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"Client Gold on a Paper-thin Budget!"

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Cary Chessick Photo
6/2/06 Interview with Cary Chessick,
1500 West Shure Drive, Suite 200
Arlington Heights, IL 60004

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The Changing Role of Real Estate Pros

  1. Technology makes a lot more information available to buyers and sellers before they get to an agent; that fact impacts the relationship with the agent, who gets hired and how the sale will go; sites that are influencing consumers include Zillow and Google Earth.
  2. Professionals who ignore technology and persist in doing business the traditional way will be at a disadvantage in the years to come; those who spend the energy and effort with a computer to learn what is out there can take advantage of it.
  3. Learning technology is not an overwhelming task; simply discovering what resources are on the Internet and bringing that information to clients in a routine way will serve everyone's purpose. and
  1. has provided marketing services to restaurants across the country since 1999; the company builds web sites and does other marketing services in exchange for $25 certificates.
  2. On the company's web site, consumers can buy the $25 certificates for particular restaurants for $10 using a credit card; the certificate is emailed to the purchaser to print out and use at the restaurant.
  3. By special arrangement with the Society, Society members can purchase $25 certificates in bulk for just $5 apiece through the subsidiary site;
  4. Recipients of DiningDough certificates enter a code at the web site to receive a $25 credit in their shopping cart, and can, for example, do a ZIP code search to find a coupon for the restaurant of their choice.
Reasons for the Program's Popularity
  1. DiningDough certificates can be used as thank-you and incentive premiums; they are a cost-effective way to maintain a relationship; they are a universal gift because everyone likes to eat out, and the choices are diverse.
  2. The DiningDough shopping credit can be redeemed not only for participating restaurants but also at any of DiningDough's partners such as,, ProFlowers, Lobster Gram, Allen Brothers Steaks, Boca Java Coffee, The Fruit Company, Impromptu Gourmet and others.
How Members Can Get Certificates
  1. In the Members Only section at, click on the Discount Dining tab and then select the number of certificates you want; the minimum purchase is 20.
  2. Purchased certificates are sent to members by email; members can then email them to clients, print the certificates and give them in person or mail them out; members can even use the certificates themselves.
Redemption Options
  1. The 7,000 participating restaurants are spread across the country, with the most in major metropolitan markets; high numbers are in New York, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle, Washington, DC and the entire East Coast.
  2. Those who do not find a restaurant they want to use can take advantage of the options offered by the partner sites; DiningDough has never had anyone complain that they could not find something they wanted to use.
  3. A sales force of 60 people across the country are recruiting 200-400 new restaurants a month.
Benefits for the Restaurants
  1. The restaurants pay no cash to participate in the program; their only cost is honoring the gift certificates, which runs about 1/3 of face value.
  2. The restaurants each get a full-blown web site, national online advertising as well as local promotion (such as to real estate agents) that drives traffic to the restaurants; the company even provides the digital gift certificates.
Restrictions on Use of the Certificates
  1. There are a few standard restrictions including dine-in only and parties of two or more; then some restaurants add specific restrictions such as a $35 floor beyond the $25 certificate or an automatic tip.
  2. Any restrictions are clearly marked, and consumers have to click and agree before they buy.
How DiningDough Can Help Society Members
  1. The program is a cost-effective way for members to say thank you and stay in touch with customers; the program keeps members "top of mind" with former clients as well as potential clients.
  2. As a premium, it stands out in contrast to the usual gifts of newsletters or annual calendars and the like.
  3. Agents need to decide if they view clients in terms of a one-time transaction or in terms of a continuing relationship that results in a series of transactions over time; those who want to build and sustain relationships can benefit from technology-that is the secret to success in the industry going forward.
Favorite Personal Sites and Tools
  1. Amazing Mail is a resource that makes it easy to create a postcard with a special message to be sent out for you by mail; Outlook and other customer relationship management tools can help agents stay connected with clients.
  2. is useful for conference calls; the service is free and can accommodate an unlimited number of parties at once.
  3. offers a test of a person's biological age based on personal information.
  4. delivers food of exceptional quality.
  5. is a great resource to select places to eat even in a strange town; you'll find photos, menus, prices, descriptions and directions.
Contact Information for Cary Chessick:

(v) 928-254-9188
(f) 847-506-9685

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Chessick's company site:
Customer relationship management: MS Outlook