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Computer to Connect


The Black Hole

My husband, Michael, has come to refer to my home office as the black hole.  I go in – and sometimes I don’t come out.

I spend A LOT of time in front of my computer.   Although I’m active with friends, my kids sports, and their school, during work hours, when I’m not actually with a client, my time is spent in front of a computer. File management, transaction management, social media engagement, and most of my initial client engagement and interaction takes place in front of a computer – in addition to the obvious internet lead generation.

Computer to Connect

Last week I spent at REBarCamp and Inman Connect in San Francisco. Both events were amazing, but the connections are what really stand out for me. It was refreshing to be out from behind the computer and interacting face-to-face with some of the friends I’ve made online.

Many of us talk about IRL (in real life) or F2F (Face to Face) interactions after months or more of developing these online relationships. Every time I come away from another event, I’m reminded of the authenticity of these connections online, and yet how much depth is gained in those relationships when one steps out from behind the computer.

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Emerging from the Black Hole

After a week of being out of my office, my calendar is packed with appointments and computer driven activities. Outside those appointments, I could find myself buried behind this screen for the better part of the week. It’s tempting.

Instead, I’m going to make an effort to do something new. I’ve got to get out of the office and connect even more. This morning, I brought my office to my local coffee shop instead. In the first 15 minutes of ‘working’ here, I ran into a friend, a past client, and a friend who has been kind enough to refer me business. Am I as productive? Maybe not. But maybe these are the kinds of distractions I should be welcoming.

We Know It – But Do We Do It?

We all know this is a business of social and personal engagement. We know it, but if you are reliant on your computer for much of your business activities, are you finding it too easy to work from home in your PJ’s til noon (not that I ever do that…)?  Maybe it’s time to get out of the office and take advantage of the gift of WiFi and connect.

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Written By

Linsey Planeta is the Broker Owner of Belterra Fine Homes in Orange County, California. Linsey rants regularly on her blog, OC Real Estate Voice. She also provides sellers with tips on how to get their home sold on Why Didn't My Home Sell? She has been an active Real Estate Coach and Instructor and loves working with agents so that they may look at their business with fresh eyes, renewed purpose, and defined systems. Linsey can be found in her office or you can also find her on Twitter@Linsey.



  1. home inspection new jersey

    August 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Great article. I just stared reading all the blogs on the web. This is is good
    I will visit again.

    Tom – The Home Inspection Guy

  2. Ricardo Bueno

    August 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    It’s a little too easy to get lost behind the computer. As such, I’ve made it a point to get out every now and then. The Glendale Americana isn’t too far from me so I make it a point to either go grab lunch there, work out of the cafe, or the bookstore (this always inspires an idea or two) and well, it gets me out of the office! It makes me interact with everyone and that’s almost always a good thing…

  3. Ken Brand

    August 11, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    How easy it to get lost in space? Super.

    My recent favorite quote is from Sara Bonert (Zillow). “Use the tools, don’t be a tool”.

    You gotta have computer skilz, but alas, it’s only a tool to create real world conversation and connection. Hermits starve.

    I bet we all have to get out more, at least I do.

    Amen + Cheers.

  4. Linsey

    August 11, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    I like Sara’s line – may have to adopt that one. As a matter of fact, I’m finding referring to someone as a ‘Tool’ very funny. Like it.

    But seriously, I was out of the office all today and got so much done still.

    I have to remember to not be such a tool. 🙂

  5. Jeff Turner

    August 12, 2009 at 2:03 am

    Linsey… guilty as charged. I’m gonna head over to my local Starbucks tomorrow for a while and see if the change in energy and scenery do me some good. 🙂

  6. Linsey

    August 12, 2009 at 2:10 am

    Jeff – I think that’s an important thing too. Just the change of scenery, change in energy can give me a fresh look at a lot of things. Blog Block for me is also more easily solved by taking the computer somewhere outside ‘the black hole’.

  7. Tina McManus

    August 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    I really liked this. I’ve been making myself go out at least once a day (outside of appointments) to connect w/the living & breathing. Have joined some business groups, I already volunteer weekly at an animal shelter, have lunches & breakfasts w/past clients & business contacts, go to the library, coffee shop – you get the picture. If I didn’t do this, I might grow roots and become a tree sitting at my computer. It is a black hole, indeed.

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