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"Alice Held Interview 1999"

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Alice Held Photo
4/2/99 Interview with Alice Held

RE/MAX Excalibur
P.O. Box 6244
Scottsdale, AZ 85261

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How to Get Things Done in Real Estate Cyberspace

  1. The backbone of success is email; your prompt response to messages is critical.
  2. Held gets email through her content-rich web site that provides a relocation guide for consumers; most of her email contacts are people who are being transferred to her area or are considering the area as a better climate.
  3. Real Estate is based on relationships, and email allows you to build rapport with your clients and foster their loyalty to you; in becoming a tie line to the new area, you can ease the emotional stress they are under and help them make a decision.
Applying Email Features

  1. Form letters that can be customized are an aid to responding quickly; Held uses a gentle screening letter up front that asks questions to pre-qualify clients; a second letter is sent to those who don't answer the first.
  2. She sorts respondents into separate mailboxes for hot prospects vs. weak replies so that she can concentrate on those that really need attention.
  3. Sorting may also be done to keep responses for a property together; then a mass notification relating to that property can be sent out quickly.
Web Site Secrets

  1. Primary advice is to offer what people want; design a customer-centered web site that is easy to use and full of useful content.
  2. Visual impact needs to be compelling, and the site should be fun to visit; Held uses the Saguaro cactus-person throughout her site as a light-hearted guide and unifier. 3. Decide who the web site is aimed at and who the site is portraying (e.g., you or your company); select information that is appropriate for those choices and that will keep your visitors coming back again and again.
  3. Because Held focuses on relocation clients, her site features what is unique about Arizona; for example, she explains the concept, architecture and design of Master Plan Communities and how homes relate to heat rather than cold.
  4. Standard topics such as school systems, recreation and sports, and top employers are also covered; the site has evolved over the years - as people have asked questions, Held has added information to cover the answers.
  5. You should focus your web site on whatever area of Real Estate expertise and personal interests you have.
  6. Held utilizes numerous links to other sites to allow a visitor to gather additional information on whatever their need or interest might be; she aims to make her site so helpful and compelling that visitors will always come back.
Attracting First-Time Visitors

  1. Make sure every page of your web site is registered under its topic with search engines.
  2. Links from other sites are good sources for visitors; Held has a number of corporations interested in linking with hers; through a section called "My Colleagues Around the World," she shares links with other Realtors; she also links and shares leads with a short-term rental specialist.
How Held Found Her Forte

  1. Held became a relocation specialist as a result of her own experience in moving to Arizona without knowing anyone; after discovering numerous resources that she wished she had known about before her move, she recognized a business opportunity.
  2. Her initial marketing efforts for relocation service involved placing brochures in local hotels and taking ads in the Wall Street Journal and her former NY newspaper; use of the Internet was a natural progression; business is still growing.
The Use of Tech Tools

  1. Cyber tools turbo charge business by simplifying and speeding marketing (MLS postings) and research.
  2. After email, the digital camera has been Held's favorite tool; sending photos to a client's spouse who couldn't come to see a property via disk or email has closed many sales; scanners are helpful.
  3. Laptops are becoming necessary equipment for doing presentations and for keeping on top of business when traveling; contracts can be kept on your computer.
  4. PalmPilots are more effective for scheduling and note taking than DayTimers.
  5. Held has avoided using virtual tours because not everyone has the necessary computer power to view them; she tries to keep her site totally accessible; virtual tours will come to be expected.
  6. Be sure to maintain a balance between employing technology and staying focused as a person; take as good care of your body and mind as you do of your equipment.
Favorite Sites

  1. For health and fitness: Thrive online and Healthlines.
  2. To stay organized and cope with information overload: Everything's Organized and Achievement Solutions.
Advice for Young Newcomers to Real Estate

  1. Go for it! You have an edge in being comfortable with technology from the outset.
  2. Established Realtors must adapt their traditional ways of doing business to the expectations of the cyber age; even referrals from past clients must be given service that rises to a new standard.
Contact Information for Alice Held:

(v) 877-266-3229
(f) 480-767-2800

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Health & fitness sites:

Sites to stay organized: