Success

Create Awareness and Excitement Around Your Auction

The real estate auction market is gaining momentum and has grown beyond estate disposition, REO and distressed real estate liquidation. Real estate agents are investing time to learn about  auctions and how to integrate them into their marketing strategy. They are actively engaging with prominent auction sites including new, free model environments such as, and revenue share based marketplaces with a track record delivering results.

It is not unusual for a property today to fetch 10, 15 or even more than 20 percent above the minimum acceptable listing price at auction, when marketed properly. The auction process is inherently conducive to bidding competition amongst willing parties. But unlike a traditional sale where the best offer wins, leaving lower bidders out of a deal, an online, fully transparent process such as on enables buyers to stay in the game for as long as they choose, up until the scheduled auction close date and time.

But what makes or breaks an auction is the effort the REALTOR puts towards marketing the property and creating excitement around the deal. If you expect to list a property for auction, sit back and wait to see what happens, buyer dollars will likely elude you in favour of well marketed deals.

First, decide on a date (or a few days) for your auction, including an open and close date and time. Then, build a powerful exposure campaign to market the event. Give yourself enough time to create attractive, compelling marketing materials and to send out direct mail, if this is part of your plan. Ideally, film a powerful video that brings the property to life, and circulate it through your newsletter if you have one. Post the video on popular social media sites like YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook and Vimeo. Use tools like OneLoad to syndicate your video for free to these and other video sites, and tap branded video email and video newsletter marketing systems like Talk Fusion to easily and inexpensively integrate videos and photos into your campaign.

As well, schedule an agent open and public open house in the days ahead of the auction start, and set up auction signage including details or handouts, in front of the property.

Think of it as a traditional sale with a build up that leads to a bidding competition that can involve buyers not just from your area but from across the nation and other countries.

Always promote the dates of the auction in all your marketing, online and offline. Consistently incorporate the hyperlinks to the website and page where the asset is displayed and the auction will take place. Remember to include at least 16 good quality photos with the listing, as well as a video of the property and the area around it. The effort should pay off in spades.

If your auction website offers options to enhance or more prominently feature the listing (different sites offer different ways to enhance listing exposure), do take them up on it if the price is reasonable, as almost always that means more eyeballs. A featured listing also gives a potential buyer that added sense of interest and confidence in the asset, because of the added value perception it projects.

Initiate a drip marketing campaign in the days ahead of the auction start date and maintain it throughout the auction days, to keep interest high and support a good level of excitement around the deal. Needless to say, the usual phone calls and other marketing tactics you would employ in a traditional sale still apply. Tell people about all the benefits of buying at auction both in person and in your marketing, throughout the campaign.

Last but not least, do incorporate instructions on how to bid on the property, along with the rules of the website. A solid environment would have that information readily available for you to link to.

Here is an easy read on online real estate auctions, the Auction Guide For Consumers, published by ListedBy.

Once you get one or more auctions under your belt, your confidence will increase dramatically. In addition to yielding more money for you and your seller, the knowledge and your unique strategy should give you a new edge during listing presentations as well.

The Busy, The Broke and The Early Bird That Gets The Worm

Trailblazers Always Look To Improve How Business Is Done

Those of us who are in the technology sector go through a constant cycle where we see a few grab on to a new opportunity and run with it, a larger bunch pass on the same opportunity because they are either too busy or, in a slow market, don’t want to spend the money, and yet another bunch, simply not bother because they know better or don’t want to get into yet another technology ‘thing’.

Ultimately, the group that is always open to learning about new things and always hungry to explore better ways to do business is the set that is often referred to as pioneers. Let’s call them Group 1. These are the trailblazers who everyone looks up to, later follows and constantly tries to emulate.

They are the early birds that get the worm, while Groups 2 and 3 snooze and lag behind.

The pattern is consistent and goes back to eternity, in advanced technology years. We need not go back too far. When cell phones came out, there was quite the resistance, for many reasons. The pioneers got on with it however, reaped the productivity benefits and set themselves apart. The rest then followed. That was one technology that the ultimate laggards, Group 3, simply had to cave in to at some point, or vanish.

The personal business website is another that many in the real estate market also resisted and still do until now. There are many REALTORS who to this day still work off of a web page given to them by their Association. And we’re already in 2013, going to 2014. Again, the pioneers were those who launched their own websites early on, and took advantage of the lead they had on their competitors. They learned early on about what worked and what didn’t, learned and applied more advanced search engine positioning tactics and in turn once again grabbed the worm at the expense of groups 2 and 3.

Social media came next and we all know that most agents are still trying to figure that one out. The early troopers already have it integrated into their systems and continue to look for new ways to leverage the trend.

