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"Trash Your Snail Mail!"

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Margaret Rome Photo
2/6/04 Interview with Margaret Rome

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
5907 Berkeley Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21209

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Secrets for Personal Productivity

  1. By using technology, Rome single-handedly maintains a successful, high-service real estate business while averaging a week off a month.
  2. Rome limits the number of listings she takes at any one time to 15 so that she can maintain first-class service; her niche is to do what she does best on a scale she can manage alone.
  3. Because she loves doing the kind of tasks assistants often do for agents, Rome seeks assistance in other areas, such as cooking and cleaning.
  4. Rome has set up her phones for callers to leave her a message; no one else speaks to her clients, and she is never interrupted while speaking with anybody; the arrangement also gives her privacy regarding her whereabouts.
  5. Rome's manner of working represents a different style from the team approach.
Tools for Running Her Business

  1. Rome relies on a laptop and a Palm i705 that gives her email access at all times; anyone making an appointment schedules directly with her.
  2. Mongofax is a practical system for delivering contracts by email; the document is entered on a regular fax machine, but it goes into an email message; Rome uses the service to maintain copies of everything she needs on her own computer.
  3. Rome is rarely away from fax machine access for more than a few hours; however, alternatively, documents can be relayed to her real estate office and entered into Mongofax there.
  4. Her web site is a valuable tool; potential listing clients can go to the site to interview her there; Rome is in the position to accept only the clients she wishes to work with, and she takes people only by referral.
  5. The web site is also the resource for property information in lieu of flyers or brochures; each property listing has its own page complete with description and multiple photos; sellers, buyers and other agents can access what they need from the site and print out copies if they wish.
  6. Rome uses the services of a young techie to post listings on the site; after a one-stop listing appointment during which she photographs the property while talking to the clients, Rome emails the photos to the techie.
'Buyers 4 Your Home' Page

  1. Rome chooses not to work extensively with buyers, but if one comes to her and Rome does not have an appropriate property listed, she offers to post an ad on her web site for the buyer that details what the buyer is looking for.
  2. Whenever Rome has sellers that she can't handle, she refers them to the 'Buyers4YourHome' page to check if there is a match.
  3. Rome offers to send buyers any listings of interest she acquires and asks that they call her if they see anything of interest; through Rome's web site, buyers have access to every multiple-listed property, can sign up to search for their preferences and to be notified daily of new, appropriate listings.
  4. Rome sends a signature email to prospective buyers explaining how to access multiple listings from her site and suggesting three or four lenders that they could contact about preapproval.

  1. Pathwise software is a valuable tool for gaining information about email recipients and web site users; it will report when email messages you send are picked up and read, and alerts you when your email recipients come back to your site to view specific property listings.
  2. Pathwise provides an alternate 'Send' button that automatically triggers the tracking service for the message.
  3. The insight gained from Pathwise justifies its cost of $400Ð$500 up front plus $99/mo., especially for someone working alone.
Other Valuable Services

  1. is an easy, comprehensive service to use for keeping in touch with contacts; Rome focuses on sending a few personally specific cards a year, including daylight savings time reminders, birthday cards and congratulation notices.
  2. Rome rates her global positioning system (GPS) in her car as her most valuable tool at present; it guides her from listing to listing without any thought on her part.
  3. The Society's new SettlementRoom Express is a tremendous help, Rome finds it an effective substitute for an assistant.
  4. The Society has been Rome's primary resource; practically all the technology she uses she heard about first through the Society.
Favorite Sites on the Web

  1. is a great place to find the web sites of top agents.
  2. allows you to check quotes by author, statement and subject.
  3. is helpful and inexpensive for purchasing domain names.
  4. is handy for spelling and thesaurus lookups.
  5. The Google tool bar and the Society Cool Tool Bar are great express routes to information and member services, membership in the Society is a wonderful gift to consider giving to friends in the industry.
Contact Information for Margaret Rome:


Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Buyers 4 Your Home:


978-461-0999 x202


World of Quotes:

Practical tool bars:
Google tool bar and RECS Cool Tool Bar

Longevity calculations: