Category Archives for "Networking"

How One Simple Shift Can Instantly Triple Your Real Estate Lead Conversion Rates!

It’s ironic, frustrating and sad at the very same time…

…agents wasting thousands upon thousands of dollars

…endlessly chasing poor quality leads (people who are actually avoiding you)

…all to convert a measly 1-2% of those leads!

The worst part is 1-2% conversion is actually pretty good, considering all the garbage that agents are calling “leads” these days.

How would you like to convert 5-10% of your leads, in some cases even more?

Well it all starts with the right mindset and focus.

Do you agree with this statement?

Real estate is all about building relationships…client relationships…networking relationships…COI relationships…that all lead to a growing real estate practice and more closed business year after year.

Seems pretty straightforward and on the money, right?

Then why do so many agents miss the single most important part of the lead generation/lead conversion process and screw up the development of real relationships with social media and various other technologies?

It’s because agents lean so heavily on technology to do their “relationship building” for them. It’s as though agents think they can “automate” the development of quality relationships.

Is that even possible?

Maybe if we were robots…

(Here’s a thoughtful article on this subject that will definitely make you think. It’s by David Byrne titled, “Eliminating the Human”)

…but humans are a little bit different than robots, aren’t they?

Can you really develop a quality relationship with an email drip campaign?

Can you build a relationship with auto-posted tweets to your Twitter account?

Can you “outsource” your social media and expect to be seen as “authentic?”

Don’t get me wrong. I love all these things.

I love quality marketing that drives people to call or text for info, or opt-in to your email drip campaign. I love it when our clients generate 100-150 leads a month with our MVR technology. I think technology is amazing!

Then there’s “social media.” I love the social media movement. I think it’s the next great frontier of potential “relationship building.”

The issue I have is agents are chasing all these things, while leaving out the most crucial elements…the basic fundamentals of success in real estate.

What’s that foundation?

Again, it’s all about relationships. And relationships are with those people (human beings) who KNOW, LIKE AND TRUST YOU!

All the tools, all this technology, all these amazing social media outlets…they all do one thing and one thing only. They speed your ability to communicate.

Quality marketing makes your phone ring…giving you the ability to what?


Forms that get people to opt-in to your email drip campaigns do what?

They give you the ability to communicate.

Your Facebook page with 5,000 “friends” does what?

(5,000 friends…whatever! No one has 5,000 friends. BUT…where else would you go to exchange messages with people you didn’t like in high school?)

So what do Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
and all the various other platforms do?

They all speed your ability to communicate.

MVR lead generation that brings in 100-150 warm inbound lead calls every month…what does it do?

I think you get the idea. It speeds your ability to connect and communicate.

The point I’m making is that the key is not the technology. Yes. They’re great. In fact they’re amazing and powerful tools. But that’s all they are…tools.

YOU…are the message.

I like the way Scott Stratten (social media guru and viral marketing genius) puts it, he says, “You are your company’s CRO (Chief Relationship Officer). You are the one who has to take all this ‘technology’ and all these amazing platforms and take it to the next level.”

If you’ve got 5,000 friends on Facebook…how many times have you connected with someone of influence and invited them out for coffee?

If you’re a Twitter fanatic…how many times have you reached out to someone you knew could influence greater reach for you in your community?

If you’re on LinkedIn with 500+ “connections”…how many of those relationships are you nurturing, building and developing?

Worse yet, if you’re using MVR and generating 100-150 warm real estate leads a month, how many of those people (human beings) have you engaged, initiated a warm easy-going dialog, and began building a relationship?

Real estate is all about relationships
…and it all starts with YOU!

With the various social media platforms…be authentic, be real and take it to the next level. Relationships are not digital. They’re one or more real live human beings having a conversation or meeting for coffee. Take it there.

With your lead generation, polish and perfect your scripts. Internalize them and make them a part of you…so they’re natural. When you engage an inbound MVR lead call you’ve got to know what to say and how to say it.

Then, you need to bring more value to the table for that person. Be a value creator. Be a servant. No. Be a Super-Servant with a genuine servant’s heart.

