More about Social Networking…

Here’s the Part 2 of last weeks article on Social Networking for Realtors:

In this installment, author Bernice Ross does a quick comparison of various social networking sites.

(from Inman News…)

"Social networking may be the most important new strategy to add to your business, especially if want to reach Gen X and Gen Y. Are you ready to start networking and connecting in your business?

Last week’s article looked at the various types of social networking opportunities. The question is where to begin and whether the activity really is worthwhile in terms of your business.

1. LinkedIn
A logical place for you to begin social networking is through LinkedIn. This is a business-to-business site. There is a robust free version of the site as well as a paid version. When you post your profile, you also post the other places that you have worked as well as where you attended college. Based upon this information, the system automatically makes suggestions of people you may know. The beauty of the system is that you can easily send out invitations to join your network to contacts in your current address book. Once someone agrees to be in your network, you can then view all the members of their network.

This is a powerful tool for building referrals. For example, when you first start working with a client, invite them to join. If the client is already a member, you will then have access to his or her LinkedIn network. If there is someone that you would like to meet on your client’s network, all you have to do is to ask for an introduction. A slightly different application is to invite your preferred vendors to join your LinkedIn network. Inform your clients that only your best resources are on your LinkedIn network.

2. and
These are currently two of the most frequently visited social networking sites in the real estate business. Until recently, ActiveRain was primarily a social network where real estate agents could connect with each other to discuss issues of mutual interest as well as to exchange referrals. ActiveRain is now expanding to be consumer-facing. RealTown was an expansion of the discussion boards from Internet Crusade. This site is not only a great place to connect with other agents, but it also provides content for consumers. RealTown is a place where you can obtain answers about difficult situations from other agents or just have fun staying in contact with agents from other places in the country.

3. and
If you’re serving the first-time-buyer market, these two sites have a tremendous amount of Gen X and Gen Y traffic. They are not real estate-specific. In fact, Facebook recently banned the regular uploading of open houses on its site. Because you can search by geographical area, you can make posts to your profile about your local area as a way to establish credibility as an agent. The key point to remember, however, is to participate in the community conversation. Pushing your real estate listings or marketing yourself will cause you to lose "friends" instantaneously.

4. Blogs
There are several reasons to have a blog. Blogs help your search-engine placement and are an excellent way to share detailed information about your listings as well as the lifestyle in your area. Blogging is fairly simple. Instead of answering clients via e-mail, post your response on your blog. If you’re not a good writer, use a voice-to-text service such as to leave a telephone message that the system converts to text and can be easily uploaded. Carry your camera and take plenty of pictures. If you create fun and interesting content, you’ll have visitors that will soon become clients.

5. Twitter
Some people have likened Twitter to a mini-blog. You post what you’re doing throughout the day so your friends/clients can stay in touch. Most of what is on Twitter is "Hi! Here’s what I’m doing — bye!" Nevertheless, it is becoming an important way for people to share information and stay in contact. For example, assume that you’re out previewing open houses and you see one that is perfect for two of your clients. You could send them a "tweet" to come see the house while it was open.

6. Profiles on major real estate sites such as Trulia and Zillow
For those who are not comfortable with writing blog posts several times per week, an entirely different approach is to complete a profile on Trulia and Zillow. Once your profile is complete, both companies have discussion forums where you can answer questions posed by visitors. If you answer only one question each week, at the end of the six months you will have 26 posts on those sites. This creates strong credibility as being an expert in a specific market.

If you plan to be in business for the long term, social networking is a trend that you cannot afford to ignore."

Bernice Ross, national speaker and CEO of, is the author of "Waging War on Real Estate’s Discounters" and "Who’s the Best Person to Sell My House?" Both are available online. She can be reached at or visit her blog at

Ross will speak at Real Estate Connect in San Francisco, July 23-25, 2008.

Social Networking 101

There’s a great article written by Real Estate coach Bernice Ross on Inman News today about Social Networking: I highly recommend that you become familiar with the web phenomena called Social Networking. Here’s a partial excerpt from the article to get you started:

(From Inman News)
“Social networking may soon overtake virtually every other source as being the most important strategy for lead generation. Have you incorporated this powerful tool into your business?

What is a social network? According to Wikipedia, social networks are online communities where people can explore interests or activities that they share with others. The key point is that social networks allow participants to interact through chat rooms, instant messaging, traditional e-mail, video, video e-mail, file sharing, blogging and discussion groups. Wikipedia identifies three primary types of social networking services:

1. Directories such as former classmates

2. Means to connect with friends (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube)

3. Recommendation systems linked to trust (LinkedIn)

For example, social networks are a great way to stay in contact with family and friends, as well as your clients. Many agents who have lost track of past clients and friends have found them through these networks. These sites also allow you to share pictures of your listings, videos, links to interesting articles, as well as important information for potential clients.

Granted, there are certain risks associated with being online. Whatever you post is there for posterity, even if you take it down. Identity thieves can check your work history. Nevertheless, the benefits of participating far outweigh the potential risks…”

APR Listings On

APR is now publising listings to  We’re doing this to prevent any outside brokers from submitting our listings to Zillow and using APR listings to generate web traffic to non-APR sites. Here’s the announcement from Zillow:

Zillow Welcomes Alain Pinel Realtors as a Listing Partner

A touch of class is coming to Zillow in the form of a recent partnership with Alain Pinel Realtors.

Alain Pinel is a prestigious purveyor of luxury homes in the San Francisco Bay area. They have a comprehensive online marketing program that now includes feeding their listings to Zillow. The company was started in 1990 and has since developed a solid reputation, rooted strong with tradition.

Welcome, we are honored to have you as a partner!

iPhone Goes Corporate

Here’s a very interesting news announcement regarding iPod support for corporate email systems:

"CUPERTINO, Calif. — The iPhone and iPod Touch became a true mobile computing platform today as Apple held an event announcing a software developer’s kit and software store, plus support for Microsoft Exchange e-mail, contacts and calendaring, as well as parental controls for the iPhone coming in a software update in late June.

Buzz up!on Yahoo!

iPhone goes corporate 

Exchange ActiveSync support lets Apple provide "a lot of things that enterprise customers have told us … are really holding [the iPhone] back" from broad deployment, said Apple senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller.

The update will integrate Exchange support into the iPhone’s existing mail, calendar and contacts applications. Along with ‘pushed’ e-mail, calendar and contacts support, the iPhone will now support global address lists and remote wiping of devices by IT departments. During Schiller’s demo, he showed an iPhone supporting meeting requests with locations and lists of attendees. Corporate IT departments will be able to create device profiles and use a special configuration tool to set up devices, he said.

There was no sign of tasks or notes compatibility, and presumably, this will require an Exchange 2003 SP2 or later server.

Both Nike and Disney have been testing the software already, Schiller said.

Microsoft started talking to Apple about Exchange ActiveSync before the launch of the iPhone last year, Microsoft corporate VP Terry Myerson said in an official Q&A on Microsoft’s Web site.

"This is one of those win-win propositions in that it helps us serve iPhone users, and it helps Apple serve the needs of the enterprise," he said."


In coming weeks, Alain Pinel Realtors will introduce additional tools and software applications for Agent productivity.  These tools are called SAVI.  This is the first in a series of blog posts based on the Frequently Asked Questions for SAVI:

What is SAVI?

SAVI is an integrated workspace for Agent productivity applications featuring a “dashboard” view of all web tools and applications. SAVI is an acronym for “Superior Access Via Intranet”.  The SAVI name is being re-introduced at APR and has been previously used for earlier versions of APR technology.

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