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Why Would a Listing Agent Use BuyerLink™?

I haven’t sold a house in about 5 years. Ok, maybe one, but only because an old friend insisted. I’ve found a niche: Listing real estate in Ledyard, CT. I love the marketing and the negotiating and have the systems in place to do it pretty well. I do it well enough, that a year ago I dissolved my team and soldenjoying-fruit-apple my company, RE/MAX Realty Group in Gales Ferry. I moved to a home office but stayed with the company and kept my awesome assistant. Now I concentrate on what I do best.

Seth Godin in a blog post today calls it Island Marketing. Ledyard, CT is my island. I’m slightly famous in my town because I focus on just 15,000 people. I support everything local and run ads in tiny economic publications like the Ledyard Fair Brochure, the Ledyard Home and Garden Tour Guide, and the Memorial Day Parade booklet. You can find my Blog URL on school calendars, baseball jerseys, and Parks and Recreation schedules.

I don’t plan to sell a house this year or even next year. So why would I be such a big fan and user of BuyerLink™?  When I worked with a team, HomeGain’s BuyerLink product kept my buyer’s agents busy. Today I use BuyerLink as an extra source of income by referring my HomeGain buyers to those same agents on a referral basis. I provide no other support as I did when I was a team leader. They are happy for the business and travel Eastern CT showing houses. I stay happy on my Island enjoying the fruit.

Linda will be participating in a session titled “Traffic, Leads, Conversion: BuyerLink” at HomeGain Live Nation in San Francisco on August 3rd at 2pm. Twitter #homegainnation

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Posted by: Linda Davis on July 27th, 2009 under BuyerLink & AIMS

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Is Social Networking Making You Anti-Social?

When I was just a young pup in the real estate business, a mentor of mine spoke a few words that I’ve kept tucked away in the back of my head to pull out when I need to. 

He wisely spoke, “no matter how you attempt to generate business, it always gets down to going nose to nose and belly to belly with people.”

I can’t help but think about his words many years later as social media has taken a big bite out of my day. Five years ago neither blogging nor tweeting was in my vocabulary and posting photos on Facebook or Flickr wasn’t in the picture (excuse my pun). 

In the last two years, I’ve been to more than a few conferences and attended a whole bunch of technology panels. Heck, I’ve even been a panelist several times myself. What I found is that many of the “experts” may be whizzes at social media but they aren’t experts in real estate.

Don’t get me wrong, I learn a lot from these folks about technology. I take good notes and put what they have to say into practice. But it suddenly occurred to me that something is missing from the resume of many real estate social media speakers and panelists: real estate experience. (As in selling a whole bunch of houses kind of experience.) I worry that newcomers to the business think that social media is the magic bullet when it really should only be a part (maybe a small part) of their prospecting efforts.  Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Linda Davis on June 2nd, 2009 under Blogging and Social Networking

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The Police Are Following Me!

Last week, an email landed in my inbox with the subject line “Ledyard Police is now following you on Twitter.”  I admit it was a bit disconcerting.  Actually, I freaked out temporarily when I realized I was one of only 3 people being followed.  I ran into“Ledyard Police” a few nights later.  I’m a member of the Ledyard Town Council and we were discussing the police budget.  (Honestly, I don’t make this stuff up.)  As it turns out  “Ledyard Police” was following me for all the right reasons.  It seems that police departments in the area are considering Twitter as another resource to notify residents in case of emergencies.

I joined Twitter in 2007. Back then it was intimate, like the bar where everyone knew your name.  Since then Twitter has exploded. When someone in the industry follows me, I usually oblige and follow back. As a result, it is often hard to find the good stuff among the noise of people I don’t really know.  Fortunately, applications like Tweetdeck allow me to create groups and weed out those that don’t contribute to my Twitter objectives.

Like “Ledyard Police”, each user has his own reason for following and being followed on Twitter.  I was attracted to Twitter because of the 140 character limit. I seldom read blog posts beyond a few paragraphs.  I don’t need the War and Peace version of an opinion on short sales.