Bottom line?

Again, it’s all about building relationships. And relationships start with real live conversations. Start having them. Perfect your skills and read books on communication. These are core fundamentals.

Lastly, I’d like to recommend a book that was first published back in 1937. It’s a book that is even more applicable today. It’s a book that can and will change your life. It’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie.

Get it. Read it. No…read it 2-3 times and then apply it to all that you’re doing as an agent…marketing, prospecting, lead generating, your social media platforms. Then, once you’ve seen its impact, shoot me an email telling me how much it’s meant to you.

It’s time to get back to the basics. And you can’t get more basic than people do business with those they KNOW, LIKE AND TRUST. That’s a relationship!

My word (or words) for the day!

7 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Beat a Winter Slump

Depending on where you live, from about November through February the real estate market slows down – if not altogether dries up. What can you do to make the most of these dead months?

Here are a few suggestions:

Have an Open-House Party

Open houses can be pretty lame. A pair of buyers or two milling around a home while you sit and tap your pencil on the desk, staring out the window. Instead of treating an open house like a visit to a museum, ask the seller if you can have a happy hour.

The hitch is this happy hour is on Sunday from 2-4.

Bring food, drinks and music–and let people browse and have fun. And if you keep this strategy for the winter months only, then people will actually look forward to house shopping in winter. And keep in mind–you may not sell more houses, but you will make out like a bandit when it comes to generating leads. You will be the talk of the market.

Take a Poll

Ask your prospects, customers and former clients to help you gear up for 2018. Get suggestions for marketing, listing ideas and even staging tips. People love it when you ask for their opinion. Treat this like a monthly exercise and people will anticipate your next poll.

Go Shopping

Look for discount and deals on items you need for your office and work space. The winter may be a good time to buy that iPad or new printer or scoop up those $1 items that the retailer picked up for a penny. Look for closeouts as businesses are shutting down. Search out auctions to buy staging furniture. Heck, be on the look out for a house or two, too.

Got to Conferences

Go to regional or national conferences you weren’t able to attend during the busy months. Use this time to network with agents from across the country who might be great sources for relocation leads.

If you are of the ambitious sort, why not start your own conference or mastermind group? You can play host, become the authority in your community and pile up those leads as winter warms.

Penny pinch

Now that you aren’t rushing off to a showing every afternoon, take the time to reduce all of your expenses. Hunt down new prices for your phones or insurance. Investigate independent service companies and find out their competitive prices (think home inspectors or title people–anybody who can help your clients).

Take a Class

Now is the time to enroll for some higher education. Find a college course in accounting or seek out a mentor. Is there an online certification that you’ve been hoping to get? The winter is a great time to get it.

What other ways can you think of that will help you beat the winter doldrums?

Read This BEFORE You Leave for Your New Year’s Eve Party

We need to talk before you go out tonight. It’s about what you plan on doing…

Both you and I know that you’re a real estate agent. Both you and I know that you’ve probably taken a beating this year and deserve a little fun…

A little time where you can let your hair down–if you have hair–and be yourself and not think about business.

You know what? Tough. You need to work tonight. But there’s hitch.

Have a blast.

Have a blast while you generate leads. Something like 25 leads…which is more than most people produce in 2 weeks.

Even 2 months.

However, there is one situation where you can generate 25 leads in 2 hours…with a martini in one hand, a smile plastered across your face and a stack of cards in your other hand.

The stack I’m talking about is full of business cards. And the event…

That’s right…I’m talking about the New Year’s Eve party you’re going to tonight. Listen. It’s a fabulous time to meet many new people. And start 2010 out with a bang.

If you do this right, when you wake up tomorrow, you’ll have a tidy little sum of leads.

So, with that in mind, here are nine tips you can use to make your 2009 New Year’s Eve party a networking smash.

1. Arrive early. Before people are engaged in conversations. It’s easier to start a conversation than it is to break into one.

2. Zero in on the wallflowers. You never know what kind of potential is lurking around those shy, quiet types. Never discriminate.

