Networking Tips For Realtors


THE LEADERS POST - Issue #4 - December 3, 1998

from Results-net.com
By: Doug Toews, Editor

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About the Leaders Post
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The Leaders Post is the newsletter for real estate
professionals committed to Net Success - from Results-net.com, an
online community of real estate professionals dedicated to providing
excellent service to their clients. If you prefer the online version,
it can be viewed at http://www.leaderspost.com

You may pass this newsletter on to others, as long as it is sent
in it's entirety. To subscribe or unsubscribe, simply visit the
LeadersPost web site at http://www.leaderspost.com

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Contents
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- Success with Virtual Tours
- Guest article - Networking (a "how to")
- Poll Results "How often do you check your e mail?"
- New Poll "How many transactions resulted from your web site?"
- Difference between U.S. and Canadian mortgages
- Real Estate Idea Center's new address
- Business travelers and e mail
- Thought for today

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Net Success
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What kind of results do you get by having your personal listings
showcased on your internet site? A few years ago I used to be gung ho
about having my own listings showcased on my site. In the end, I
could attribute just one sale as a result of someone contacting me
about one of those listings, and decided the effort wasn't worth the
pay back. I found only mild interest at the time when I used the
Showcase Listings on the 'net as a benefit in listings presentations
- just a couple of clients thought this might give me a leg up on the
competition. I eventually stopped putting Showcase Listings on my site
and did not notice a drop in business.

A couple of months ago, I found myself in a listing presentation for
a property that was valued in the upper end of my local market -
almost triple the normal price range of most of my listings! The
owners had actually called me in by mistake, thinking I was someone
else. ( I did confessed the fact to them, but struggled with the
decision!) My competition included the top agents from other
companies that regularly worked the price range. In conversation I
discovered that the prospective clients had recently sold their
luxury cottage in Northern Ontario to buyers who saw it advertised on
their listing agent's internet site. I immediately offered to set up
a Virtual Tour of their home on my internet site and walked away with
the listing!

I had set up a system for Showcase Listings and Virtual Tours a few
months earlier for some colleagues, but still was not completely sold
on the idea for my own site. But, what the heck - it got me a
gorgeous listing, even though the owners would only agree to a two
month listing period and our market is slow moving in that price
range.

As it turned out, having the Virtual Tour on the internet helped me
sell the home as well - to out of towners from the Bahamas! The wife
was in town shopping for homes while the husband was still in the
Bahamas, and it came down to a choice between two homes. The husband
checked out my Virtual Tour on the internet from the comfort of his
home in the Bahamas, and loved the property! Up went the sold sign -
a day before the sellers had planned to withdraw the listing from the
market. Wheeew! Am I sold on Virtual Tours now? You bet!

These Virtual Tours are relatively inexpensive and can be seen by
anyone with Netscape 2.0 or better with no special plug-ins or
software. Check out the House and
Home Toronto Real Estate Page
and the House and Home Windsor Ontario Real Estate Page at
to see what they look like.

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What works for you? Your suggestions and submissions are gratefully
accepted, and if used you will receive credit along with a link to
your web site or (e mail address if you don't have a web site yet.)
Send submissions to - suggestions may
also be left at the Real Estate Idea Center in the Newsletter Suggestions Forum.
http://www.agentsonline.net

One of the most popular forums there is the Real Estate Brokers forum. There are
always lots of interesting and informative discussions going on with a minimum
of spam and solicitations to wade through - check it out!

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Guest Article
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The following article on Networking has appeared in the Canadian Real
Estate Association newspaper, and the author has graciously allowed
me to share it with you. It is a "how to" which is a must read!

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Networking

Many new agents do not understand what networking is all about.
Needless to say, agents who've been around forever, sometimes don't
understand networking, either. Some even suffer from a dis-ease
called "I don't know, and I don't care ATTITUDE", but they are the
ones who often make life unbearable for an office manager, by begging
for referral business, often getting it, only to do no follow-up and
follow-thru.

Each office has its own methods and office procedures as to how
referral business will be handled. Most managers deviate regularly
from their own plan; some to make the system work better in their own
specific marketplace, others, who just like to defy the system.

Networking is more than referring business, agent to agent, or branch
to branch, or even company to company, across the nation. Networking
is a form of "farming", a term that may be unfamiliar to agents in
some areas. The farming concept having come from the association of
"actual" farming, where the farmer plants his crop/seeds and takes
care of his investment, watching it grow until he can take it to
market, recover his costs, and make a profit.

Like real estate, the farmer is dealing with an unpredictable
end-product. His product is affected by the weather. So is the real
estate business. The farmer's bottom line is affected by supply and
demand. Just like real estate. If many people in the world decide to
not eat many strawberries in any given year, whether due to their
price, or the cost of the sugar and cream to go with them, there may
be an over-supply of strawberries left at the farmer's market. The
farmer will have to reduce his price to accommodate the lack of
market interest, or toss his berries in the trash. Either way, he may
not even be able to recover his costs, never mind make a profit.
Homeowners often find themselves in the same position, as do
Realtors, themselves.

During the recession that many areas have experienced, at different
times in different places, in recent years, the only source of
business that real estate agents have had, is through their network,
or pipeline of contacts. It is a wise agent indeed, who makes - and
keeps, contacts with other Realtors, offering a much needed ear when
a colleague needs to vent, when a colleague has wonderful news to
share, or, most important of all, business to share. Currently, there
are even "network clubs" being formed across the globe. Especially
with the use of email and the world of web sites, agents who are
strong networkers, are cashing in.

