ARE YOU FOR REAL? Making Authentic Connections Online ...and Off...

By
Education & Training with Asheville 1031 REFERRING BROKERAGE 209970

 Horese farm. Asheville, North Carolina real estate

 

"At 5 am, in this paludal hinterland,                   
a lone roadside figure bristling  with electronic
and photographic gear must present a curious sight."

Indeed! And I know exactly who that lone roadside figure is...a REALTOR® out on the land looking for photographs that best represent his or her new listing.

S/he knows that when prospective clients go to Localism.com to search for properties of interest, the quality-laden photos  s/he places there will have an impact on their decision to contact or not contact her.

                                                                          

PHOTO taken at 5:00AM by J.T.Narrin, Photographer for the Firm
EDIT      J.T.Narrin, Photographer is MY SON ..a reason to smile

 

That REALTOR® could be any one of us.... It's happened to me...My client found me by searching online.
She Googled  green building , then "real estate for sale" in my home town (Asheville, N.C,), et voila, there I was courtesy of ActiveRain.   She read my BLOG. She even paid me the ultimate compliment of subscribing to it, although later she confessed she subscribed not because of my eco-wise ramblings, but because she loved the photos there!   She wanted data- how much would a 100AC  tract + home cost? Where was the nearest college campus?   and so forth.

Her initial email went something like this: "I read your BLOG at AR. You seem to be a knowledgeable REALTOR®. I've been spending lots of time online looking at listings. There's XYZ listing on realtor.com  that looks like it would be a perfect ...then she told me the data from her printout.

To which I responded, something like this:"Thanks so much for connecting with me. Sorry to disappoint you, but that property sold about three (3)weeks ago, however  If you will tell me what's most important to you in your search for the "right" place, I am here and ready for the challenge!" BTW, here's a vital  link to North Carolina's Law of Agency.  Please let me know that you have read and understand it."

Sounds simple enough, doesn 't it? But when you give it some thought, this whole process deserves some serious consdieration.

 Surveys and Questions.

  1.  Real estate market surveys tell us that 70-80% of real estate clients begin thier search for properties online. That's old news to most of us by now.  But I've been thinking about how that trend could change things for all of us.
  2. Do you think our role  changes  when we no longer are first in line personally to "turn on the house lights" to reveal the information our audience seeks? 
  3. What affect online research has on our business when we greet the characters in the on-going drama of property sales and acquisition online?
  4.  Do you think it's important to be ready to  "hit our marks" on that stage?

 

realtor as problem -solver in Asheville, N.C.

 

Just seems to me that it  makes sense to be ready competently to  interpret information our clients already have gained,  then to take on the role of problem-solver.

A problem-solver knows how to put a finger on, organize,  and manage the entire "production"...In the practice of real estate this means  making meaningful connections and coordinating the entire real estate transaction process.

 

 

 Making Authentic Connections Online ...and Off.  

In techno-terminology, connectivity and speed are almost synonymous. But I like to think of connectivity in terms of making authentic connections with my colleagues and clients in the good old-fashioned neighborly way,whether that is online or off.   To me, there's nothing like  personal investment  --that personal touch that weaves into a cooperative tapestry

Which brings me to the subject of community, local wisdom, Localism.com,  and how YOU think our articles and photos at Localism.com  meet the need for making real connections  that I believe to be at the very center of a successful real estate practice.

Let me know what you think!
green-o-lina

####

 

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* INFORMED CHOICES* THOUGHTFUL ADVICE* DATA INTERPRETATION*
-Tell us what is most important to you-
 Email me janeAnne@janeAnne.com  or give a call at: 828-776-0779

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Ambassador
741,308
ASHEVILLE 1031 PROPERTIES RESOURCES & REFERRALS
Asheville 1031 REFERRING BROKERAGE - Asheville, NC
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Brad~   Yes, that photo tells a tale. I think that is wy so many of us  are drawn to it.