3. Shake hands firmly.

4. Wear something out of the ordinary…a top hat or bright orange scarf. When you follow up with the leads mention, “I was the one wearing the top hat.” That will ring a bell.

5. Pick something up. Anything. A tray of drinks or hors d’oeuvres. “Hey, would you like one?” is an excellent way to introduce yourself. And, “Got to keep passing” is an excellent reason to move on to the next person. This trick will help you to keep conversations short.

6. Memorize your elevator speech.

7 Be happy…regardless of whether or not you had a tough day. People want to work with upbeat, outgoing people.

8. Don’t drink too much. Sober and in control, you’ll stand out.

9. Stay until the end. The later you stay, the more contacts.

Bonus: If you’re hosting the party and know everybody who is showing up…get on the phone quick and start inviting strangers around your neighborhood.

Did you find this article useful? If so, leave a comment. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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10 Things You Can Do Before You Get Your Real Estate License

Did you know that there are a lot of things you could do to help you succeed as a real estate agent–even before you get your license?

That’s right. Ten things, in fact.

But what it all really boils down to is this: Make the market deal with you. That’s pretty much the essence of the following post.

So, if you are a pragmatist, you can go now.

But if you need a little depth…expansion…stick around. The following advice will help you get the upper hand on your competition before you even enter the ring. Enjoy the list and let me know what you think when you’re through!

1. Drive the Streets

Whether your market is familiar territory or not, it helps to explore with eyes wide open. Memorize street names. Subdivision names. Get out of your car and talk to homeowners. Ask them about their street, their home and their neighborhood. Get a pulse on your market and how people are thinking.

2. Read Books

The late Jim Rohn once said, “Skip a meal, but never skip a book.” Books are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to learn how to sell, persuade, generate leads. Heck, with a local library or university close by, you have the opportunity to learn about any subject you wanted–architecture, termites, economics–you name it, you can read about it. And the cool thing: It doesn’t take a license.

3. Go to Seminars

Granted, you could spend a chunk of change flying to San Francisco, sleeping in a hotel and eating out three times a day–but how much is it worth to you to learn first-hand the secrets, strategies and tips to succeeding in the business? Not to mention the contacts you’ll make. Fortunately, not all seminars require flying and over night stays.

4. Take Extra Classes

Nowadays you can’t get away from the adult learning opportunity–it’s everywhere. There’s a Sanford-Brown on practically every corner. Satellite schools of major universities at nearly every high school. And then there’s the web. Online classes open a wide door for you to expand your knowledge–in the convenience of your own kitchen.

5. Preserve Your Reputation

Listen. It won’t be long before people start taking pop shots at you, trying to tar your image. So why help them with questionable behavior? Keep your nose clean. Offline AND online. The money you lose for being a jackass isn’t worth the fun you had during a flash-in-the-pan night.

6. Get Top Producer

Who’s says you can’t start accumulating leads just because you don’t have your license? Get client management software right away (before you start driving the streets) so you can populate that thing early and often with prospects.

7. Figure Out Your Plan

Waiting to take your exam is a great opportunity to map out a strategy that will help you get to the top. A good strategy is a great way to make the market deal with you and not the other way around. Here’s a post to help you: Your Personal Strategy to Building Some Serious Real Estate Wealth

8. Look at the Market Differently

Hint: When you’re looking for how you can dominate, pick the area everyone hates to do. Likely you’ll be the only one in that area. That way you can mop up. Think expireds. Or short sales.

9. Forget about the Media

The media loves tragedies. That’s why housing bubbles and bank meltdowns and cold-blooded murders top the headlines. The only problem is, they don’t know when to stop. Neither do they know what your particular market is like. There are two kinds of real estate agents in your market: the successful and the non-successful. Which brings me to my last point.

10. Talk to Established Agents

Like I mentioned in a previous post, the super-successful find a way to make the market deal with them. They understand what it takes to succeed and will not except failure. Or no. Winning is the only outcome they know. It’s these people you want to take to dinner, feed drinks and ask them to tell you everything they know. And you don’t need a license to do that.

