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What NEXT?


I was at dinner this weekend with non-real estate friends that have successful businesses and as usual, this question came up, “how are you doing? your business HAD to have suffered” …. and the answer was “of course we got hit, but we’re doing things differently to keep us ahead of the game”.

That undoubtedly leads to “different? what could you be doing differently in an industry that’s done things the same way for years?”

These questions make my subconscious go into overdrive – it makes me go back a few years and start looking and studying the progression of events and the way our business has opened up to change and how certain things have developed. These are the messy thoughts that come to mind:

  • Three short years ago the word “blogging” was mentioned to me and that’s when I began testing a different way of marketing – I began blogging on Active Rain thinking it was a blogging platform – I felt safe and secure and loved to be featured as well as comments from colleagues (and for the record, I am very appreciative of AR for helping me learn the ropes and getting my blogging feet wet).
  • Then the realization that ROI would come from a hyper-local audience rather than other real estate professionals lead to miamism.com (who’s 2 year anniversary will be June 1)
  • The question of what next? came shortly afterwards- I was blogging successfully and actually getting business from it – how would I take the medium to the next level? That’s where linkedIn, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter came into the picture. With a lot skepticism about the time involved and results but always willing to test and try out new things.
  • F2F and tweet-ups helping with 2 objectives: exposure and reciprocity
  • Social Objects came into play – part of branding, our staple, how and when people think of us – what’s your MOJITO? (always a work in progress)

Social Media is about strategy, but it’s more

about outward thinking rather than inward

It’s no longer about what you can do for your business – what I love about New Media is that it’s about engaging, paying attention and helping others – I know this sounds a bit far fetched and “oh here she goes again with her Good Samaritan complex” – just trust me on that – it will come back to you in ways you never even thought possible.  But it doesn’t happen overnight and you need to have clear and genuine intent – ulterior motives are frowned upon in the New Media World. (If people ever become suspicious of you, you may have a difficult journey ahead).

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But if there’s one thing you need to do in this medium to be successful is to anticipate.  You need to constantly ask yourself what The Next Level is– whether it’s learning at the next convention, growing your team, partnering with a bigger entity or learning how to convert inquiries.

To find that next level you will have to challenge yourself on a regular basis and will need to make yourself vulnerable and be susceptible to change.  You will need to be open to flunk and you will also need to be open to make adjustments to your business and marketing strategy.

It all boils down to never being complacent – this medium is about change and stagnant thoughts will stall your growth.

What NEXT?

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Written By

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Elaine Reese

    April 13, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Well, you’ve got to admit the mojitos have really been a great branding concept for you.

    Like you, I started on AR then 2 yrs ago – July 1 – I took off the training wheels as well. The AR folks are great, but I just couldn’t do the hyper local like I wanted to.

    Shall we celebrate our 2 yr anniversaries with virtual mojitos?

  2. Elaine Hanson

    April 13, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Next is a daunting thought to me when I see others so far ahead. Thanks to the giving nature of those like yourself who “get it,” I am very encouraged to keep moving forward and to take bigger steps. I fight with the vulnerability factor and with finding something of value that I can offer back to those so open to help.
    I think you’ve really expressed the heart of what works and matters — engagement of one’s true self. Next level – stepping up! (May I have a mojito to fuel the venture?)

  3. Thesa Chambers

    April 13, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Wow remember when….. you have done well branding yourself and setting yourself apart…. I have taken a much slower approach – and am just now figuring out who and where to brand me and my area – You have done a great job… be proud of yourself

  4. Susie Blackmon

    April 13, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Love your philosophy and business savvy Ines. Great fun trying to keep up with you. We all have lots to keep up with but what great people we have to look up to.. like I do to you.

  5. Kathleen Buckley

    April 13, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Perhaps the single most valuable lesson I’ve learned from you @Ines is that authenticity, or genuineness is THE most important “branding” one can do. Thank you for your stellar example.

  6. Jason Farris

    April 13, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    this post could not of been more spot on and timely for me in my life right now.
    Thank you Ines!