I also think that there is an unspoken message that this photo relays. Besides the fact that the property/listing is amazing and this is a real plus from the aspect of marketing for the seller, this photo also lets the audience know that it comes from a real estate professional who is sensitive to certain subtle aspects that are important to clients.

Apr 01, 2007 10:36 AM #43
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Michele~   

Your photos aptly point out what could be a detractor ..such photos could turn potential clients away...As you wisely note: "...it is about first impression and we need to be certain the photo is an identifiable and inviting. Certainly we want to represent neighborhoods, but lifestyles and landscapes are important to if they have substance or a reason. Lets launch Localism out of Beta and really be participants of something great. Forget about the points, contact is King!"

Now..how do we members of AR create that possibility?

Apr 01, 2007 10:39 AM #44
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Ginger~

 How would you envision the moderators working on the Localism.com site? Would there by a review forum for content and photos (hard to do as we don't know the neighborhoods) or just a review of photos. If photos seemed not to represent the best "view" of a neighborhood, would the moderator contact the contributor of the photo to ask for an explanation and if not satisfactory then DELETE that photo? ..and make a record of points to be deleted from the contributor's score? 

What if this person just was "littering" as you defined it...just thoughtlessly adding snapshots taken from his car while riding around a neighborhood...could/should she or he be penalized?

This is an important discussion. We all are affected by the quality of photos. THANKS for your insights!

Apr 01, 2007 03:17 PM #45
Rainer
262,693
Ginger Sala
Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC - Wilmington, NC
Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~

janeAnne,

It was Michele who aptly named the practice of uploading a multitude of unattractive photos as "photo littering! There is certainly a need the need to "clean up our act" when it comes to uploading photos to Localism. In the words of Lady Bird Johnson: "Let's keep America Beautiful!"

Let's show the beauty of our towns and country-side by the quality of the content we share with the consumer on Localism. 

As I said in my earlier comments, I think it is imperative to the success of Localism that we showcase  the best our locales have to offer. How can that  happen by uploading 100's of subdivision photos to the town pages. I think Subdivision photos have a place on the Blogs about the subdivision, not on the Upload a photo to the "Town" function,

Think of it like this: say that in a given state there are 10 agents posting to Localism. Now those 10 agents each go out and take 10 photos from one subdivision and repeat the process for 10 subdivisions. Now they all post these to their town pages. What do we have? 1000 photos of subdivision homes on the State  home page and 100's on the towns pages.

This is already happening and the result is what Michele conned as "Photo littering". Go to some of the State's pages now and you will find a proliferation of photos of subdivision homes, roadwork, street signs, street scenes, (or should I say more like pavement scenes)  that dwarf and obscure the photos of the rolling hills, mountains, lakes, rivers streams, pastures, seashore, historic buildings and the like.

The only way I see to correct this would be to institute some limits and guidelines  as to what photo content can be uploaded to the local uploads. Possibly limit the uploads to scenic photos, historic homes, photos that tell a story. Maybe only one photo from a subdivision (on second though that may not work either, because that would potentially put thousands of homes up on the states and town's pages.)

Localism should be all about the vision we are trying to achieve. If the vision is to be Realtor.com with blogs, then we are heading in the right direction. If we are to reach for a higher standard and truly distinguish ourselves with exquisite visuals, content and information. then we need to change the course before it is too late!

 

Apr 02, 2007 06:02 PM #46
Rainmaker
215,849
Tricia Jumonville
Bradfield Properties - Georgetown, TX
Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense

Now, here's a question.  Ginger, you seem to lean towards the idea of "nature photos" as being what's acceptable on localism, with historical buildings only allowed.  However, there are many beautiful urban vistas, as well, even ones that aren't "historical" (well, yet, anyway) that it's entirely possible you would find unappealing but someone else would find very appealing. 

So who's to determine what are "exquisite" visuals without losing balance and becoming a nature travelogue (and I'm all about nature, for what it's worth - live on 55 acres in the country for just that reason) OR urban blight?

