Although our most significant area of expertise targets the Real Estate community, our advertising, marketing, market research, and publishing services can be performed for businesses and entrepreneurs of all sizes.
In addition, some of our owned and partnered web sites, along with services, are available to and/or target consumers everywhere.
First In Promotions Inc. was established in 1992 and is located in the Chicago suburb of Morton Grove, only 20 minutes from both O'Hare Airport and downtown Chicago.
What you see today as First In Promotions actually began in 1984 in Los Angeles as "First In Communications", which was originally formed by its founding partners to act as a Telecommunications Service Bureau for Pacific Bell, AT&T, and MCI. (Yes, MCI. Brings back memories, doesn't it?)
Local and national information provider companies hired us for a wide range of services ranging from technical support of "pay per minute/pay per call" telephone announcement services to creating and production of updated messages to advertising and marketing to target audiences. The client base grew to include providers of sports and racing results and updates; winning lottery numbers; horoscopes; law/legal information; Las Vegas show and performance updates; and health and diet tips.
By 1988, First In had expanded its technical facilities to include satellite offices in San Francisco, Fresno, Santa Rosa, and Las Vegas to accommodate the regional and national clients it had acquired.
While assisting a client in 1988 in adapting some (then) new technology geared toward helping real estate companies market their properties, the concept of using telecommunications to do so was created. The "Open House Hotline" started as a local phone number with recorded announcements about specific open houses scheduled for the coming weekend. This was years before the internet changed our world, which had potential home buyers waiting until Saturday morning (or later) to find out about open houses to visit that day and the next day. The "Hotline" had them available started every Wednesday evening.
More and more realty agents and offices began to regularly place their open houses on the "Open House Hotline", which soon led to a marketing partnership with an official publication of the Los Angeles Association of Realtors which began in 1989. The "Hotline" list would be on the phone system on Wednesday nights, with the printed version in the publication every Friday. This partnership continued with First In Promotions, running 51 weeks of the year for the next seven years!
As the Southern California real estate community embraced what First In was doing, the staff began to explore similar marketing needs on the commercial and investment property side. The need for a commercial property equivalent to a multiple listing service led to the Los Angeles CCIM Chapter becoming the "first in" the country to produce a monthly property listings book, which was published by First In Communications in the early 90's. (CCIM is the highest designation a commercial real estate broker can attain.)
Although changes in telecommunications regulations and in technology led to the closing of the Los Angeles office in 1992, several of the advertising and marketing concepts created and implemented during those eight productive years were kept in force as the original partners relocated to the Midwest.
OUR ROOTS - 1984 - 1992
First In Promotions was formed and opened in the Chicago suburb of Glenview in September 1992, hitting the ground running. The "Open House Hotline" was changed to become the "Real Estate Buyers Hotline", and grew from a Los Angeles based service to a national toll-free number and featuring properties from cities around the nation.
The expertise in telephone technology continued to reap dividends. In 1994, the "Buyers Hotline" added the capability for callers to select property descriptions by area and price range, hear the description, and be able to be transferred directly to the listing agent (to and from anywhere in the country) on their same phone call. This service was briefly featured in a National Association of Realtors Newsletter in late 1994, helping FIP to add both clients and marketing partners around the country.
When the internet came upon the scene, First In Promotions implemented its own web site during the summer of 1995. (It doesn't seem that long ago - but take a look at when other businesses you deal with today first started their web sites!) As antique as it seems today, our clients were impressed that we were able to feature open house lists and some profiles of available properties on the web as a supplement to their phone and print coverage.
THE FORMATIVE YEARS 1992 - 1997
As FIP entered the late 90's, its real estate marketing capabilities already included multiple media outlets, including the phone, newspapers, and the internet.
Several important marketing partnerships were formed in conjunction with the Real Estate Buyers Hotline. During its existence as a toll-free nationally available number, the "Hotline" processed more than 140,000 calls, and featured more than 15,000 specific property ads.
Premier Real Estate Magazine of CT was among the partnering publications. The monthly property showcase magazine was able to feature additional audio descriptions of its advertised properties on the "Hotline", while the phone service could transfer interested callers direct to the specific advertiser. The ability to provide daily updates enticed more magazine advertisers since they no longer had to wait up to 30 days to have their advertised properties reach consumers.
In 1998, the Buyers Hotline became a part of the Re/Max Home Showcase each Saturday on a Houston TV station as a result of a partnership with Re/Max of Texas. Each property featured on the TV show would have a code number, and people calling the "Hotline" number could hear additional information and connect to the listing agent. In addition, other Re/Max of Texas agents and offices were able to advertise other listings which were not featured on the TV show.
Other partnerships included KFWB Radio Los Angeles, which promoted the "Hotline" in conjunction with realty firms which purchased time on the radio station. This innovation allowed, for the first time, realty offices to be able to provide updated property information based on radio advertising. Coldwell Banker Los Angeles region was the largest local office which participated and benefited.
Also during this time period, a business broker firm retained FIP to handle market research for specific commercial properties, as well as produce RFP's, sale proposals, and complete brochure presentations. This phase was the start of the 'behind the scenes' real estate market research which is a prominent part of today's operation.
By the early 2000's, clients included residential and commercial real estate agents, along with mortgage lenders, who hired FIP for additional market research, and for assistance with ad campaigns and advertising consulting.
