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RISMEDIA, June 4, 2010—It seems that everyone these days has the secret to turning social currency into real dollars. The truth is social networking is just the most recent incarnation of the ancient art of prospecting. It is the “meet and greet” on a global scale.

Social networking is a term given to online networking using what we generally refer to as Web 2.0-type technologies. The Internet did not create “social networking.” Social networking has been around as long as there have been people on Earth. So, the first point to understand is that social networking is simply an augmentation of pre-existing methods of networking. The medium has been augmented to include the Internet, in general, and the Web, specifically.

Real estate sales is a people business and a networking business. The greatest tool to facilitate human interaction (networking) is the Internet. Realtors, therefore, must learn how to extend their networking efforts in this additional environment.

The Work of a Salesperson
Sales involves:
-Establishing rapport
-Building trust and confidence
-Closing the deal and getting referrals

Establishing rapport takes time and effort. You have built rapport with many people over your life with whom you have subsequently lost contact. Social media allows one to re-establish communications with people you knew in another life who may currently need to buy or sell a house. When you have re-established contact, you have the potential to win that listing. Using today’s technology tools for social networking makes staying in touch much easier.

Adopting the Internet
The Internet environment was not invented for the real estate industry. The industry must, therefore, learn how to integrate the capabilities of today’s social networking functionality into the prospecting, home-buying and home-selling process.

When we first were introduced to e-mail, many were skeptical that it would ever be of any value beyond sending jokes to friends. We have since learned of the business power of e-mail. Same holds true for social networking.

Social networking allows Realtors to remain in the center of the conversation about real estate. The specific systems on how to maximize the time one spends online will come in time. Some ask, “When will we have time to do this?”

It is a matter of priorities. Have you ever known a Realtor who has gone to the same community lunch, every month, for 20 years, and never got a listing or a buyer from the group, and yet they keep going back? Much of one’s prospecting efforts are fruitless. Eliminate the fruitless and experiment with social media.

Learn the Ropes
If you still wonder whether Web 2.0 is something you need to be a part of, just look around you. Real estate has become deeply impacted and has benefited from Web 2.0 and social networking. The National Association of REALTORS® new Web 2.0 & Social Media Course offers the best value and establishes you as the expert in this new marketing platform.

Mike Barnett is CTO/VP of Technology for InternetCrusade’s

For more information, visit or e-mail