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I've been spending a lot of time thinking about social networks and social networking lately. Not so much the established sites people generally think of like ActiveRain, Linked In or Facebook.

More from a personal business or corporate perspective - like a social network as a delivery platform, or an intranet, or a private client area. Or all of these wrapped in one.

IGLOO SoftwareSpecifically I've been testing the IGLOO Software platform - a white label corporate social network solution. And there are lots of others in this space too.

From a real estate perspective, I think there are many compelling opportunities in creating your own personal social network - to connect with potential clients, and more importantly, keep your current clients happy and engaged with your brand.

The term "Sphere of Influence" is often used on ActiveRain. Working with your sphere is a great way to help grow your business, and a sphere is nature's strongest structure. If your Sphere of Influence is your family, friends, clients and bussinesses you associate with, what does that sound like?

So replace the word Sphere with Social Network.

And imagine the possibilities of your sphere as a social network:

  • every interaction with your sphere (social network) is an extension of your brand
  • create networking opportunities for your sphere, within your sphere
  • increase your sphere with the features and functionality inherent to social networks
  • empower every client to be part of your sphere by providing a network
  • provide a virtual wlecome wagon for clients relocating to your area
  • efficient content delivery with subscriptions and feeds
  • virtual, private office environment (online) for sharing material with clients
  • collaborate with partners for shring documents in a secure work space
  • stay top of mind with personal and exclusive content and special offers or deals

The barriers to entry for creating your own, personal (branded) social network are coming down pretty fast.

If the members of your sphere were also members of your own social network, that would be pretty cool. And good for business.


Kevin Bungert
ReMax Professional Group - East Northport, NY

Jason-  I think you explained the link to real estate very well.  I bet in a years time, the top producing agents and teams across the country will begin to have their own social networks.  It seems to me the next logical evolutionary step in business.  Thanks for sharing your insights. 


Jun 11, 2008 08:38 AM
Jason Todd
Compelling Media + Design - Halifax, NS

Thanks Kevin - I agree. There's lots of opportunities to collaborate... Agents and clients, team member to team member, head offices, preferred partners.

We do that here on ActiveRain already, so a personal, branded social network will be the logical next step for some.

Jun 11, 2008 09:27 AM
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

I can't get everything finished now!!  More socializing isn't in the cards at the moment, but I LOVE the networking aspects.  Just out of time.  Nice to see you!  You should look at my Canton listing post - - purely to see what I did in the video.

Jun 11, 2008 06:44 PM
Jason Todd
Compelling Media + Design - Halifax, NS

Susie - it is tough to keep up. I might invent an "introvert network" and no one will be expected to say much, or they'll have to leave :)

Great slideshow btw... does that listing come with Marilyn?

Jun 11, 2008 11:25 PM
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

Well just another attempt at Connectivity - I decided to feature you in Canadian Bloggers Connect..Canadian Bloggers Connect a MEME Challenge :-) And look forward to reading more of you!

Jun 13, 2008 04:56 PM
Jason Todd
Compelling Media + Design - Halifax, NS

Thanks for the MEME feature Liz - this is coast to coast connectivity :)

Jun 13, 2008 11:27 PM
Gail Reeves Reid
Re/Max Realty Specialists - Mississauga, ON

I like the phrase"social network". it's all about connecting with people and this is where technology is taking us, whether we like it or not.

Jun 13, 2008 11:57 PM
Jason Todd
Compelling Media + Design - Halifax, NS

I agree Gail - and a social network platform allows for keeping up with these connections over time, keeping in touch with clients, top of mind with your sphere...

Jun 14, 2008 12:11 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I like the idea of a  social network. I have the ame problem others are having. Not much time to get involved .

Jun 14, 2008 12:20 AM
Jason Todd
Compelling Media + Design - Halifax, NS

Hi Gita - there is a time committment involved, but I've found the best success is easing into these new methods of marketing anyway... slow and steady :)

You might enjoy this post by Jeremiah Owyang: Build Your Network Before You Need Them

Jun 14, 2008 12:35 AM
Kathy Clulow
Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Jason - The Introvert's Network novel not time consuming but still networking I like it.

