It's Not What You Know That Counts -- It's Who You Can Meet!
It's not what you know that counts. It's not even who you know. Now, and possibly for the rest of eternity, it's all about who you can meet. I've been a Realtor® for over thirty years. If I get more specific than that, you might figure out how old I am. I used to think I knew a lot, and I have the testimonials to prove it. I even received one today on Linked In from a 2009 satisfied customer. He thanked me for what I knew, among other things. Brian was a chance call on a listing I had. And the seller of that home was a chance call on another listing of mine. And the owner of that listing was a referral from the Dave Ramsey Show. There was a time when that sort of pattern was how I generated business -- by putting one foot in front of the other and paying attention to details. I can remember when the words "lead" and "generation" were rarely on the same page. Now, they go together like peanut butter and jelly.
This morning, I attended an awesome online Rain Camp, full of so many creative and amazing ideas that my head is still reeling. They even gave away prizes, but since I'm one of the real estate agents who has not yet figured out Twitter, I couldn't even enter to win. For a Realtor® who started selling homes before there was an MLS (and yes, there were no personal computers either, but we did have automobiles), I do pretty well. I'm on Facebook and Linked In and now Google+. I'm an e-Pro, which seems irrevalent now. I text and check email from my iPhone4 and pretty much lead a paperless existence with the aid of my Fujitsu Scansnap 1500M. I'm a Rainmaker with a half dozen blog posts under my belt, and I create my many online profiles with speed and agility. At document signings, I flip out my flip video to get testimonials. And yet, when it comes to lead generation, I'm a babe in the woods. How ironic that after spending my entire adult life in one career, I have no expertise with what is now one of the basic components of that career!
I have a lot of real estate colleagues from the old days. We are a persistent bunch, and most of us are looking around and wondering what happened to the business we used to know. There was a time when buyers and sellers were easy to come by -- the trick was finding them the right house. Nowadays, they usually find the house on their own -- and the trick is finding them! We veterans still have the knack, though -- we just have to learn the tech.
So, I've become a webinar junkie. I take IMSD and Active Rain University classes in the privacy of my home office more than once a week. I read many of the other Rainmaker blogs to glean their tips and tricks. And, I'm really, really close to signing up for Tweetdeck. I never quit and I like to eat. In a few years, I'll need a new Lexus. There is no way but straight ahead. Move over, Junior, 'cause Grandma's looking for leads.
Fellow Real Estate Professionals: Hablas Espanol?
I have somehow landed on a Spanish-speakers mailing list. I'm not sure how this happened. At first, I thought it was the result of joining NAHREP (National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals), but the emails are arriving through an account I rarely use, rather than the Gmail account I use for my Seattle real estate business. That takes NAHREP off the hook. You might be asking yourself at this point why I joined the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals if I am not an Hispanic real estate professional. Well, I am a Seattle real estate professional. And, NAHREP puts on excellent programs. And, members get preferential seating.
As if these daily emails aren't bad enough, yesterday i received a brochure in my snail mail for Spanish cinema in Seattle. As a real estate professional, I live in a world of endless opportunities for losing focus. Now, I'm being distracted in TWO languages! Oh, if I could only turn back the clock to High School (skipping, of course, all the pimples and heartbreak). I could have taken Spanish, but I didn't. Who knew? And since there is little chance that the U. S. will have the fifth largest population of German-speaking people in the world, here is just another example of me taking a wrong turn in life.
Every day, I am more amazed at how the Internet has changed our lives. I can remember when the big fear was contracting STD's. Nowadays, the big fear is a disease we can catch all alone in the privacy of our home office. So, how did I end up in this predicament? Somehow, sometime, somewhere, I put my name on a list. I must have. And it had to be a list in English because my German is really rough. That list, somehow, got into the hands of some Hispanic spammers who weren't paying attention and confused their English-speakers list with their Spanish-speakers list.
Hmmm...if only it were that simple.
So, where do I go from here? Well, certainly not to Berlitz. The closest one is in Bellevue and I'm in Seattle -- not a good use of my time --- lots of traffic across the 520 bridge. I tried forwarding my emails to the leader of the Seattle NAHREP chapter, hoping he would unsubscribe for me, but he just sent them back. I've been afraid to guess where the "unsubscribe" link is for fear of signing up for more emails. What do I do?
I have an idea.
Let me do the math...Google says 12% of the U. S. population is Spanish speaking. If there are 300 customers every day coming to the Starbucks in the Greenlake neighborhood of Seattle, where I live, over an eight-hour period (SWAG), then I can grab my laptop and head over there in the hope of making friends with those 4.5 Spanish speakers who will be there today. They can show me where to unsubscribe.
Or, I can copy and paste the bottom portion of the emails into a Spanish translation web site and hope to see where the "unsubscribe" link is myself.
Or...I can just hit "delete."