Your Turn

What do you think? Did I hit the nail on the head? Did I miss anything? If so, please do me a favor and share your ideas. I look forward to your thoughts.

Did you find this article useful? If so, leave a comment. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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3 Critical Questions: The Secret to Networking Success

Listen: Networking is less about meeting new people than it is about getting them to remember you after the fact.

That means, asking the right questions is an essential step in standing above the crowd. Getting noticed. Having people remember you a week from now.

It’s not how many people you met. It’s how many people you impressed.

If that’s the case, then how do you get someone to remember you from the other dozen people he met that very same night?

Good question. Let me explain.

One Easy Way to Provide Value

First, make an instant connection with that person. Just after you’ve introduced yourself, say…

“So where else do you normally network?”

After she answers, offer the names of a couple of networking groups or events and promise to email her if you think of some more. By providing valuable information she might not have had before, you’ve made a deep connection with this person she isn’t likely to forget.

Get Them Talking about Themselves

Second, in early in the conversation, ask…

“What do you like best about what you do?”

People enjoy talking about themselves and a question that shows true interest in their careers will anchor your name deep in their minds.

It helps to determine early what you have in common with people at the event.

Keep Them Talking about Themselves

Third, during the latter stages of the conversation, ask…

“Oh, I see. What got you started in that direction?”

This will probably generate the longest response. But that’s okay, because it will be a meaningful way to wind down the conversation. And once again, by showing a true interest in her career, you’ll make your name easy for her to remember next time she comes across you business card.

Bottom line, be yourself.

Your Turn

What are your networking secrets? How do you stand out in an over-crowded networking event? Share your thoughts.

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7 Proven, No-Nonsense Steps to Get Way More Referrals–and Save Your Real Estate Career

7 Proven, No-Nonsense Ways to Get Way More Referrals–and Save Your Real Estate Career

For the overworked, overcommitted and all-around overwhelmed real estate agent I have one piece of no-nonsense advice for you–that really works.

Learn to make people talk about you.

Last week I wrote about the two most productive lead generation activities in real estate marketing that several Baylor University researchers discovered–referrals and IVR technology.

To piggyback on that discovery, I’m going to zero in on referrals this week and IVR technology next week.

You’ll Make More Money. Simple Enough?

Referrals are by far the most effective leads you can find. They don’t cost anything and they come with a substantial recommendation from a past client, friend or family member.

Referral leads are ready-made leads. They are leads that require nothing more than for you to bump them into the basket.

But it’s not really that simple.

It does require diligent work with clients, providing divine customer service–the kind of service that people only dream about. But when they do experience that kind of care, they can’t believe it, and they can’t stop talking about it.

Sound like a far-fetched dream?

It doesn’t need to be. Just follow these 7 practical steps to creating a great referral business and in less than six months you’ll unlock a majestic mountain of fresh, ready-to-buy or sell leads.

1. Provide Astonishing, Jaw-Dropping Service

The first step is to provide a high level of service in the first place. If the service is not exceptional, no one will send any referrals. This goes back to the idea of divine customer service.

But in my experience what most clients want from you is consistent feedback. (Has that been your experience?)

When your clients feel you have communicated with them clearly and regularly and beyond their expectations, their level of satisfaction goes up. Clients can overlook other errors at times, but lack of communication is rarely forgiven.

Achieve a satisfying level of communication with your clients and you’ve found the first key to generating more refarrals.

2. Ask Past Clients for Referrals

A second, but simple step toward obtaining referrals is to ask for them.

There is no substitute for actually prospecting for referrals. Picking up the phone and communicating with your past clients is crucial.

3. Ask Current Clients for Referrals

Third, do not forget to ask your current clients. (Tips two and three can be summed up this way: ask every client.) The people you are currently working with can be your best referral sources.

The ides is to strike while the iron is hot.

They’re telling everyone they meet that they are either buying or selling. They are in a fit of anxiety, eager to talk to people about buying or selling a home. Their whole conversations revolve around their current activity in real estate.

So, you want to hit these people early on when their excitement is high.