Today whenever we discuss ‘out there’ technologies like online auctions and tele-presence video conferencing and video email, we still hear the same arguments from groups 2 and 3. They are either far too busy to look into something new because the market is too hot and they are turning away business (I literally got that one yesterday from one Realtor), or if we caught them not too long ago when the market was still very tough, their excuse was that business was too slow and they were not about to invest any money until the market turned.

If that is not a catch 22, I’m not sure what is.

So, too busy when the market is hot, and when the market is slow, too broke to invest in new technologies. And one wonders why Group 1 almost always leads.

Two trends that pioneer real estate agents (if you are reading this article, you obviously already are, or you are working to be in that category) are starting to embrace today are online real estate auctions for all types of properties including REOs and traditional listings, and video communication and marketing technologies. Have you watched the Million Dollar Listing NY TV show lately?

Next time you list a client property, early bird strategy suggests you auction it so you can maximize the sale price for the seller, increase your income and manage offers virtually without having to lift a finger. Among other great options, I’d give a shot. It’s entirely, 100 percent free.

And when it comes to marketing the auction, or a traditional sale, do look into video marketing to support your push, even though your strategies still work. Video is the way to go going forward according to statistics from numerous leading organizations and research firms, and learning and applying video to your marketing sets you on the next pioneer path that others will undoubtedly follow. Here is one fully integrated video marketing and communication system that every Realtor owes it to themselves to take a very close look at. These tools are so powerful, simple and inexpensive. I use the platform and it is unlike anything else we’ve seen out there, by miles.

Lose The Shades!

Trust Me

How can you truly trust someone when you can’t see their eyes?

If any business is a people business, it is real estate. Real estate auctions expert or not, an agent depends on networking to build their client roster and a solid referral network, over time. The first order of business is to build familiarity and trust with people we meet, and work to expand that pool every day. The first step is to genuinely connect with potential clients and come across as honest human beings they can trust. We must ‘connect’ with them.

Here is a question every agent needs to ask themselves.

How can I effectively connect with people when the first thing I do when I slide out of my house is to cover my most powerful asset for building trust and connect with people, my eyes?

We grab the darkest set of sunglasses we can find on the store shelf, and as long as we think we look cool in them, we slap them on our faces and walk the streets all day forgetting about the opportunities we are missing along the way. Every single day. Where did the good old days where everyone made eye contact and greeted other passers by? What would you be able to do if you were able to make eye contact with ten additional people each day whether on the street, at the neighborhood store or on the restaurant patio? How much more effective would your meetings be with prospective clients if you remove the mask off off your eyes when you meet with them?

If on the odd occasion you must don glasses during a showing outdoors on a very sunny day, it is best to do so after excusing yourself and preferably after building a relatively reliable level of trust with the prospect.

The next time you reach for the Zoro mask, no matter how expensive or cool it is, ask yourself whether it is really helping, or hindering your growth as a real estate professional. If stacking the odds in your favour means suffering a bit of glare every once in a while, that just may be the compromise you need to edge out your competition.


ListedBy Turns One

ListedBy Celebrates One Year

It’s exciting to mark a year since launched. Like every startup with a big idea and certain resources to work with, we’ve had our ups and down and at the end of the day, made great headway.

We want to take the opportunity to thank all our community members, users and website visitors for their support and energy, our business partners for their confidence, and every member of our staff for painstakingly taking on more than they imagined they ever would under a single job title, and our leadership for their vision, perseverance and drive along the way, no matter what.

Property Portal Watch sums up ListedBy’s evolution quite nicely in an article published earlier today.

Thanks once again to all our friends and supporters. Onwards and upwards.

ListedBy Turns One

Property Portal Watch

By Gordana Davila on 3 May, 2013

in Company News

Spawned by Bay Area bulk REO specialist Stephan Piscano, who became frustrated with his own experience with the online real estate auction process, California’s ListedBy, the free online marketplace and social network with live bidding auction has turned one.

ListedBy made its debut last year, as a free online live auction, social network and services marketplace. The company saw a void in the market and felt it was time to launch a transparent online auction and property search arena where industry professionals, consumers, investors and service providers would be able to network, research, list and purchase real estate assets.

ListedBy managed to successfully merge the simplicity and effectiveness of a classifieds advertising website, with state-of-the-art live auction technology, to help accelerate sales and maximize asset value.

The company’s goal was to lift the secrecy off the real estate auction process, and to encourage wider participation from both buyers and sellers. ListedBy also aimed at eliminating typically restrictive costs including auction registration fees and share of proceeds, usually imposed on traditional auction venue, by having its marketplace be entirely free.

