Think of it as added value
Sherwood real estate broker Michelle Johnson publishes her own magazine and has her own Web-based TV program; it's just an example, she says, of what you have to do to stand out from the crowd
Making it in the real estate business has never been easy, but it gets tougher every year.
Michelle Johnson, a broker with the John L. Scott Crossroads Office in Sherwood, is borrowing a page from the playbooks of Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart.
Last year she began publishing Sherwood Living Magazine, a 56-page, high-end décor, lifestyle and real estate publication.
And this month, she launched her new online Design TV Web site, www.SherwoodLiving.TV, an on-demand video showcase of homes, décor and lifestyle features, much like those found in the magazine.
'When I started the magazine, I just wanted to to put it out there for some added value for some of my clients,' says the mother of three and Sherwood resident.
But she soon found out it had an audience. In fact, she says, when she considered stopping it, folks around the community 'were overwhelmingly against' the idea.
The magazine, available for free in local restaurants and businesses around Sherwood, is produced bi-monthly by a publisher in Idaho.
Sherwood Living TV resides on an HGTV-type Web site that was launched this month. It's an on-demand video showcase of homes, décor and lifestyle fatures as seen in the magazine.
'We just wanted to provide something that goes beyond the typical advertising,' says Johnson, who prior to getting into real estate did corporate speaking. 'And, also, I believe that real estate should be fun.'
She's only in her third year in the business, but Johnson, who was lured to the Sherwood John L. Scott office by Principal Broker Guy Bennette, has clearly been thinking overtime about ways to stand out from the crowd.
'You have to be continually changing, and in the real estate market, there's been a lot of change.
'Sherwood Living TV will inspire you to make your home decorating vision a reality,' she explains. 'You may browse through on-demand videos of gorgeous indoor and outdoor rooms designed by top designers and get decorating tips for every part of your house.'
As a complimentary service, Michelle features a different Sherwood home for sale every week on the site for maximum local exposure. In addition, she will make a one-minute commercial on her new 'Seller Preferred Home Marketing Plans.'
'I've got some other things up my sleeve this year, and I'm going to be doing a lot of video.'
On the Web site, visitors will find a number of features, including a Showcase (offering tours of individual homes), along with specific subjects such as entertaining spaces, kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor living and garden space, travel destinations and others.
The video is also done by her publisher.
'It's a great branding tool for me, and obviously a good thing for them,' says the mother of three who's been married 27 years to her husband, Darren. 'I've just had such great feedback from people. It's well worth the time and effort.
'Everybody can do postcards and fliers,' she adds. 'I think you need to be remembered for your uniqueness now.'
Originally from Washington's Tri-cities, Johnson is a major Sherwood booster now. So, does she handle sales outside of Sherwood?
'I do all of Washington County,' she says. 'I love the Orenco Station area in Hillsboro.'
But Sherwood is her primary focus.
'I love Sherwood - I live here in Sherwood,' she says, adding that she lives in the Renaissance Crest neighborhood, off Elwert Road.
'It's grown so much and progressed so much, and yet you still see Farmer John going down the street on a tractor. I love that.'