Whether I’m speaking as a Town Councilor, writing a blog post or debating politics, I’ve always been a woman of few words, many of them an attempt to be witty.  “Brevity is the soul of wit” is my mantra.  I doubt I could ever write a book.  I’m sure I would bore myself before the final chapter.  

I don’t have any expectations from Twitter as far as putting commission dollars in my pocket.  For me Twitter is more of a resource for making industry connections, following breaking news and events, and picking up tips on the latest and greatest technology.  I’d give it “5 Stars” for meeting those expectations.

Follow Linda Davis on Twitter

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Posted by: Linda Davis on April 2nd, 2009 under Blogging and Social Networking

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Use What I’ve Got

This year, like most, I wrote my business plan between Thanksgiving and Christmas. My overall business strategy includes a marketing plan and a technology plan. For 2009, I added a social media plan. Typically when New Year’s Eve rolls around, I throw in a few New Year’s Resolutions and then off I go, hoping that the year turns out as planned or at least close.

This year my plans and resolutions took on a theme. I didn’t start out with a theme or intentionally create one, and I didn’t even realize I had a theme until I stepped back and took a look.

It appears that “Use what I’ve got” snuck into my business plan when I wasn’t even looking.

Upon review, I discovered that I already have all the tools needed for a very successful 2009.  I have more than enough websites and blogs and I am registered and active on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. I can boast of all kinds of cool software and I have CD’s, books, and a del.icio.us account full of great links.  My file drawers are crammed with ideas that I’ve picked up at conferences and conventions. 

Unfortunately, I’m not using all of this good stuff to its full potential. If there was a “feature usage meter” on my technology tools, it would probably be reading less than 50%.  I even own software I’ve never used (that would be 0%) and books I haven’t read.  My websites and blogs require tweaking and my social networking profiles could stand an update. The task seems daunting but there is good news about implementing my business plan this year. The plan comes with a much smaller price tag than in the past.

I just need to “use what I’ve got” to accomplish my goals for 2009.

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Posted by: Linda Davis on January 6th, 2009 under Best Practices

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Delivering Bad News

There is almost nothing more rewarding in the business of real estate then making the call to first time home buyers to tell them their offer has been accepted. In today’s market, calling sellers and telling them their house is sold can also provide an “I’m so glad I’m a Realtor feeling”.

Unfortunately, delivering bad news is also part of the job and I’ve been delivering it in large doses of late.

Despite the local facts and statistics, national print media headlines and on air reporting by the talking heads, many sellers believe their home is worth more than it is. It is my job, as the friendly local Realtor, to be welcomed into a seller’s home, burst their bubble, and otherwise ruin their perfect day.

Delivering bad news doesn’t come easy and is a learned skill. Having been through 3 market corrections over 3 decades, I have had a fair amount of practice in delivering bad news. I once had a seller burst into tears and although I appear tough, it was an effort to remain professional and not start bawling right along with her.

Hey, I don’t like this market either. Sniffle.

This week I’ve had the opportunity to take the wind out of the sails of two future sellers. As I delivered my CMA at possible listing #1, Mrs. Seller just stared and never said one word. Mr. Seller escorted me out Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Linda Davis on July 5th, 2008 under Realtor

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Just what are “the basics” anyway?

The market is slow in most parts of the country and how to cope with current market conditions is a hot topic at office meetings, online forums and water cooler discussions.

When I talk to experienced agents and ask them how they are handling the current climate, they usually mention going back to “the basics.” I concur, but it occurs to me that anyone who hasn’t been in the real estate business for more than 5 years doesn’t have a clue of what the rest of us are talking about.

I’ll be the first to admit that for many of us, the past few years were a great ride, but one that didn’t require skills beyond how to deal with multiple contract situations. We worked hard but it was an easy kind of hard, if that makes sense. We didn’t need to worry about “the basics.”

We paddled as fast as we could, worked a lot of hours, and for those of us that were able to put good systems in place, we made a lot of money.

I drove past a little house in Groton, CT yesterday. I hadn’t been by that house in years and the memories of my early career brought a smile to my face. That little house was my very first listing in 1977 from a seller who wasn’t a friend or previous acquaintance.

I can thank “the basics” for that listing Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Linda Davis on May 6th, 2008 under Realtor

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