Book Review: Youtility for Real Estate

YoutilityforRealEstateOne of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to read 12 books over the next 12 months that’ll help me be a better marketing professional. Well, I just crossed the first book off my list: Youtility for Real Estate by Jay Baer. Not a bad start, considering it’s only January 12. Though I’ve got to be honest and tell you the book was only about 70 pages, so I managed to polish it off in a couple hours.

Overall, I’d say this book was just OK. Jay spent a decent amount of time going over the basic principles of youtility, which, if you haven’t read his original book (appropriate named Youtility), is the concept of creating marketing so useful, people would pay for it. Since I’ve already read Youtility, I found these portions of the book to be very repetitive and a little boring. I’d probably feel differently if I hadn’t already read Youtility.

I did, however, love reading about the industry-specific examples included in the book. On many occasions, I’ve been on a webinar or sitting in a presentation at a marketing conference. The speaker will use an example or a case study to illustrate a point, and I’ll find myself thinking, “OK. That’s great. But [insert huge company name here] is nothing like my company.” I always find it helpful to see how others in my industry are solving problems and helping their customers and prospects.

A couple case studies that really stuck with me (and have gotten my creative juices flowing) include:

  • Real estate agent Joe Manausa created a downloable Ebook called “How to Sell a Home Yourself.” A real estate agent telling people how to sell their homes without his services? That sounds pretty dumb at first. But it’s actually pretty darn smart. Joe is earning readers’ trust by being honest and transparent. If someone is thinking about selling her home on her own and reads Joe’s Ebook, she’ll find out just how much work it is to sell a home without a real estate agent. Or, let’s say she tries to sell her home on her own and is unsuccessful. If, down the line, she changes her mind and decides to hire a real estate agent, Joe will probably be one of the first people she thinks of since he’s earned her trust.
  • Apartmentminty, an apartment hunting consultancy, generated 100 leads in its first 30 days of existence by proactively being helpful to people on Twitter. For example, if someone was tweeting about a problem he was having with his roommate, Apartmentminty would respond with a link to an article about resolving roommate conflict. And if someone tweeted about apartment hunting being a drag, Apartmentminty would offer their assistance in the search.

If you’re a real estate professional and you haven’t read Youtility or Youtility for Real Estate, I’d recommend you read Youtility for Real Estate and skipping Youtility. You’ll learn the basics of youtility and walk away with some great, industry-specific examples and ideas for how you can create marketing so useful, people would pay for it.

Have you read Youtility or Youtility for Real Estate? What did you think?

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