How To Use Feedly (To Be Smarter Than Your Competition)

Here’s how I stay up to date on topics that interest me:  I use Feedly.

With the demise of Google Reader, I was looking for another system that I could use to keep track of all my favorite blogs and news sources.  After a fair amount of research, I decided that Feedly was the next best system.  In fact, it’s probably even better than Reader ever was.

32 feedly

What Is Feedly?

Feedly, in their own words, is “the news you need to keep ahead.”  Further, it’s “a single place for all the stories you care about.”

It’s basically an online newspaper that only has the information you’re most interested in from your favorite writers and news sources.

You tell it what topics and news sources you want to keep track of.  It is completely custom for you and you alone.


How Do You Use Feedly?

I use Feedly mostly for work-related information.  Being that I work in marketing and real estate, I mostly keep track of blogs in these two industries.

There are lots and lots of blogs that I follow.  So, instead of keeping bookmarks of every one of those sites and going from site to site every day wondering if there’s something new (or being on all of their email lists), I just add their RSS feeds to my Feedly list and can then easily see which news sources have new information at any given time.

This saves me a ton of time and is an easy way to stay up-to-date on topics that are important to me.

How To Get Started With Feedly

Simply go over to their “Discover” page and type in any topic, keyword, or URL of a blog.  As you type keywords, it will give you suggestions on blogs you might be interested in.

feedly for real estate

Of course, you can create an account and then start saving feeds as well as categorizing them.  Here’s a view of how I have organized a few different topics that I’m interested in.

feedly categories and topics

Every day in the morning, I check my feeds and see what articles I want to read.  I think that spending a few minutes every day learning something new is a great way to start off the day before work really begins.

How Much Does Feedly Cost?

The basic version is free.   That’s currently what I’m using and it’s great.

If you want to upgrade, you can get a ton more features such as faster syncing, better searching and a bunch of other improvements for only about $45/year or $5/month.

You can use Feedly on your desktop computer or your phone/tablet.

If you’re looking to stay ahead of your competition and stay current with the topics that are important to you, give Feedly a try.  You’ll probably really like it and start using it daily.

16: Real Estate Video Marketing Success Secrets – Jillian Batchelor

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Learn how Jillian uses strategic video marketing and advertising to be one of the top agents in the state of Nevada.

Jillian Batchelor las vegas real estateProfile

Agent:  Jillian Batchelor and her husband, James

Market: Las Vegas, Nevada

Steal Her Ideas:

  • Split buyer/seller activities with her husband
  • Be active in real estate political offices
  • Get a ton of reviews (Zillow is her go-to review site)
  • Use video to educate her market and get people to see her
  • Marketing/Advertising based (not as much prospecting)

video marketing for real estate


Jillian’s objectives with video are to brand her and her team.  She brings educational information about the local real estate market to the consumers.  She tries to put out 3, 4, or 5 videos each month.

Videos are not only about her listings, but also about real estate law and changes.  She says that “people are looking for someone who’s more informed than they are and they’re more informed than they ever have been.”

With this strategy, about 40% of Jillian’s new business comes from her video and internet marketing.

But her business doesn’t just come from the internet.  She’s also extremely involved in the community and networks extensively.  She feels that being knowledgeable, helpful, and engaging within various communities builds bridges to new relationships.

Lightning Round

What’s the worst marketing you’ve done that others should avoid:  Mailers and various types of direct mail don’t work for her anymore (but they did previously)

What keeps you motivated:  Family security and building a business “built on kindness”

You’ve got 30 days and $1000, what do you do:  Work with a marketing company and have them help you build a business and marketing plan

How You Can Do What She’s Done

Jillian is a hard worker.  She literally was signing contracts and working on the day that her child was born.  If  you’re also a hard worker and you’re savvy with technology (especially video), you can build an online presence where prospects get to see and engage with you before you’ve even met them.

Build out a Youtube channel, get involved with local community events, participate in local/regional/national real estate groups, and prospects will start seeing you as smarter than the average agent.

Help people first and the money will take care of itself, she says.