Jun 14, 2008 05:00 AM
Jason Todd
Compelling Media + Design - Halifax, NS

Kathy - I really do appreciate the comment, but you seem a little extroverted for the introvert network. You may have to stick with the social networks.

I've already said to much.

Jun 14, 2008 05:15 AM
Paul Viau
Nova Scotia Real Estate Blog - Halifax, NS
Nova Scotia Real Estate Blog + Photo Services

I'm slowly making my mark on facebook and even slower on linkedin. A guy from out of the blue contacted me on facebook last night. Hadn't talked to him in 20 yrs! A good solid contact and I'll put him on my monthly newsletter list. Its time consuming - yes , but worth it I think.

Jun 15, 2008 12:05 PM
Palm Coast Homes
100 Plus Realty LLC - Palm Coast, FL
Palm Coast/Flagler County Real Estate, The Ross/Co

For the future of real estate marketing and advert sing, social media, content and online networking skills will all be necessary for survival.  Those that can adapt, be open and accepting will thrive...those that stick thier heads in the ground and try to business the old way will be very disappointed with the results.  You have pointed out some great points in your post. 


The problem that I am having right now is trying to play catch up.  I am hoping that soon I can get ahead of the curve ;-)

Jun 28, 2008 02:06 AM
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495

"So replace the word Sphere with Social Network."  This is why I read your blog.  Thanks.

Mike in Tucson

Jul 02, 2008 05:07 AM
Jason Todd
Compelling Media + Design - Halifax, NS

Hi Paul - that's pretty cool - these kinds of connections will probably get more and more frequent in the future. I spoke with a client the other day that has become reacquainted with relatives in Ireland. Probably wouldn't have been able to happen without Facebook as the platform for searching, connecting, etc.

Kristi - Great comment "Those that can adapt, be open and accepting will thrive..." is especially true.

And there's probably less catch up than you think. being on ActiveRain already puts you ahead of probably 90% of agents in terms of learning new technology and marketing trends.

Mike - Thank you - not much to read lately, but I'm getting back into a writing groove :)

Jul 02, 2008 05:17 AM
Stacie Robbins
Mammoth Properties - Mammoth Lakes, CA

I've been getting more involved in actively using my social network memberships.  I have facebook, myspace and twitter.  It was overwhelming for a while until I found this great program called Digsby (http://www.digsby.com).

This free software give you one application to manage your facebook myspace and twitter social networks and also email from gmail, yahoo and hotmail as well as all your instant messenger accounts.  ALL FROM ONE APPLICATION.  It's feed up my time to be more involved in social networking since there are indicators in my QuickLaunch link (bottom right hand of my screen). 

If you have many social networking accounts, email accounts and instant messenger accounts...it's a great way to do alot in a little time and stay current.

Stacie Robbins, Realtor-Associate, ePRO, Vacation Specialist, TRC



Jul 02, 2008 07:26 AM
Jeff Thornton
Jeff Thornton ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI - Lansing, MI

In some ways you are describing a virtual version of the JayCees or some of the the business networking groups trhat used to get together periodically.  But online is quicker and easier.  Expand it to include clientele.  It makes sense you need to keep past clients involved after their move as they are less likely to be involved

Jul 02, 2008 08:45 AM
Jason Todd
Compelling Media + Design - Halifax, NS

Jeff - it can be very much like a networking event. And it can be there... more active at different times of the year, less during the busy season... it can ebb and flow with the members.

One of the great things is the opportunities for efficiency. If you invited a new client into your network right after you sign an agreement, you can provide many materials that you probably duplicate over and over. Digital versions can save lots of time.

Jul 02, 2008 09:03 AM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

It's a lot easier to keep track when people move, change addresses, change jobs, phone numbers, etc. online than the old fashioned way.  I find the most difficult part is finding people my age who are connected via one of these social networking sites.  I am in my 40's and none of my family (parents, uncles, brothers, in-laws etc.) are connected, as well as none of their friends.  I also recently did a search for high school classmates on Facebook and found one person I knew out of the 550 students I graduated with.  I also tried looking up former fellow employees where I used to work, and the same thing happened, I couldn't find anyone?  Where are all the people that I used to know???  Where have they gone????  Am I too old for this?

Nov 21, 2008 08:25 AM