  7. Diane Guercio

    April 13, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Is there a next? That’s tough- like asking “Where is evolution going to take nature?” You can look back and see logically what has occurred and why, but who could have predicted, for example, the unintended way that twitter ended up being used as being so pivotal?
    The hyperlocal approach, for real estate anyway, is going to be the most important for most agents. I think Facebook and twitter create a hyperconnectivity within the hyperlocal environment. Waiting for some platform with a cross-app search to come in and tie it all together, making social media even more about the individual.

  8. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    April 13, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Elaine – the mojito concept has definitely worked great, but the truth is that anyone can pick a social object and if executed correctly, will have the same results (look at your Reeses Pieces) 🙂 …and YES….let’s celebrate our 2-year blogiversary with virtual Mojitos, I’m game.

    Elaine H – sometimes we’re apprehensive about taking it up a notch, but just surround yourself with good people and you won’t even look back – your true self shines through. The vulnerabilty factor is when you find people being cruel or taking advantage….part of the package (so be ready).

    Thesa – definitely proud, but also thankful – I get inspiration from everyone around me 🙂

    Susie – I’m humbled by your comment and we all can look up to each other, Ms. Marshall 😀

    Kathleen – authenticity is key, you got it! and thanks so much for the compliment – I have to tell you comments like yours keep me going – thank you.

    Jason – it’s funny how we fall into a rut of mundane routines – there’s always a spark of light that inspires us and we need to reach for it and not be afraid – the NEXT is right within our reach (let me know how it goes)

  9. Bill Lublin

    April 13, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Social capital is what relationships are built on – in the computer or out of it – and your recognition of that is what makes you a social magnet – attracting people from all over – the technology changes, but the basic premise is always the same – and that’s why you are a trusted adviser for your clients and a valued friend for those of us lucky enough to have some Ines in our lives 😉

  10. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    April 13, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Bill – you are DA MAN! and always know exactly what you say…I’m the lucky one here to have your arm and shoulder to borrow (thanks for your friendship)

  11. @TheLynn

    April 13, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Wonderful article! Everything need’s to start some place and I do believe this is just the beginning of the next wave. The Leaders of tomorrow are just beginning to take position…
    Very exciting really.

  12. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    April 14, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Hey Lynn – it’s all about not accepting status quo IMHO – if you are always looking ahead, you will always be ahead of the game.

  13. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    April 14, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Diane – almost missed your comment – I think a lot of us also focus on the tools when it is so much more than that. Think of the tools we are not using to their full potential because we don’t have the creativity to see their worth.

    I was on twitter when it first came out and people were writing “at the bank” “eating lunch” “reading agent genius” – the founders of twitter allowed its growth to be organic and see what people’s needs were and changed accordingly

    The same thing we need to do with our businesses – tools are not everything (they can be gone tomorrow as was my FB page without warning)

  14. BawldGuy

    April 14, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Hey Ines — I remember with a twinkle in my eye the days not long ago when I pleaded with house agents to go hyper-local in their online approach. I was derided and ridiculed.

    You’ve pretty much served them with more than their fair share of crow. Thanks!!

  15. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    April 14, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Jeff – I never understood that – if real estate is local, why would someone not want to go hyperlocal on their blogs? I know what I know and my expertise cannot be generalized – it has been proven again and again that what works here may not work somewhere else – it’s a “DUH” moment for me. (and you are welcome 🙂 )

  16. Missy Caulk

    April 14, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    hummmmm…I wonder what is next too. I think in some way we must all wonder that because we keep following each other around all the Social Network sites. lol

    I guess we just don’t want to miss out.

    Wow lots of changes in 2 years, who would have thought when we met on AR so long ago.

  17. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    April 14, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Makes you smile when you think of how long we have come in 2 years no missy? 🙂

  18. Cyndee Haydon

    April 14, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Ines – you make it all look easy – you are always innovating and having fun – hats of to you ::clinking:: at Mojito toast yo

  19. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    April 15, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Cyndee you have to admit that the RE.net for the most part is a very giving group – I just keep my eyes peeled for anything that may inspire me (as do you, my friend) 🙂 ::clink::

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