Yesterday, I attended my first REOCON Summit & Expo in Dallas, Texas. The last session of the conference was a Q&A style panel session, filled with professionals in the short sale industry. Each panelist discussed his personal experience with marketing in the industry and what techniques seem to work best individually.

Mike Bjorkman, a lead trainer at Agent Mechanics, told the crowd that he likes to integrate a lot of testimonials and newsletters into his social media networks to let people know he specializes in short sales. "Being in the business so long, I'm very lucky," Bjorkman noted. Talk a lot about struggle, Bjorman added, and people will come out of the woodwork. For the real estate trainer, "save" is his keyword. "Once they gain a little trust, that's when they start talking and referring you to everyone," said Bjorkman. "Every one listing for me will result in another six."

Thirty-three year Realtor at RE/MAX and short sale author, Tim Burrell, said "rescue" is the word that works for him. "I tell them 'I am here to rescue you'," said Burrell. Another approach the Realtor uses is to write a quick note on the back of a business card. Something like 'I hear the bank is being mean to you, I can help' will work, Burrell noted, only half joking. "All of a sudden, they don't care how much you know if they know how much you care," Burrell added.

Bill Crane, real estate broker at Chicagoland REO Servicing, advised the crowd of Realtors to invest in a solid hand-sized camera to use for photos and video testimonials. "People are intimated by big bulky cameras and also phone cameras," Crane said. "Get a nice smaller camera." Crane also suggested inserting a link to your business YouTube channel in your email signature so that potential customers will have easy access to video testimonials on your site.

Bjorkman did advise the crowd to steer clear of boxing oneself into only short sales. Include all sales you've done in your updates, including traditional sales, distressed sales and even luxury sales, and you will expand your potential database of clients. "Whatever situation someone is in, their eyes will be drawn to that," said Bjorkman.

Burrell closed out the session by reminding the audience that "everyone has to know their market. Cater your media around your market."