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RISMEDIA, February 18, 2009-During these tough economic times, people are making adjustments in all facets of their lives. Some things are drastic and concrete, like cutting back expenses (dinners out, household services, etc.), and some things are more ongoing, like seeking job security/stability by being more productive. Certainly, being productive is always a priority for successful professionals, but in this climate, it’s crucial to be on top of your game. With the madness going on in the real estate arena (sub-prime melt down, rising foreclosures and short sales impacting inventories and values), this is more true than ever with real estate professionals.

In speaking at a real estate conference recently, I met a lot of agents and brokers who were talking about the importance of finding ways to more efficiently and effectively reach and broaden their network in today’s market, which isn’t yet showing an expiration date. While Xobni has been about helping people nurture their networks and keep up with their relationships and connections from the start, real estate professionals at this conference were saying that this is all the more important now. Perhaps this is why an estimated 45,000 agents and brokers are currently using Xobni…

Here are a couple quotes that summarize what I’ve heard from people in the industry:

“There are still transactions being made, but in today’s market, it’s taking more time, more connections and more networking to close a single deal.”

“I’m having to tap a broader network than ever before to maintain my business – but with time and money being tighter than past years, this has been a challenge.”

Good news and bad news: I don’t have a magic bullet to put an end to the housing crisis, but am here to tell you that there are tech tools out there to help you more efficiently and effectively manage your business and your networks.

Xobni, for one, is a sidebar you can simply download to appear right in the Microsoft Outlook environment and has helped many real estate professionals more easily find and act on e-mails and contacts necessary for driving business. It takes your e-mail from one-by-one messages to a resource that gives you valuable information about the relationships and networks in which you are engaged.

The response I got from showing Xobni at the real estate conference was overwhelming. There is such a need for a tool like this in many industries, but I think it resonated with real estate agents more than many because of the importance of managing your network of people and the huge amount of e-mails received daily. What agents liked most is that not only did Xobni pull information your Outlook index (like recent e-mails sent/received, contact information, treaded conversations, recent documents shared, etc.), but it also can pull information on your network from LinkedIn and Facebook – all in one place. Who knows, maybe commenting on a recently uploaded photo on Facebook of a potential client is just the thing to show them that you are connected, engaged and the best to represent them in their home sale or purchase!

We are all working harder and longer to close sales these days, so finding ways to be more productive and efficient in this stressful time is paramount – especially in a business like real estate where relationships are everything, and ultimately what brings home the bacon.

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