LAKE TAHOE, Nev. (March 19, 2009) — Everyone seems to be a-Twittering these days. From Tweets and blogs directed at friends and fans, everyone is getting their word out to wide-ranging audiences via the Internet. The recent explosion of social media may have some professionals feeling behind the curve, but agents at Chase International are riding this wave of information to a new realm of recognition.
Chase International, the Lake Tahoe-based luxury real estate company, anticipated the need for an interactive online presence before many industry peers and met the challenge by creating ChaseNation.com. The social networking site for people interested in Reno-Tahoe real estate was launched last spring and was met with resounding success. Chase International maintains its IT savvy status by encouraging its agents to disseminate information through ChaseNation.com, keeping them apprised of the latest social media tools.
Chase began a relationship with Domus Consulting Group last year and now promotes its social media systems training to its more than 160 agents.
Domus leads the agents through a series of 12-week training courses enabling them to create powerful and effective networks using applications such as Twitter and Friendfeed and facilitating real time news wires. The sessions are taught through webinars, making them easily accessible to all interested agents.
Agents can also find on-site guidance from Guy Johnson, who has emerged as Chase's go-to agent for all things Internet. Johnson joined Chase International two years ago and Chase's leadership team quickly saw the value of his IT background. Johnson considers himself an "early adopter of emerging technologies," particularly anything Internet related. At age ten he learned how to program a computer from his father who worked at IBM.
Johnson went on to work as an IT consultant in Chicago for 16 years before moving to Reno with his wife to raise their twin children.
"Guy is able to integrate technology into the company in the operational sense," Shari Chase, president and CEO of Chase International, said. "He goes beyond helping his colleagues make the best use of Twitter, Facebook and blogging. He knows all of the latest tools available on the Internet and plays a huge part in raising the level of our agents' marketing skills."
Under the umbrella of Chase Academy, Johnson has taught courses on blogging, implementing and leveraging online videos and various online tools and Websites. His most recent class, "50 Online Tools to Save Time and Money" was received so well he's been asked to repeat it.
Johnson believes his enthusiasm is key to bringing other agents on board with social networking. "I believe in these tools and when other agents see that someone who has a similar workload and means can make it work, then they realize that they can too."
While Johnson himself is a big proponent of blogging, he acknowledges it's not for everyone. However, he emphasizes that there are tools for everyone within social media. "Blogging can be time intensive. You need to be a decent writer and you need to be consistent. The great thing about Twitter is that it's microblogging. If it takes more than 30 seconds, you're doing it wrong.
Most agents have 30 seconds. ChaseNation and Facebook also have blogging platforms, so if an agent likes, they can evolve to that."
Johnson is also one of the first to tout the benefits of Domus. "Kevin Boer and Patrick Kitano (the faces behind Domus) are very tech savvy guys with backgrounds in real estate. They recognize the potential of social media as a powerful tool for agents and brokers to market themselves, their listings and to gain market share in their respective areas. They also know how to leverage these online means of communications to position oneself as a local expert."
With the Domus training and Johnson's guidance, Chase International and its agents are expanding their reach and marketing efforts farther and more quickly than ever before, and as Johnson adds, for much less cost.
"Social media sites allow agents and clients to connect and get to know one another in ways that weren't possible a few years ago," Johnson said. "Forget email. The ability to connect today is huge. Agents can use these tools to market listings and attain greater exposure for their property listings. Similarly, clients can now investigate and evaluate all aspects of an agent (both professionally and personally) before contacting them.
Transparency is the name of the game today in all areas of business, including real estate. Clients aren't just expecting it, they're demanding it."
Johnson is now reaching out to non-Chase agents and even other professions. He recently spoke at the Women's Council of Realtors as well as the Nevada Interactive Media Summit for Journalism Week presented at the University of Nevada, Reno campus.
Headquartered in Lake Tahoe, Nevada since 1986, with eight offices in the region (Zephyr Cove, Glenbrook, Incline Village, Tahoe City, Squaw Valley, Truckee, South Lake Tahoe and Reno) and one in London, England, Chase International and its exclusive affiliations handles a large share of the country's property. A recognized leader in the world of real estate, Chase International has once again taken the reins of cutting edge technology by launching www.ChaseNation.com, the first interactive social networking website created by a real estate brokerage as a vehicle for direct interaction with consumers online.
With more than 160 professional Realtors® boasting an array of industry certifications and the highest volume per sales agent in the area, Chase International successfully represents homes at all price levels. For more information about Chase International visit www.chaseinternational.com