4. Create an Automatic System to Cultivate Past Clients

Understand you must consistently contact your past clients in order to achieve success in referrals. Creating a program that helps keep you in constant contact with your past clients will yield the best results.

You will receive a good 80 percent of your referrals from 20 percent of your past clients.

5. Track, Monitor and Measure Referrals

Make sure to effectively track who is sending you the business. You need to know which people to spend the most time, energy, effort, and dollars on.

You might be surprised who is your leading salesperson in the field. By tracking, you can accurately reward the ‘top producer’ of referrals. And people love recognition from others.

A simple spreadsheet or more complex customer relationship management software can help you do this.

6. Build Something Past Clients Are Proud to Share

Put out the welcome mat. Invite your current and past clients to visit your website to enjoy articles, tips or quizzes.

Also, make it easy for your current clients to navigate your website or blog. Do something on the web that establishes your authority.



7. Identify and Provide What People Want

Finally, the surest way to success is finding out what people want–and then giving it to them. This can even be about finding needs or wants people don’t know they have…and meeting them. Think Apple iPod.

Nobody thought they needed the iPod. But Apple mined their customer base and the world at large and discovered some keen insights that helped them develop the iPod. All Apple had to do was get out of the way after that.


My best advice to you is become something incredible. Become something people can’t stop talking about. Become a purple cow.

Be diligent in identifying and providing what your customers want or need. Pay close attention to what people on the street are saying. Never stop asking, listening, learning and giving.

Once you do this, all you’ll need to do then is get out of the way.

Did you find this article useful? If so, leave a comment. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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The 3 Best Social Media Ideas for Improving Your Sales You’ll Ever Read

Leads are like molecules. They’re a billion of them, but all so small and insignificant you don’t even pay attention to them.

Leads are like molecules in another way, too. Without molecules, you wouldn’t exist. Same is true for leads.

But maybe you don’t have a billion leads coming in. Would you like a billion leads over a years time? If so, one way to get there is by doing lots of microprospecting.

What’s microprospecting? Just another way of saying “prospect small, and often.”

Microprospecting is sending a personal email to a satisfied client. Crossing the street to meet a stranger. Microprospecting works in the digital world to, like social media.

You can fill your macro funnel with leads by laying hundreds of small social media prospecting lines. And the cool part? Is doesn’t take a lot of time.

In the case of social media, here are the 3 best–and fastest–things you can do everyday that are guaranteed to grow your pipeline.

The Best Blogging Idea You’ll Ever Read

The most obvious choice here is to start a blog. If you haven’t a blog yet, it’s imperative you get one now.

What can you do daily on a blog that will improve your sales? Write short, meaningful posts on the state of your local market.

But I have a much better idea.

Write short, meaningful posts about people in your community. Become a local journalist.

Every time you are in the car, on the phone or in a meeting with someone, find out something interesting about them. And then ask them if you can blog about them. Keep a notepad and build up a pool of stories.

Once you start posting these stories, email the person to let them know. Then they tell all their friends and family. Pretty soon you’ll have a large swath of people eyeing your blog to see if they made it on there yet.

In fact, you do this good enough, and strangers will go out of their way to meet you, hoping you “interview” them.

Why is this effective? Because people like to see themselves in print.

I got this idea from the book Made to Stick, where Dan and Chris Heath tell the story of a city newspaper that had a readership rate over 100%.

What was the secret to the newspaper’s success? The editor summed it up in three words: names, names, names. He and his reporters focused on the people of the town–not the events.

You should do the same.

The Best Recommendation Idea You’ll Ever Read

The next best social media idea is to give people recommendations. But not just any old recommendation.

How can you do that? Join LinkedIn if you haven’t already and search out people you’ve worked with in some capacity. Then, recommend them.

But say something positive and unique about that person. Unique is key. Zero in on something about that person that makes them stand out. Give the recommendation teeth.

I’ve given several recommendations where people have returned with “wow…that really pops out of the page.”

You can learn how to write a good LinkedIn recommendation. It’s really easy and involves a 15 minute investment.

Give one recommendation a day for 30 days and you’ve made 30 people smile. Hopefully you’ll get 30 recommendations in return. That’s not always the case, but 20–even 10–is better than none.

