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Juggling Too Many Contacts? Consolidate with Plaxo!

networking200pxAs a REALTOR® you will always need to attend networking events and continually advertise your brand to your local marketplace. However, new online tools have emerged that help outreach and networking become easier and much more expansive. The new concept of online networking is a very productive method for building a “following” that you can connect with virtually.

As the world around us changes, so must real estate marketing. From the early days of chat rooms, people have been successful at creating and developing relationships on the Web. Today, more and more agents are using the Internet to do the type of networking that they used to do offline, and some agents, like Diane Cohen of Chase International, for example, have seen their business explode as a result.

The difficulty to many agents is the first step of understanding where to start or how to expand your online networking, hereafter referred to as social networking. Not all sites are for all people. Your goal is to cover the basics, but you will encounter surprises everywhere. If you are like most of us, you probably have distant relatives, classmates, and old friends that you have lost track of. With social networking, you may find them again. Connecting with old acquaintances is not only a personally rewarding experience, but also a great opportunity to let them know that you are a REALTOR®.

What follows is a description of the top social networks for professionals, the order in which you should join them, and how to register. This series will include:

Part 1: Juggling Too Many Contacts? Consolidate with Plaxo!
Part 2: Go Big or Go Home – Network with Google Using Gmail
Part 3: LinkedIn - Provider of 4 Degrees of Separation
Part 4: Connect the Past with the Present Using Facebook
Part 5: MySpace – Stake Out Your Space
Part 6: Make Noise and Build Traffic with Twitter
Part 7: He Said, She Said – Manage Your Online Reputation with Naymz

We hope that you will glean the purpose of each of these sites in online real estate networking and take away the basic steps of getting started.

Part 1: Plaxo 101

Part one of a seven part series called “Tired of Networking in Person? Try Online Networking.”

The first step to social networking is to think about who you know. And, the best place to begin is by looking at your contacts in Outlook, or your email account.  One of the most popular social networking sites for keeping all of those names, phone numbers, and email addresses up to date is Plaxo. Here is how it works:

PLAXO

If you have a farm list that you try to maintain, you understand how painful it can be to keep everyone’s information up to date. Thanks to a pioneering plaxologogenius that also had this problem, Plaxo was created. Plaxo.com offers an online backup service to Outlook users and now serves over 40 million customers in the United States – for free. Because they have so many customers, when anyone updates their contact information, Plaxo publishes a notice to other clients who have old information in their address book. For example, I got an email yesterday indicating that one of my contacts has new work information.

As it turns out, my friend had started a new company! Plaxo not only allowed me to celebrate my friend’s new business venture, but it also prompted me to update my address book with her new number, company name and work address. With Plaxo, I was able to keep her contact information up to date automatically. 

In real estate, we know that when people change work address, they may also be thinking about moving. In this case, my friend’s REALTOR® now knows that she will be hiring people, and there is likely to be a lot of relocation business available. 

If one of your contacts changes home addresses, you may be too late unless they have not sold their home yet with their current listing agent. Change creates opportunities in real estate, and with Plaxo, you can be the first to know.

Here is how you can get started with Plaxo today.


Visit Plaxo.com at www.plaxo.comwww.plaxo.com

Plaxomainpage

Hit the big orange button in the bottom right of the page that says “Start Now.” It's free! You will be taken to a basic signup page asking for your name, work email address, birthday and gender. Once filled out, click the “Get Started” button.

There is also an option to skip the form and just login through Facebook. If you are comfortable with Facebook and have your user name and password on hand, go ahead and sign up via Facebook. If you are not 100% at ease with Facebook, go through the normal registration process.


Plaxo provides you with step-by-step instructions to upload your Outlook address book.

There are only two more steps to complete:

1.) Import your contacts

Plaxostep1

2.) Tell your friends about Plaxo

Plaxostep2

From there, you are done! Plaxo does the rest. The service will check everyone’s contact information to see if it is correct. If Plaxo finds phone numbers or other information on their database that is different than yours, they ask you what you want to do – keep the information you have on file or replace it with Plaxo’s new information.


After updating your address book using Plaxo, you have a reasonably high likelihood that the contacts you have in your address book are correct, which is a great place to start networking. I would not suggest paying for Plaxo unless you have thousands of contacts and many duplicates. They will clean those up for you and save you hours of time and energy, making it worth the expense.

Plaxo also does some marketing for you. It sends a notice to everyone who is already a Plaxo member indicating that you have joined, and asking them if they want to connect with you. Once connected, they will always have your current contact information, and you will always have theirs. As an added benefit, Plaxo will send you birthday reminders and even let you send a personalized e-card.

This is the first part of a series of articles on 'Tired of Networking in Person? Try Online Networking.' To view the rest of the series you can go to Agent Columns and look for 'Tired of Networking in Person? Try Online Networking.' The series will describe how online networking can help real estate professionals secure new clients, work more effectively with buyers and sellers and help create clients for life.

Articles in this series include:

Part 1: Juggling Too Many Contacts? Consolidate with Plaxo!
Part 2: Go Big or Go Home – Network with Google Using Gmail
Part 3: LinkedIn - Provider of 4 Degrees of Separation
Part 4: Connect the Past with the Present Using Facebook
Part 5: MySpace – Stake Out Your Space
Part 6: Make Noise and Build Traffic with Twitter
Part 7: He Said, She Said – Manage Your Online Reputation with Naymz

 

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