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"E-Mail Your Way to Success"

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Jerry Rossi Photo
6/6/03 Interview with Jerry Rossi

Rossi Speaks, Inc.
1408 Bascomb Drive
Raleigh, NC 01773

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Range of Technology Experience Among Realtors

  1. Many young novices in real estate and many transferees into the industry from other professions are very comfortable with technology; however, some real estate veterans are still fearful of technology.
  2. Those who are not comfortable using technology on a day-to-day basis may comprise more than 50% of active, licensed Realtors; some of these practitioners will buy tech tools and let them sit unused.
  3. The management of real estate offices tends to fall into two categories ‹those who embrace technology eagerly and those who are reluctant to apply it; however, even in offices of the former type, some personnel have to be forcefully encouraged to develop tech skills.
How to Initiate Technology in Practice

  1. One strategy that Rossi uses in providing services for offices is tohandle lesson planning and homework by email; that push into technology brings some agents around.
  2. He advises brokers/owners to give agents assignments based on using technology: e.g., require that they have an email campaign instead of knocking on doors and set a requirement for a database of at least 1500.
  3. Using the Society's customizable, monthly e-newsletter CyberTips with even a small database is a great visibility-builder ‹a way for an agent to present him- or herself as the expert in the area.
Building a Database

  1. To get a good start on a database, consider buying one; keep adding to it steadily aim for 3 new names per day, 5 days a week; even entering the new names is good tech practice.
  2. To get email addresses, call people (yourself or hire someone) to invite them to opt into your list or send a postcard to a neighborhood announcing creation of a customized email communication for local residents.
  3. Once you start to send email communications, suggest that recipients get others they know involved in receiving them.
  4. The cost in time, effort and money to communicate by email is more efficient than postal mailings; recent estimates show that the cost of sending a physical letter runs about $7.50, whereas cost for email is almost nil.
Saving Money with Technology

  1. Not only low-producers fail to use technology effectively; some high-producers are maintaining production without the best use of technology, but they are working harder than they ever worked before.
  2. Rossi saved top-North Carolina producer Ida Terbet $26,000 per month by1) cutting the expense of products she wasn't using, 2) streamlining her website management and 3) maximizing use of cost-efficient tools.
  3. Email marketing and postcards resulted in huge bottom-line savings; one good source is ($39 for 100 full-color,2-sided postcards ‹addressed, stamped, mailed and laminated).
  4. Rossi overhauled Terbet's office setup to network eight computers with a server and equip them with Thin Client software ‹basically a dummy computer that prevents a station from using programs of its own.
  5. The reconfigured office efficiently uses Top Producer software and a single database; Terbet's database has grown from 1,200 to 6,000+ names and is headed for 15,000 by year's end.
  6. Technology-averse professionals might consider hiring people who are technology-minded to support them ‹as Terbet did; however, the serious problem is that you are vulnerable to whatever someone tells you.
  7. The solution is to acquire your own base of knowledge or hire someone whom you trust and who understands technology to assist in setting up your systems and hiring workers with the right skills to achieve the outcome that you want.
Favorite Tools and Spots on the Web

  1. is the most comfortable, easiest, fastest and most complete search engine.
  2. ACT! is a great database manager.
  3. is a useful placement engine that Rossi depends on to get top-three listing for his and his clients web sites.
How Works

  1. Establish an account at and deposit an initial amount of money (e.g., $50) in that account.
  2. Search real estate for your town to find which search engines are the top ones for the topic and how much per click using them will cost; likely top search engines should include Yahoo!, Infoseek and about 7 more.
  3. You put in your bid to get listed; for example, it might cost 10-cents per click to be listed #1; when someone browsing the web finds your name listed on a given search engine and clicks on your site, 10-cents is deducted from your Overture account.
  4. If a visitor returns to your site and/or moves deeply into your site within 24-hours of the original hit, there is no further charge; if the visitor returns through the search engine after 24 hours, it cost you another 10-cents.
  5. The cost to be listed #1 on the search engines generally is minimal; however, if a bidding war develops, the cost can go high; monitor the cost carefully ‹sometimes it makes economic sense to settle for being #2 or #3, but lower than that takes you off the first page on the sponsored site.
Contact Information for Jerry Rossi:

(v) 800-722-7543
(f) 919-846-6333

Real Estate Sites and Tools in This Briefing:

Rossi Speaks, Inc.
Ida Terbet's site
Thin Client
Top Producer real estate software
ACT! general database manager