The Best One Night Stand You’ll Ever Have–and the Only One You’ll Ever Have

This goes without saying, but to make the best use of social media, you have to be social. Like Dustin Wax at Stepcase Lifehack said:

Building relationships starts with a friend request or invite  — it doesn’t end there. Get to know the people you are connected with. Answer their questions, send them a link or piece of information now and again, and read their profiles.

But if you look at social media as a one-night stand–you’re doomed for failure.

You’ve got to love people. Everything about them. Like Leo at Zen Habits–who I swear doesn’t have a bad bone in his body. He is truly interested in everybody.

[Just follow him on Twitter to see what I mean.]

When you fall over yourself to get to know people–one person at a time–becoming popular is inevitable. And that means you have to spend more than one night with them.

The 90 Day Social Media Challenge

Social media is out there to help you. And it’s perfect for what you want to do–generate leads. Where else can you have access to millions of people in the matter of a few clicks?

So, my challenge to you is this: for the next 90 days try and do these three simple social media ideas everyday.

At the most it should take you an hour and a half.  But that hour and a half maybe your best time investment as your social network grows exponentially.


By the end of that 90 days you won’t have a billion leads. Probably not a million. Or even a thousand. But a hundred isn’t far-fetched.

And if you have one hundred new leads, and got just one lead from each person, your leads just doubled without you having to do anything.

That’s the beauty of compound marketing.

The Introvert: Networking Tips and Habits for a Little Understood Group

Confession time.

Are you someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and defective at small talk?

Are you someone who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recover? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with happy talk by people who are just trying to be nice?

Do people regard you as “too serious,” or ask “are you okay?” Do people regard you as aloof, arrogant, rude? Redouble their efforts to draw you out?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are you’re a bona fide introvert.

Science has learned a good deal in recent years about the habits and requirements of introverts. It has even learned, by means of brain scans and lemon juice tests, that introverts process information differently from other people (honest, I am not making this up).

Introverts may be more common than you think. But they are also among the most misunderstood and aggrieved groups in America, possibly the world, probably the universe!

I know. My name is Gary, and I am an introvert.

Oh, for years I denied it. After all, I am not morose or misanthropic. I have good social skills. Usually. I am far from shy. I love long conversations that explore intimate thoughts or passionate interests. But at last I have self-identified and come out to my friends and colleagues.

In fact, as a business owner, it was necessary I come out. For better or worse, connecting and networking makes the world go round.

Most of us have experienced the power of networks. There’s the job found through a friend’s sister’s boyfriend. Or the lifelong partner met through a neighbor’s cousin. Or joint venture launched after a 3 martini lunch.

It applies to all of business though.

Networking Is an Investment, Not a Nuisance

Imagine if you could always find what you needed in just 1 or 2 phone calls. If you are well networked, you probably can. By putting in the time to build your network, you save time when you need to get things done. [I’ve seen Greg Swann do this exceptionally well through his Bloodhound Blog, which makes for another good reason to start blogging.]

Well networked people don’t have to waste time firing off random emails to people they don’t know, buying leads or industry lists, or sifting through hundreds of pages of the phone book.

However, it seems that the vast majority of networking advice is aimed at extroverts. “Go to networking mixers and meet new people,” the authorities say. “Make cold calls.” “Speak in front of groups.” “Call people up and chat with them about what’s new.” “Dance in your pajamas.”

Excuse me while I barf in a bag. Isn’t there a better way? [Okay, I was the one who said “Dance in your pajamas”. But it’s still good advice.]

At First, You’ll Stumble Like a Toddler

Someone’s estimated that introverts make up 49 percent of the population. People win elections, set laws, declare victory with percentages lower than that. But guess what? You still have to play by someone else’s rules. And who sets the rules? The Majority. The Extroverts.

That means you still have to get out of bed, put on your shoes [or heels–women only!] and go to places where people gather. Frightening, yeah, I know.

Sometimes you have to start by picking events at random. You spend an hour in a very uncomfortable setting, but you learn what to go to and what to skip. Eventually you find a few people or events that you like.