Stephan Piscano, ListedBy founder and chief executive officer, said that the company considers real estate professionals and service providers as critical success partners. Piscano gave as an example: “A listing agent on ListedBy is never overshadowed by another agent on his or her listing page, and leads are never collected and sold back to the listing broker or their competitors. We are working to build a thriving, positive community that benefits all our members.”

A short stroll down memory lane:

Soon after its launch, ListedBy announced the appointment of Roger Noujeim as Vice President of Marketing, to lead the company’s global marketing and branding strategy.

In June the company began publishing agent listings on their profile pages on ListedBy Social, the site’s networking system for real estate agents, service providers and consumers. In addition to the site’s property search area, the move strategically places agent listings in front of consumers researching local REALTORS® on

In July, ListedBy announced a co-marketing agreement with National Real Estate Business Insurance Group that will give to members timely, convenient access to NREBIG’s deep national expertise and products.

Soon after ListedBy was featured in the Inman News™ Real Estate Connect® conference in San Francisco,  as one of the 12 companies in the Start Up Alley program.

A new online advertising campaign was launched by October, ‘Buy & Sell Real Estate With a Click,’ aiming to maintain ListedBy top of mind with recent visitors, and focusses on communicating the brand’s primary benefit of accelerating real estate buying and selling.

In December, ListedBy released ListedBy – Real Estate Auction Primer for Consumers, a ‘must-know’ guide for anyone looking to buy or sell real estate through auction.

Followed by the rollout of a self-managed search database which enables ListedBy users access to information on local real estate related services, and for service providers, free exposure and leads.

This past March ListedBy announced that, now its members are albe to publish and share feedback, recommendations and rate service providers listed on, in real time.

One year later:

Now as a way of celebrating with all their users, ListedBy has sent out a message stating: “To thank you and celebrate all users today can get a FREE featured listing on the site by using promo code “ListedBy37″ upon adding your listing RIGHT NOW!”

Also, there is a special bidding for a an all expenses paid trip to stay in the ListedBy luxury condo in Las Vegas. The company stated: “We are doing this asa promotion to than our userbase and give you an opportunity to get exposure for your brand as a real estate pro!”


Why Some Agents Get All The Calls

Imagine that you have a Bentley you want to sell. The car has been parked for a year, kid stuff on the back seat. Cleats, some dirt, coloring pens and paper, and fast food wrappings. In the front, some used up tissue paper still sits in the console area, the sun glasses nearby and the phone charger dangles. Before you advertise it online, you walk into your garage with a your iPhone, and in the shade of the walls, the car having gathered decent amounts of dust and mud from the last few rides she had been on, you take a couple of photos. One of the inside, the other of the outside.

Back at your computer you upload that photograph and make your posting on your preferred sites.

Now help me understand how you’d expect a buyer to get excited about your car, with all this negligence put in to showing it off? If the concern is not the condition of the car, it is the upkeep of the car. That is if any of the images look clear enough, to begin with. Remember lighting was dim at best when you walked in.

Next to your car posting there are another 3 Bentleys, all sparkling clean, enticing. Each comes with 25 shiny photos of a polished, well cared gem, interior even cleaner. The prospective buyers get this uplifting feeling just flipping through the photos, zooming in to view things in detail, enabled through the well lit, high resolution shots. A video of the vehicle is also set up, to make things even more appealing. The buyers then get set to make a call to inquire further or come down for a test drive.

Meanwhile you sit for days or months wondering why your car isn’t selling. And, if you get the adhoc call, you get frustrated with wholesale agents only calling and trying to low ball you.

Well you answer that one yourself. This morning right on ListedBy I came across a 1.2 million dollar asset listing, with a single photo of the entire project, taken off of a another photo print sitting on the kitchen counter. You could easily tell, because part of the counter was showing in the posted image.

The description of the project was weak at best, yet the seller’s agent expects people to hound them with offers.

This is not the only listing on a real estate website with a single, bad photo, and worse descriptions and details. You see them all over the place on the Web.

Folks, this complacency simply does not work in the world of sales, never mind one that involved assets worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars and where the competition is, at best, fierce. Even if you’re marketing REO Auctions or public real estate auctions, marketing an asset adequately is the difference between selling it or not, the ultimate asset value, and your commissions.

We have posted research about the importance of photos several times in this Forum and on the ListedBy Blog. It’s a no brainer. Why I won’t link to these articles to make it easy for some, is for good reason.

For those feeling guilty right now, it’s time to get that camera out, and do your work like a professional. Things will change faster than you think. The effort will always prove to be worthwhile.

In fact right now, I feel a smidgen embarrassed to release an article such as this one. But it just feels like all else has failed and it’s time to tell it like it is. The actions, and non actions of every agent affect not only their sales and business, but the reputation of our industry. Everyone must pull their weight to move us forward. Professional representation is a mandatory step.