 

Apr 02, 2007 10:43 PM #47
Rainer
262,693
Ginger Sala
Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC - Wilmington, NC
Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~

Oh, Tricia. I truly did not mean to portray that only nature photos would work. There are some terrific photos of urban areas on Localism.

For example look at Eric Bouler's photos of New Orleans. Urban photos surely have a place.

What I am trying to get across is the importance of keeping the Localism sites a true reflection of the amenities of our particular areas. That can't be done by uploading 100's of subdivision homes that all look the same.

Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.

Ginger

Apr 02, 2007 11:20 PM #48
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Everyone~ Good conversation going here...as Ginger noted...about the "importance of keeping the Localism sites a true reflection of the amenities of our particular areas" ....I'd like to hear any idea y'all have to offer .  I really loved Eric's New Orleans photos and narratives, too! Possibly the narratives are part and parcel of what we can offer (??)
Apr 03, 2007 12:23 AM #49
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
jane Anne...I love that photo.  I think photos add greatly to the articles.
Apr 03, 2007 04:13 PM #50
Rainer
15,618
Lou Jewell
Land Pro Real Estate - Pilot Mountain, NC
ALC

 

 

janeAnne~,

 

You are the best. I have something I think I need to write that will follow your trail.

 

Love Lou Jewell ALC

Apr 04, 2007 04:51 PM #51
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Arlene~ 

I like to see photos that capture people's imagination and also tell the story of the property. In this case, the photo is of a listing that is one of the most beautiful parcels of land I have ever seen. The photo aptly depicts the parcel. If people were to visit the listing, they would not be disappointed. Authentic representation is so important...as you suggest.

Apr 04, 2007 09:25 PM #52
Rainer
23,467
joanne Douglas
Terrie O'Connor Realtors - Ridgewood, NJ
Great post, that IS what this is all about!

Many thanks
jo
Apr 05, 2007 06:48 PM #53
Rainmaker
146,707
Chris Webster
Island Palms Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Real Estate, Foreclosures and Short S
I love your articles! Will read more of them. You're an awesome writer!
Apr 05, 2007 09:39 PM #54
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Joanne...Glad you found and commented on this post. I like to think that if we take just that little bit of extra time, it brings as smile to many faces.
Apr 06, 2007 08:23 AM #55
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Chris~ 

WOW! Thank you so much for your comment. My "muse" has been missing for a week or so, but  I think you may have inspired a return! Would love to know if there are any particular subjects that intrigue you...

Apr 07, 2007 09:45 AM #56
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Lou~

Since you are my esteemed teacher, I am flattered and appreciative of your kind remark...and look forward to reading your article!!!!!

Apr 10, 2007 10:50 PM #57
Anonymous
Anonymous
John Thomas
Your BLOG makes me consider being a realtor as a profession. There sure are a lot of comments here. How will  you read and respond to all of the,? just wondering. I think it is important to be ready to respond with service for clients. I am a client at this point.
Apr 17, 2007 12:28 PM #58
Rainmaker
459,222
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

You are so right on target.......Good hard work is its own reward!!

To bear this out...this post is one of the TOP rated AND most active professional posts of ALL time in the network....

The truth cannot be hidden!!

=-)

May 08, 2007 03:17 PM #59
Rainmaker
326,047
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing VP & Real Estate Agent Coach
I'm excited to see the impact Localism has on the lesser-know real estate markets around the country.  Just think about all the data that can be packed onto the internet by one group of people (even a small group).  All which benefits the industry and professionals.
May 08, 2007 03:35 PM #60
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John~ It's SO nice to know that this post has an-impact on your decision about your career as a real estate profession. Thanks you!
May 09, 2007 10:38 AM #61
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Alexander~

When you commented, "this post is one of the TOP rated AND most active professional posts of ALL time in the network"I was surprised and delighted. YOU made my day...in fact you made my week! THX!!!

May 09, 2007 10:41 AM #62
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