It may help to recognize that being an introvert is not a disorder, nor is it unusual. Introversion is simply a personality type. And it may be that your shy and timid but STILL a good connector.

We all know people like this. We’ve read about them in The Tipping Point. They are the ones who always know someone who does exactly what you need. And they know it before you even know it. They offer referrals without asking, they arrange lunches, and they love doing it. They are the connectors and they, according to the blog by an introvert for introverts, all have four things in common.

They are self-described introverts. Each one would rather be doing something besides talking to strangers. Somehow they manage to get out and meet people, get to know them, and maintain the relationships.

They are great listeners. Although they are skilled conservationists, it’s mainly because they are such good listeners. Because they understand you and your business, they know just what you need and who you should meet.

They have a plan. They know how many people they need to contact, and they know how often they need to do it. They set aside planning time, create a system, and they put it into their calendar. They don’t leave anything to chance.

They are highly successful. Even though they focus on others, they have all done very well in business, they are highly-respected, and they’re happy. Helping others has its rewards.

As you can see, you can still be shy, you can still cling to your view that ideas are more important than people, you can still rely on your one tumbler of Wild Turkey and Tums BEFORE a cocktail party and still be successful in real estate.

But granted, you still have to play the game, and you still have to play by the rules.

Alternative Networking Tips and Habits for Introverts

Now, many of us have both introverted and extroverted qualities. So you can find alternatives to extroverted networking that can be helpful even if you are not a true introvert.

Over the last 15 years, I’ve made a lot of progress. Here’s what I’ve learned about networking as an introvert.

1. Don’t spend too much time on it.
If you wear yourself out, you won’t ever want to do it. Accept your limitations and just do 1 or 2 events a month. It takes a long time to build these relationships.

2. Invite people to lunch.
Or invite them to coffee or for a beer after work. If you meet a fellow introvert, he is unlikely to do the inviting, so you have to do it. Go figure.

3. Go regularly to things you like.
Years ago my business partner Scott Wood started attending a local Chamber of Commerce. He didn’t know a soul. It was very awkward for him. But he was learning a lot. It took about 3 months before anyone even recognized him and said “hi.” You just have to keep showing up, month after month.

4. Analyze your results.
Introverts are intuitive and analytical. Use that skill. What is working? What isn’t? Where do you get the most bang for your buck?

5. Find the key players in the network.
Don’t find a marketing person, find someone who knows lots of marketing people and then invite that person to lunch. Of course, this takes a long time because it is hard to find the right person.

6. Attend events with a friend.
When planning to attend a networking meeting or social event where you hope to mingle with prospective clients, invite a friend or colleague to go with you. And agree that you will help each other to meet new people.

7. Seek out structure.
I abhor mixers but enjoy meeting people in more structured environments like workshops. You may find that it’s easier to talk about yourself when there is a specific time allotted for just that purpose.

8. Avoid the crowds.
Mingling at events is not an environment where I do my best. Instead of trying to meet people in group settings, do your networking one-on-one. Arrange to meet with people for coffee or lunch to get to know them better.

9. Prepare what to say.
Whether you are attending an event or placing a follow-up call, most introverts find it helpful to plan out in advance what they want to talk about. I know I do. This type of preparation gives you time to reflect on what you wish to express and explore the best way to say it.

10. Write instead of call.
It’s true that it’s usually more effective to contact prospective clients by phone than by email or letter. But if calling makes you uncomfortable enough that you tend to simply avoid it, go ahead and write instead. Besides, its easier to call someone when you’ve got your foot in the door via an email or letter. “Hi, I was wondering if you got my email?”

11. Promote by publishing.
The focused, reflective nature of many introverts makes them excellent writers. Writing and publishing articles, a blog, reports and studies, or even a book can attract many prospective clients and boost your credibility.

When clients come to you already acquainted with your work instead of you approaching them as a stranger, marketing conversations become more relaxed and intimate–just what most introverts like.


