Efficient Online Advertising with Syndication Goes Mainstream

1 09 2011

That’s for Point2 customers only of course!

When you check your new and improved Point2 Manager  Syndication tab, you’ll notice the network of third party websites that you can publish your listings on with a single click of the mouse has expanded significantly. From UsedIron.com to MyLittleSalesman.com to Mascus.com, heavy equipment marketing on popular websites (read: more exposure and more leads) has become a breeze.

The fact is, most buyers today research equipment on the Internet. As well, there are numerous great sites you should be on so buyers can find your listings more easily.

Point2 listing syndication takes the work out of managing your online ad campaigns, speeds up your marketing and through our purchasing power, saves you decent money.

To manage your online advertising from a single place and with one login, just follow these simple steps. And remember, we’re always one email or a phone call away if you need any assistance or would like to learn more about your Point2 account.

1-     Open a browser and log into Point2 with your username and password

2-     From the INVENTORY tab, click Inventory>>Edit and search for a piece of your
equipment

3-     An equipment listing will display with up to 7 tabs, click the SYNDICATION tab

4-     Besides Point2 UsedIron (and your Website Integrator service, if applicable) displaying INDUSTRY LISTING WEBSITES (Mascus and My Little Salesman), CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING WEBSITES (Vast) and ADDITIONAL WEBSITES (IronPlanet, craigslist, eBay, Kijiji, eBay classifieds) will display.

5-     Select the syndication partners where you wish to market your inventory

6-     Click SAVE AND EXIT.

7-     Syndicated listings may take up to 24 hours to be updated on partner sites

Regards,

Your Point2 Support Team!

888-955-7900 || 306-955-1855





RealTown: Testimonial Videos That Work

15 03 2011

By: Roger Noujeim
Read this article on RealTown

Video has clearly become one of the most effective ways to engage people. It taps into more than just a single sense such as the auditory in the case of a podcast, or the visual in still photography. Well executed, video can also touch prospects where it matters most. Their emotions.

One of the most highly effective and convincing uses of video in real estate can be found in client testimonials. They can be invaluable, influencing prospective clients to pick up the phone or write. Done wrong however, they can not only fail to deliver their intended objective, but in fact harm your image and business over the long term.

Banking on extensive experience in advertising, including the management of a major true testimonial campaign for a multinational brand, here are some dos and don’ts for video testimonials.

  • ALWAYS feature real clients. The credibility this lends cannot be stressed enough.
  • Ensure viewers understand that the testimonial is of a real client. A full screen caption ahead of the actual testimonial, or a small caption that appears during the recording should do it. Some clients may not wish to use their name on the video, so their initials as well as their city and state would do.
  • Shoot the video where your client can be naturally happy about the subject being discussed. Their satisfaction would project in their voice and attitude. Inside or just outside the home you helped them buy are good options. A nice backyard with the client’s kids happily playing, or with a spouse smiling at their side are genuine and convincing. If all options are on the table, pick the one with the least noise interference potential (cars, sirens,  air conditioner, yelling).
  • Prepare and use questions during your interview with the client that naturally lead them to discuss specific benefits you would like to promote. For example, “tell me how important negotiating the deal on your terms was to you, and how you feel your agent was able to assist you in that area.”
  • Keep the testimonials short. 10 to 15 second bites are effective and not boring. Your viewers do not want a dissertation about you but, rather, they want to garner a sense of confidence in you before they make their decision on which Realtor® to choose.
  • Film the footage at a slight angle so the subject is facing you and not looking directly at the camera. A tripod would make this task fairly straightforward. When editing or selecting the clips that will be used online, under no circumstance should you use material where the client flips between you and the camera lens.
  • Mix into your final edit some close up shots on the subject’s face, to create an instant connection with your viewers. Add slightly wider shots to bring life to the video and incorporate some of the background such as a part of the home or kids playing on a swing or enjoying a board or video game. The camera’s focus should however remain on your subject at all times.
  • Lighting and overall quality are key. If you are not confident with your own videography skills,  invest in someone who does. Film school students may be a great resource and may do your projects for you for free, to build their portfolios.
  • Do not use ANY footage that sounds like a sales pitch. Viewers connect with real people sharing their true feelings, and are repelled by sales spiels. Tell your subjects to be themselves and when necessary, ask if you could re-take a scene. A camera play back on location is a good way to decide if a retake of a scene is in order.
  • Audio is just as important as video resolution. Use a good quality microphone and test it beforehand.
  • Capture important sentences and use them in other online and offline marketing materials such as listing presentations, ads and flyers or postcards.
  • Prepare and get a release form signed by your client, allowing you to use the footage and content in your marketing, royalty free.




