"Well-informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value." --Editorial in the Boston Post, 1865
As the real estate market goes through another one of its inevitable transitions agents find that they're having to prospect a lot harder to do fewer deals.
That's why now is the perfect time to beef up your relationship maintenance capabilities, so you can be there when your "Mets" demographic number comes up to make a move.
Perhaps you've heard about online social networks. The most famous (and controversial) is MySpace.com. I call it to your attention because over 75,000,000 people have signed up for it; it's a bonafide phenomenon.
The current environment on MySpace is not really the most conducive to developing business relationships. I only brought it up to get your attention. For nurturing business relationships there is a much more respected online network called LinkedIn.com. It counts over 5,000,000 mature and motivated business people as members.
The premise of LinkedIn is that everybody has a trusted network of colleagues, friends and family. Each person in that network has his/her own trusted network; and so on. This means that as LinkedIn's membership grows the odds of being only one, two or three degrees removed from virtually anyone you'd like to be introduced to get pretty good.
Since LinkedIn's setup ensures that people connections within LinkedIn are based on people actually knowing, respecting and acknowledging each other; there is greater ease in getting introductions and greater trust in accepting them.
Through some online networking I've been doing at another online business network called ecademy.com, I met the number one networker on the entire LinkedIn site. We've now connected on LinkedIn and I've gained access to his over 25,000 connections.
(Look for much more on ecademy.com in future posts, as this is a very exciting operation. For right now though I want to stick on the topic of LinkedIn.com, because I've made some rather startling observations there.)
Signing up for LinkedIn is easy and free for the basic listing. This will give you a taste of the functionality, but to gain the kind of access you'll want plan on upgrading to the $19.95/month program.
When you sign up the first thing you should do is bring in your entire database of contacts. LinkedIn makes this incredibly easy to do if you are using Outlook as your contact manager. If not, it's still easy to import a .csv file from your database program.
As soon as your contacts are uploaded LinkedIn searches to see how many of them are already in the system. I upload a real estate agent database of about 600 records and found that about 60 of those agents were already in LinkedIn.
What's more, in looking over the 60, it was abundantly clear that these were the top producers in my database. That much I kind of expected.
What I didn't expect was that when I started making LinkedIn connections with them, and gained the visibility to see their connections, they had none! Obviously, what has happened here is that somehow they've been led to the water, but they haven't started to drink yet.
So my recommendation is, if you aren't already on LinkedIn.com, get there. If you haven't upgraded yet, do it. If you haven't brought your database in yet, upload it. If you haven't invited your contacts to connect with you, do it.
These steps will start to bring you visibility with millions of accomplished people, many of whom are networking on LinkedIn for new jobs that will cause them to need to move. If you're involved with that process, you're going to get referrals.
In fact to supercharge your access to this network, do some searches on human resource executives from the larger employers in your area. They know who's coming to town before anyone. In fact these people need you as part of their recruiting team, to help sell their recruits on making the move.
If you need any help with any of this, contact me, Ray Cobel 805-494-9647 [email protected].