According to C J Hayden, there’s one area of marketing at which introverts often shine. While extroverts typically enjoy meeting new people and find it relatively effortless to fill their marketing pipeline, they don’t always do well at following up with the people they meet. Introverts, on the other hand, frequently excel at building strong relationships over time.

If you focus your marketing on staying in touch with people and getting to know them better instead of continually trying to seek out new contacts, you may find that your introverted style of marketing works better than what the extroverts are doing after all.

What do you think? Are you an introvert and do you have any tips I haven’t mentioned and would like to share? Go ahead and leave a comment.

And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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Do you have any links about blog strategy you’d like to share? If so, pop them in the comments below. Thanks and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Naked Conversations: The Lynchpin to Your Real Estate Marketing Blog

Sorry to disappoint you.

This is not a pitch for a nudist colony, a social network for swingers or a therapy method for “heavy talkers”.

It’s a pitch to get you “naked.” That is, to get your blog “naked.”

In 1999 the Cluetrain Manifesto declared:

These markets are conversations. Their members communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking. Whether explaining or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can’t be faked.

Here’s my question to you: Are you faking your blog?

Are you natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking on your real estate blog?

The Essential Benefits of Real Estate Blogging

In the breezy book Naked Conversations, Robert Scoble and coauthor Shel Israel argue that every business can benefit from smart “naked” blogging, whether the company’s a small-town real estate agent or a multinational fashion house.

“If you ignore the blogosphere… you won’t know what people are saying about you. You can’t learn from them, and they won’t come to see you as a sincere human who cares about your business and its reputation.”

In a nutshell, blogging is one of the best ways to communicate with your market. Better than postcards, email newsletters, flyers, magazine articles, weekly radio shows.

How are blogs better than these communication channels?

There are six key differences between blogging and any other communications channel.

1. Publishable. Anyone can publish a blog.You can do it cheaply and post often. In addition, each posting is instantly available worldwide.

2. Searchable. Through search engines, people will find blogs by subject, by author, or both. The more you post, the more findable you become.

3. Social. The blogosphere is one big conversation. Interesting topical conversations move from site to site, linking to each other. Through blogs, people with shared interests build relationships unrestricted by geographic borders.

4. Viral. Information often spreads faster through blogs than via a news service. No form of viral marketing matches the speed and efficiency of a blog.

5. Syndicatable. By clicking on an icon, you can get free “home delivery” of RSS- enabled blogs into your e-mail software. This process is considerably more efficient than the last- generation method of visiting one page of one web site at a time looking for changes.

6.Linkable. Because each blog can link to all others, every blogger has access to the tens of millions of people who visit the blogosphere every day.

Of course you can find each of these elements elsewhere. And none is, in itself, all that remarkable.

But in final assembly, they are the benefits of the most powerful two-way Internet communications tool so far developed.

However, bloggers and sophisticated readers of blogs will sniff you out as a fake if you lie, hide, withhold or micromanage information.

Successful blogging is about being off-the-cuff, transparent and off-the-record so to speak. Even if you sin.

What to Do If You Sin and Suffer

In a New York Times interview, David Neeleman, founder and CEO of JetBlue, said he was “humiliated and mortified” with how JetBlue customers were treated and how his organization melted down.

Then he went onto tick off a number of problems with his company, including the low-cost model he developed.

Did you catch that?

He publicly aired corporate problems.

Using a blog would have been a better communications tool. But remember that like a hammer, a blog is just a tool.

JetBlue sinned. It suffered. But it publicly repented. And the guy at the top probably ignored a whole bevy of lawyers telling him not to admit any kind of culpability.

This is transparency. And it is a case study for how a CEO, politician or real estate agent can use it.

Naturally, you shouldn’t wait until you’ve embarrassed yourself, your family, your clients to start using a blog. You should start before that.

And you should remain open, natural, honest and transparent. Telling the truth is the curious secret to getting people to believe you.

In fact, airing out your dirty laundry makes everything else you say more believable.

Just ask David Neeleman.

In July 2007, JetBlue reported that its second-quarter revenue increased from the first quarter. In fact, JetBlue was one of the few major airlines to post a profit in that quarter.