Don't be concerned at all, if you send information to
multitudes of agents that you never hear back from. Just keep on
sending them a note (with a card or two in it of course), every so
often. Why, you say would you want to do that, especially if you
never hear back from them. Well, mark a post-it note on each card -
"one for your files" & "one for you to give away". Business cards
can be like rabbits, and really multiply. Eventually, you will hear
from someone you never met, who needs your services. They were
"given" your card by someone else along the way.

Go back to the beginning. Recall when you were a brand new agent, or
if you are a brand new agent - listen up! Never, ever leave home
'NEVER' without your business cards, and preferably carry, in your
vehicle, or in your briefcase, a few small pieces of your favourite
marketing material. Nothing large, as the other person may not have
space to carry what you have given away.

When you know you are going to be attending a meeting, a seminar, or
any kind of group activity, make sure you plan ahead to take plenty
of cards. So that you don't get cards that you are collecting from
other people mixed up with your own cards, make it a point to carry
yours in your "left" pocket. Why? Because it leaves your left hand
free to reach for your card, while shaking hands with your right
hand. Accept the other person's card, LOOK AT IT in their presence,
acknowledge something unique or interesting about the other person's
card, by passing a small comment to the other person, and place the
card in your "right" pocket, for future use.

As you work your way around the group, make it a point to offer your
card as you introduce yourself. If the other person does not offer
you a card, ask for one. It's simple: "Do you have a card for me?"
will do nicely. If the other person is currently out of cards
whatever reason, make a point of asking them to mail one to you for
your file. This shows that you are interested in (guess what?) -
networking.

You may have no particular interest in whatever it is that the other
person does for a living, or you may be a residential Realtor, and
the other person may be an ICI rep. And, you never have referrals for
ICI, right? Wrong. You may get a request from a fellow Realtor who
needs to know the name of an ICI agent someplace out of town, and
guess what, again? You have a card with a name on it, from the
collection you had one day in your right pocket. Now, you've helped a
local colleague. Don't forget to tell this person to mention your
name to the ICI agent. Next time that ICI agent needs a residential
fellow in your area, where is he likely to send the referral? Chances
are you'll be the one to be pleasantly surprised. Not only that, take
the initiative and drop the ICI agent a note, and tell him what you
did. That you have just passed his name along to a local colleague,
and hope everything works out well for all the people involved. The
cost: a few minutes of your time and a postage stamp on a post card.
Speaking of postage stamps - purchase unusual ones, unusual cards,
too. Nothing cheap. Go for the gold. It often equates to sold. Some
people collect them, and will keep your mail around longer, as a
result.

Immediately following the meeting, not later than the end of the next
business day, sit down with some notes, or post cards, and jot down a
few words and send to each of the cards in your right pocket. Now you
can file these cards. Many computer systems are out there for this
purpose, or just use the old fashioned method of filing. But, don't
file them alphabetically by name, whatever you do, or you'll never
find them again. File them by category, and by area. The insurance
agent gets filed under insurance, the mortgage broker under the area
which he services. Why, you will ask, would you be bothered
undertaking such a nuisance job, when you'll probably never see any
of these people ever again. Stranger things have happened. Back to
who knows whom, where. Always ask a customer or a client how they
came to do business with you. Record this information on their file.
Over the years, you will be surprised by the number of times the same
names keep re-appearing on your records, as people who are continuing
to refer business to you. Of course, it goes without saying that you
will have, each and every time, acknowledged the referring person
with a small note.

If you haven't heard from the person for awhile, take the initiative
again. Drop a three-line note in the mail. Or, now, of course - send
a simple email.

By networking, you are constantly building business for the future.
Not only is it so important to acknowledge the person you just met,
and reinforce your new contact, but you will be reminding them of
what you do for a living. Some people even have special cards that
they carry which have printed on them - "we love referrals" - "do you
know anyone we should know?" - or, "would you like to help a friend
or relative today? if so, pass along my card".

There is no need to give elaborate gifts to people who refer business
to you. So few people send thank you notes, these days, that you will
stand out as being remarkable, as well as remember-able, if you do
this small thing. You should be able to send out a dozen post cards
or notes every day. Everywhere you go, from your bank to the dry
cleaner, you meet people. Give them your card. You never know how far your
card will travel. You never know who is related to whom, or who will
send a referral to you, as a result of your own personal "networking"
habits. This is just another form of farming and harvesting the crop.

May you always have an abundant harvest - of net-worked business.
Copyright 1998 Carolyne Lederer, Carolyne Realty Corp.
Brampton-Toronto, Ontario Canada 905-450-3700 or fax 905-450- 3787.
Your Canadian Connection for Global Contacts

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Even though this is traditionally a slow time of year in some areas,
there are still many client leads being generated and passed along to
members who are listed in the Results-net Real Estate Directories.
Leads are coming in for areas that still do not have agents listed in
the Directories. If you are not listed, you may be missing out! There
is no fee to be listed - it's FREE!

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This And That
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According to the 1998 American Express Road Warrior Technology Study,
which surveyed business travelers who are also online users, more
than 57 percent say that they always, or almost always communicate
via e mail. 66 percent reported accessing e mail once or twice a day,
and 18 percent check three times or more.

It is a safe bet that these business people want to communicate using
their preferred method, e mail, when they are not traveling as
well, and expect that the receivers of their e mail are checking for
messages at least once a day and providing quick responses.

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Thought For Today
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"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." -- Anais
Nin

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Results-net.com is an online community of real estate
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their clients.

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