Jillian Batchelor’s website

Jillian’s Youtube channel

10: How Video Got This Realtor On HGTV And Tons Of Clients – Herman Chan

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Herman Chan RealtorListen to this episode to learn how Herman has become a master of getting into the media to promote his personal brand.  If you have interest in getting multi-media promotion, check out this episode to see how he does it.


Agent:  Herman Chan

Market:  San Franciso Bay area

Steal His Ideas:

  • Get in the media to get exposure
  • Show your expertise with video
  • Utilize your personality so people see and connect with the “real” you
  • Use humor to help reduce the stress of the home buying/selling process
  • Have a “voice.”  Share your own personal point of view and don’t worry about saying “the wrong thing”


“Give people what they can’t Google.”

Herman is a master of using video, PR, social media, and other tools to showcase his expertise and “voice” of real estate.  He feels that giving his personal opinion through these channels gives him an edge of your traditional sites like Zillow and Trulia.  He doesn’t compete with them on giving home stats.  He competes by beating them with something they can never have:  his vision, personality, and expertise.  These are things that potential clients can’t just Google and find elsewhere.

People are overwhelmed with data.  So, he edits things down for people to easily comprehend and utilize.  He transforms typical “home stats” into something interesting, educational, and short and simple.

He says it’s important to downplay your weaknesses and highlight your strengths.  This helps you stand out.  For him, he utilizes his strengths of personality, skill, and tech ability to be as many places online as possible.

By being online, potential prospects have a much easier time to vet you out.  The typical prospect wants to know that they’re in good hands with you before they commit to working with you and these media outlets help Herman’s buyers and sellers get to know him before they even meet him.

Aside from being online, Herman has scored multiple television appearances on local news, on HGTV, and other major networks.  Simply by starting small with his own local videos, he was found by producers and was invited to be on these other programs.  And, when you do land these gigs, make sure your clients and prospects know about it!

Lightning Round

real estate agent on hgtvWhat’s the worst marketing you’ve done that others should avoid:  Don’t be someone you’re not.  Let your personality shine.  This is what attracts clients to you and it will be what sets you apart and gives people confidence that you’re a “real” person and can be trusted.

What keeps you motivated:  Talking to people and the interaction with clients.

You’ve got 30 days and $1000, what do you do:  Focus online; start a website, get social media going, and start broadcasting your opinion and expertise.  Social media is pretty much free so you don’t even have to spend much money.

How You Can Do What He’s Done

You can start with a simple 30-second video you do right on your phone.  Send it to Youtube and any other social media you do as well as your website.  Talk about staging or your opinion on what’s going on in the market.  Beyond that, think about the questions that people ask you and answer them on individual videos.

“Everyone has 5 minutes a day that they can shoot something.”  Herman feels that everyone has easy access to do this type of video marketing.

Even if you’re not going to do a ton of videos, at least do one video that gives people an idea of who you are.  Put it on your website on the homepage so people can easily see it.


Herman’s “opinion” site:  Habitat For Hermanity

Herman’s “real estate” site:  Luxe Tech Home


4: This Is How You Sell $1.5 Billion In Real Estate – Michael Edlen


michael edlen, real estate agentWhat does it take to sell $1.5 Billion in real estate?  Well, Michael Edlen spills the beans on how he’s done it.


Agent:  Michael Edlen

Market: Western Los Angeles, California

Steal His Ideas:

  • Open houses
  • Continual follow up and prospecting
  • Hiring a team of specialists
  • Complete 5 important tasks a day
  • Advertising of your listings and your business
  • Offering amazing service
  • Energetically look for and claim opportunities
  • Assume to have abundance in all areas of your life


Sure, it helps a bunch to get to $1.5 billion in real estate sales if you live in a higher-end market.  But, no matter the price point, you don’t get there without dedication, focus, a business-owner mentality, and loving your job and looking at it as “play” instead of “work.”

Before Michael was selling gazillions worth of homes, he started out simple…and continues a lot of that simplicity in his business today.  One of his favorite strategies he started with back in 1986 (and still does today) is open houses.

His focus was and is on providing amazing service and being truly interested in the client and not the potential outcome of the deal.