The Globe and Mail: Cashing out? Get the best price

14 03 2011

By: Tracy Tjaden
Read this article on The Globe and Mail

Lead image

Mark Reid sold Cityfone to Rogers for $26M in 2010. He lives in Vancouver and just bought land on Salt Spring and some sheep while planning for his next business. (Laura Leyshon for the Globe and Mail)

Mark Reid had started and flipped several companies by the time Rogers Communications Inc. came calling for his Vancouver cellphone firm.

The 52-year-old serial entrepreneur had previously brokered the sale of two office supply companies he started from scratch. He knew the drill. But Mr. Reid also knew when to call in the pros.

“If you don’t, you’ll either sell your business for a whole lot less than you could, or you won’t sell it at all,” says Mr. Reid, founder of Cityfone Telecommunications Inc., which Rogers bought last year for $26-million. The telecom giant bought Cityfone to acquire its subscribers.

Mr. Reid had started the company in 1999 and expected to spend five years building it before even considering an exit. Instead it took 12 years – and nine months to sell.

Entrepreneurs such as Mr. Reid often know a lot about running their companies yet very little about selling them.

In the business world, where egos reign and top performers tend to be those who can do it all themselves, expert deal-makers say the secret to selling a company at top dollar is knowing when to ask for help.

“Selling a business requires very different skills,” says Doug Irwin, a founder of the Vancouver corporate finance advisory firm Capital West Partners.

“Athletes and movie stars have agents and it’s the same thing,” adds Joseph Calvano, who sold Dollar Giant Ltd., which he had started in 2001, to Nasdaq-traded Dollar Tree Inc. for $62-million in 2010. “It’s your business, so you’re going to take it too personally – it’s good to have someone in the battlefield and you can stay behind the scenes.”

For Saul Klein, the former chief executive officer of Saskatoon-based Point2 Technologies Inc., external advisers not only helped broker a deal, they found potential buyers he’d never heard of. Today Mr. Klein is a senior vice-president at Point2, which was bought last year by Yardi Systems, a U.S. real estate and heavy-equipment industry software maker.

“Some potential buyers want a minority interest, others want just the assets, and then some are big private equity funds,” says Mr. Klein, who was running his own real estate software firm in San Diego in 2007 when the five Saskatchewan owners of Point2 recruited him to be CEO. “I don’t have coffee with any of these people – I have no idea where to find them.”

Typically, business brokers will first help a company create a confidential memorandum that describes its operations. This can then be distributed to potential buyers. Then brokers help the CEO prepare a pitch and schedule appointments with interested parties. Finally, they work with the company to negotiate terms and determine a strategy for releasing the news, both externally and internally.

“What I realized is that while you might be all you need to run your business, you are not all you need to sell it,” Mr. Klein says.

HOW TO GREASE A DEAL, MAXIMIZE YOUR PRICE

Be ready: From the beginning, run your business as if the intensive due diligence process – in which lawyers and accountants pore over every contract and cheque in the building – could begin tomorrow.

“You have to have the systems in place, have all financial information accurate, so that anyone from the outside could come in and immediately understand it,” says Dollar Giant’s Joseph Calvano. “Entrepreneurs do things on the fly, but remember at some point you will have a banker or an investor looking at the books.”

In other words, “You have to run your business like a business every day,” he says.

Say little: One of the biggest challenges for Saul Klein during the sale of Point2 Technologies was deciding whom to tell, and when. “You have to let some [people] in – but it’s not a done deal until it closes,” he says. “If you don’t sell it then you still have a business to run. It’s a fine balance.”

During the sale of Cityfone Telecommunications, founder Mark Reid looped in senior operations people who had to work with the business adviser to compile the descriptive memorandums. “But you can’t have the front line know about this until you know there’s a sale,” he says. “It would create anxiety and stress and could even devalue the company.”

Stay paranoid: Don’t send too much information to a potential buyer.

Capital West’s Doug Irwin suggests putting up a “speed bump” by insisting that interested parties sign a non-disclosure agreement before handing over key information.

“Even then, save the really important information until you have a written indication of interest from a buyer,” he says. “It is good to be a little paranoid and assume they are just sniffing around.”

Leave on top: There is, in fact, a right and wrong time to sell a business. Says Mr. Reid: “You want to leave the casino at the right time.”

If an entrepreneur’s goal is to start a business with the sole purpose of selling it quickly for a cash windfall, don’t bother. “Spend your time trying to build your business, not trying to sell it,” Mr. Reid notes. “They call it sweat equity for a reason. You have to put in the hard years.”

Mr. Klein agrees. His rule of thumb? Concentrate on growing your business until you a reach the point where further expansion requires a cash injection.

