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"Build Your Income with Social Networking!"


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Mike Cutlip Photo
10/3/08 Interview with Mike Cutlip

MA Association of REALTOR
256 Second Ave
Waltham, MA 02451
Biography

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Social Networking Defined
  1. RE professionals need to do online the equivalent of what they do offline—build a network of referrals and keep up with existing clients; the basic Internet tool for these tasks is a contact management system.
  2. Social networking is similar activity extended to the masses; anyone can use web sites and a variety of digital tools to keep up, interact, send and receive messages and photos with others; the connections can be used with existing friends and to make new friends.

Social Networking for Agents
  1. You can integrate your business connections into social networking resources; for example, you can import your email contacts from AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo! and other web mail accounts into a social network like Facebook; you can also import from Excel, Top Producer, etc.
  2. The social network site will invite all of the contacts you bring into its system to be your friend on its network; once people accept the friend request, you get updates on what they do on the web site, such as uploading photos.
  3. In follow-up contacts with your Facebook people, you might refer to a photo they posted to demonstrate your personal interest in them.
  4. Social networking sites are about building a list and making connections; sites vary as to the restrictions they place on how users are allowed to connect people.
  5. MySpace allows members to request a connection with anyone on its network, but LinkedIn (focused more on business) directs its users to add people they know so that the connections have intrinsic value and can be assumed reputable.
  6. Users of LinkedIn want to take advantage of the networks of those with whom they have connections; well respected LinkedIn users tend to be experts in their fields and become hubs on the network.

Popular Tools for Connecting Online
  1. Email listserves are the oldest and most basic tool; message boards are also well established in a variety of formats and provide an easy way for people to exchange messages regardless of their time and place; popular boards for real estate pros are on ActiveRain.
  2. Tulia Voices is more consumer-oriented—people who come there to search for houses can post questions, and an agent’s reply might start a relationship.
  3. The Society has provided listserves to Commercial and Residential members for several years; its Broadcast Email Wizard concentrates 55 popular real estate listserves into a single-send program.
  4. RE pros should match social networking tools with the demographics of their business; MySpace skews to the young, Facebook to college age and first-time buyers, LinkedIn to older and higher income people; experiment if you want to build your customer base.
  5. Wikipedia has a good comprehensive list of social networking sites; there are numerous social networks to choose from—popular international sites include Bebo and Orkut.

Where to Start
  1. With LinkedIn for example, first accept an invitation to join and set up an account—which involves building a profile (business resume); anyone whose invitation you accept becomes part of your network; whenever you log in, a Network Update tool shows any new info on your people.
  2. The profile is a basis for deciding if you want to connect to another member; someone with compatible expertise/interests may be a valuable connection; accepting someone you don’t know raises a question about trust—a more important consideration on LinkedIn than on MySpace.

Tips and Tricks
  1. RSS (really simple syndication) is a web tool to distribute content; install a reader on your computer and then subscribe to RSS feeds by pasting a site’s RSS icon into your reader; new information from your chosen sites will automatically be aggregated on your computer for your efficient review.
  2. The biggest tip is to not be afraid to try social networking technology; explore some sites before you import any contacts.
  3. YouTube can be a good resource—in the search box type “How to” and whatever you want to learn about (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) to find instructional videos.

Favorite Sites
  1. The Future of Real Estate Marketing Blog (FOREM) and MyTechOpinion are excellent blogs on real estate tech tools.
  2. The Center for REALTOR® Technology (CRT) at NAR hosts a good blog.
Contact Information for Mike Cutlip:

(v) 781-890-3700
(f) 781-890-4919
(e) mcutlip@marealtor.com
(w)www.marealtor.com


Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

MA Association of REALTORS: www.marealtor.com
Social networking sites: www.facebook.com www:myspace.com www.linkedin.com
ActiveRain: htpp://ActiveRain.com
Trulia Voices: www.trulia.com/voices
Broadcast Email Wizard: Click tab in Members Only at wwwREcyber.com
Wikipedia: www.wikipedia.org
International social networking sites: www.bebo.com www.orkut.com
YouTube instruction: Type in “How to …” in the search box at www.youtube.com
Future of Real Estate Marketing Blog: www.futureofrealestatemarketing.com
My Tech Opinion: www.mytechopinion.com
Center for Real Estate Technology: www.realtor.org/crt