Although he doesn’t time-block parts of his day, he does plan the prior evening to complete 5 essential tasks the following day.  He feels that being extremely focused is a key to getting a lot done in a little time.

Another key area where he accomplished a lot is simply by having a team of 6 people that help him.  Each person has a designated job to do.  Michael treats his business as a company with employees that each have specific roles.  So, he doesn’t do paperwork or marketing activities. He focuses on the high-value activities of prospecting, listings, and negotiations.

On the seller side, they put a lot of time into marketing listings not only for the benefit of selling the house, but also for brand exposure for his services.

On the buyer side of the business, Michael has online lead generation sources like Zillow and Tigerleads to bring in various levels of quality leads.  One thing he says he’d do differently if he had it to do over would be to make more systems and processes to create more accountability in how those leads are followed up on.

Lightning Round

What’s the worst marketing you’ve done that others should avoid:  Committing to a new type of advertising without much proof of its success.  He encourages a free trial or limited paid trial before committing too many dollars to something that may not work.

What keeps you motivated:  Enthusiasm to be of service to people.

You’ve got 30 days and $1000, what do you do:  Get 10 personalized open house signs and work open houses like crazy.  He feels that this is least costly way to effectively meet people and start building a database.

How You Can Do What He’s Done

Start with open houses.  Build your database person by person.  Extend your team by hiring people with specific duties.  Branch into paid advertising for your listings as well as buyer leads, but always be cautious about how much you’re spending and evaluate the return.


Michael Edlen Real Estate




3: Goal Achieved, How This Agent Made The 30 Under 30 List: Casselyn Feinstein

Casselyn Feinstein real estate agentSummary

Casselyn Feinstein started in real estate at age 23.  At the time, she put a “30 Under 30” article on her fridge and set a goal to someday be on that list.  Well, she made it with time to spare.  Learn how she attained her level of success at such a young age.


Agent:  Casselyn Feinstein

Market: Southwest Chicago suburbs

Steal Her Ideas:

  • Use listings to get new buyers
  • Utilize floor time
  • Facebook page to create engagement
  • Advertise in local community media


Casselyn is a great example of someone who committed to real estate from day one.  She was willing to work hard and take the business no one else wanted so that she could learn and get any experience she could.

She says she was known around her agency as the person who would close down the office and open it back up because she was so willing to take up anyone’s floor time and get in front of as many people as she could.

Along with floor, she did open houses as much as she could and toured homes in the area so she could understand the inventory.

Casselyn’s facebook page is another way she gets business.  Starting with listings, she posts all her activity to create engagement with all the people she knows.

Beyond facebook, she advertises in a local community lifestyle magazine.  She says there’s a big benefit in exposure because so many people in the community see it.

Her website is also a great place for her clients and prospects to know more about her.  She has a nice mix of personal information, buyer/seller info, home listings, and more.  An important aspect of her site is that the feel and look of the site reflects her own personality.  It was very deliberate that her site “feels” light, fun, and engaging.

There’s a focus on her digital footprint because many of her clients in their 20’s and 30’s more highly value her facebook page and website than older demographic clients because, with the younger crowd, these tools help create a more intimate relationship and a higher level of trust.

She makes a great point that she doesn’t use any of these tools to be too “salesy.”  She goes on to say that there’s no connection between being good at sales and being good at real estate because real estate is all about trust and relationships, not just selling homes.

Lightning Round

What’s the worst marketing you’ve done that others should avoid:  Online lead generation portals.

What keeps you motivated:  To be the best I can be and always be succeeding.

You’ve got 30 days and $1000, what do you do:  Sit floor (it’s the best free activity you can do), take any clients that come your way, and mentor under a top agent.

How You Can Do What She’s Done

Dive in and volunteer to sit floor and open houses.  Find opportunities to get in front of people wherever possible.  Make it known throughout your office that, if another agent needs help, that you’ll volunteer to be there for them.

Make an effort to utilize facebook and your personal website to show people you’re not only active in real estate, but also a “real” person that is knowledgeable and trustworthy.


Casselyn Feinstein’s Website