Entrepreneurs hired FIP for assistance with creating or revising Business Plans, RFP's, and specialties such as public speaking and media coaching.
AS THE CENTURY CHANGED......
Marketing Director Dave Kohl (center) receives his 1990 "Business Person of the Year" Award from Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce from Hollywood's Bill Welsh (left) in 1991.
Dave Kohl, Marketing Director since 1992, actually continued our early Real Estate related advertising and marketing services which started in the late 80's, and continue to grow today!
You can learn even more
by visiting DaveKohl.com
The addition of market research capabilities, along with the existing advertising and marketing expertise allowed First In Promotions to expand to include serving consumers beginning in 2008.
Busy shoppers were being presented with web sites which helped with finding updates on deals and specials in various categories, coupons, shipping codes, comparisons, and product evaluations. However, as those sites became more specialized, there was no central source for consumers to visit in one shot.
As a result, we introduced My Daily Bargains. The MyDailyBargains.com web site provides helpful links to selected consumer oriented web sites which provide updated and accurate information for the careful consumer.
Meanwhile, as the radio stations that people now over the age of 40 grew up with continued to fade into oblivion or reduce their playlists to only a few hundred songs, increase the hourly commercial load, and get rid of personality, FIP developed a solution.
RadioRecordings.com began in 2008, offering airchecks of radio stations around the country of the most remembered personalities of the 60's, 70's and 80's. Hundreds of airchecks were made available on CD's, allowing fans to easily be able to listen, at their convenience, to actual station content from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, and many other cities (and some smaller towns!).
Also, in 2008, Marketing Director Dave Kohl (with First In since its 1992 inception) saw the need to entertain and inform sports fans who enjoy watching and listening to games and sports talk. Since Kohl was employed as a sportscaster and newscaster early in his career, and taught Radio Broadcasting at Columbia College Chicago for seven semesters, it was an easy decision to implement "The Broadcast Booth" as a weekly blog.
The early and continued success of "The Broadcast Booth" inspired Kohl to expand on his expertise and findings from constant research and observation of the real estate market. After more than 20 years of property advertising and marketing, the "Dave Kohl Real Estate Marketing" blog was born in July 2008, and continues to this day.
In 2011, in support of MyDailyBargains.com, Kohl began "The Frustrated Consumer" blog to the mix. Although not updated as consistently as "The Broadcast Booth" and "Dave Kohl Real Estate Marketing", this blog highlights some of many frustrations we all feel as consumers when large and small companies don't do what they are supposed to.
As it turned out, these blogs were only the beginning of the publishing component of First In Promotions.
In 2013, Kohl and the staff realized that all of the years of meeting and talking with realty agents, leasing agents, mortgage lenders, builders, home buyers, and home sellers, had given them a ton of stories and experiences which relate specific to the buying and selling of properties.
Just as Kohl realized in the late 80's in Los Angeles, he still notices how much room for improvement there is in the way that properties for sale are advertised and promoted to potential buyers. What began as a full day workshop for consumers preparing to sell their home turned into a complete 60 chapter audio book.
"8 Hours To Sell Your Home", published as an Audio Book in 2014 by First In Promotions, got its title because it literally takes more than eight hours to listen to all of the stories and advice. It takes a potential seller every step of the way, starting from making the decision to sell to ways to research the local market. More than one hour is spent with tips on how to hire the best realty agent, and how to best work with him or her to get the home sold. Sellers and realty agents alike have found this to be a valuable resource. This Audio Book is available for immediate download and for Kindle.
In 2015, the book "Market Research: A Key Competitive Advantage" was published by First In Promotions and is available via Amazon. Also written by Dave Kohl, this book is for business owners, executives, managers, and entrepreneurs. The focus is on methods of monitoring and tracking your competition, performing local market research specific to your business, and how to easily track all sales or client leads and inquiries for follow up.
Upon publication, First In Promotions implemented the contents into a 'hands on' workshop, available to businesses, managers, executives, organizations, and students. Customized to contain industry specific information and research, it is available in two hour or four hour formats, with the option of turning it into a full day workshop with hours allotted for one-on-one consultations and follow up discussion. This workshop is available for travel (within the 48 contiguous states), including Saturday availability.
FIRST IN PROMOTIONS
Our Proud History
Celebrating 25 Years!!
ALSO SERVING CONSUMERS.......
THE BLOGS, THE BOOKS, THE PUBLISHING, and the SPONSORSHIPS:
(c) 2017 First In Promotions Inc. 6321 W. Dempster #260 Morton Grove IL 60053 Phone (800-457-1958 Fax: (847) 939-1314
FIP has expanded its services for the real estate industry even further. 2017 brings the industry publication "REAL ESTATE AGENT MAGAZINE" to the Chicago area thanks to First In Promotions. The print and enhanced digital versions serve more than 20,000 local real estate professionals and affiliated services.
Real estate agents, brokers, and offices around the country can benefit from a line of marketing services, such as instant text notifications for web leads; mobile friendly property showcases for new listings; market research specific to currently available properties; and one-on-one media and public speaking coaching.
Small business owners and managers can receive grant funding (which often does not need to be paid back) of $100,000 and up for expansion or start-up. And much more is planned for 2017 and beyond!!