PREP TIME

Here’s what to do before buyers come knocking. These steps cost money but will pay off when the company’s value is determined.

Scout the market: Understand who would want to buy your company, and why.

Do audits: Secure audited financial statements.

Do forecasts: Prepare a financial forecast of the business and update it every year.

Pick your lawyers: Know which lawyers you’ll use, and make sure they have merger and acquisition experience.

Know your weak points: Know all potential red flags (legal problems, unhappy customers or suppliers) that could come to light once negotiations begin, and prepare responses.

Dot the i’s: Keep all contracts updated and organized.

Reach out: Get your name out there through targeted public relations to make sure potential buyers know who you are and can quickly read up on your company.

(Source: Doug Irwin, Capital West Partners)





Point2 Named to 2011 Top Saskatchewan Employers List

2 02 2011

Vancouver, BC and Saskatoon, SK, Feb. 02, 2011 - Point2 (www.Point2.com) today announced that it has been named one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers for 2011, placing on the coveted top 20 list for the second year in a row. 

Saskatchewan’s two largest daily newspapers, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and the Regina Leader-Post, published this year’s winners today. 

Now in its sixth year, Saskatchewan’s Top Employers is an annual competition organized by the editors of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. This special designation recognizes employers in Saskatchewan that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. 

Mediacorp Canada Inc. editors evaluated this year’s nominees based on eight criteria that include: (1) Physical Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement.   

Employers were compared to other organizations in their field to determine which offers the most progressive and forward-thinking programs. 

“We thank Mediacorp for recognizing our efforts in making Point2 a great place for motivated, focused individuals to develop and build successful careers,” said Saul Klein, Senior Vice President, Point2. “We strongly believe that a key driver behind our consistent growth has been the commitment and dedication of our managers, team leaders and staff that remains focused on serving our customers the best we can.” 

“Point2 has distinguished themselves on a very competitive list this year, especially when measured against well-known, public-sector employers that were included on the 2011 Saskatchewan list,” said Tony Meehan, Publisher of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. 

Employers apply for Saskatchewan’s Top Employers competition through the Canada’s Top 100 Employers application process.  For this year’s national competition, Mediacorp editors examined the recruitment histories of over 75,000 employers across Canada that it tracks for its popular job search site, Eluta.ca.  From this initial group, Mediacorp invited 10,000 of the fastest-growing employers to apply, plus another 2,500 companies and organizations in industries its editors wanted to examine more closely.  Employers completed an extensive application process that included a detailed review of company operations and human resources practices.  Over 2,750 employers started this year’s application process.  

For more information about the Top Employers for 2011, visit http://www.canadastop100.com/sk/. 

About Point2  

Point2 (www.Point2.com), a Yardi Systems Inc. (www.Yardi.com) brand, provides inventory management and online marketing software solutions to the real estate and heavy equipment industries across 120 countries. 

More information about Point2 can be found at www.Point2.com. For ongoing news about Point2, please visit www.point2.com/news.asp

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Point2: Update on Mascus.com Special Offer

16 12 2010

To follow up on our earlier announcement, Mascus.com will be offering a 20% discount to all Point2 customers who send listings to them when they sign up. Should you have any questions or need assistance in getting this set up, please contact us.

Happy Holidays

Your Point2 Team

Email: dealersupport@point2.com
Toll Free:1.888.955.7900
Direct: 1.604.675.9393 Ext: 229





Point2 Adds Mascus.com to Equipment Listing Syndication Network

16 12 2010

At Point2, we know from experience, that the more buyers who view your equipment listings online, the better. This is why we like to say “Distribution Trumps Destination.” Meaning, the more places your equipment is visible online, the more leads you’ll get and the more deals you can close.

In our continuing efforts to help bring more buyers for your used equipment, we are pleased to announce that effective immediately, upon your agreement, you can very easily start to send your listings to our new syndication partner, Mascus.com, right from your Point2 account. Mascus is one of Point2’s growing list of Syndication (Advertising) Partners designed to give your equipment maximum visibility and exposure to buyers on the Internet. Mascus is one of the world’s premiere online used equipment marketplaces with over 145,000 listings and just one of a growing list of partners Point2 will make available for our customers.

We have made this process as easy as possible. Simply log in to your Point2 account > Select Administration > Select Syndication and Click Send, beside Mascus. A representative will then contact you to set up your account. Once complete, your listings will be automatically sent to Mascus directly from your Point2 account, on a daily basis.

Wishing you all the very best for the holidays and a Happy New Year!

Your Point2 Team





Point2 Maintenance Notification

14 12 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 5:00PM PST to 9:00PM PST

During this time, please be aware that Point2 services will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience during this maintenance window.

Point2 Heavy Equipment Support








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