#1 Factor For Startup Business Success: Do You Have A “Social Object”?

Last night I attended one of the most amazing, ongoing, networking meetings available in the world. No this is not an exageration–it is the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs aka SVASE. Last night’s panel has incredible substance factor and track records of success:

Patrick Chanezon, API Evangelist, Google; Jyri Engestrom Co-Founder Jaiku; Konstantin Guericke, CEO jaxtr and Co-Founder, LinkedIn; Ramu Yalamanchi, Founder and CEO, hi5

One of the big “Ah-ha” discoveries was what the panel described as “Social Objects” and the need to find a Social Object in order to build your business.

What Is A Social Object?

The examples given of Social Objects are the best way to describe what they are in business:

Ex.1-Youtube has video as it’s social object. People come to youtube to watch video, they add their own videos, and they utilize other people’s videos for their blog or website. This created the critical mass viral marketing we now see for youtube

Ex.2-Flickr has photos as it’s social object. People post their photos, share with the network, they take away photos, and they virally spread the word about other people’s work.

Do You Have A Social Object?

A great example of someone with a social object is America’s mortgage broker Brian Brady. Brian’s social object began as “the American Dream” aka home ownership aka money. People need funding to own a home and mortgage brokers provide that access to many new homeowners.

But Brian took it a giant step further. Brian became THE go-to source of information about mortgages on the internet. He socially networked everywhere, he commented, he spoke as a keynote speaker, and he built online recognition through blogging that has positioned him today.

How Do You Find Your Social Object?

What differentiates your business as a Realtor? Do you dominate a particular area? Are you perceived by consumers as the expert in that area-region? Or are you an expert in a area of real estate knowledge ie. buyer’s agent, 1031 Exchange specialist, seller’s agent, or relocation expert

Tip: Remember a Social Object is something people revolve around, talk about to other people, continue to follow, and have an ongoing interest in maintaining a level of knowledge about in their lives.

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Jaxtr: A Realtor’s Widget Supporting “Radical Transparency” and the “24/7 Open House”

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Jaxtr, is an amazing widget that every Realtor should consider utilizing. Jaxtr is a free service where users may link their phones (cell or land line) with their online network (web site or blog) to receive or make calls worldwide while keeping their existing phone numbers private. This is NOT a new widget but for many Realtors taking their first steps into the Web 2.0 world, it is new.

Although a huge advantage to utilizing jaxtr is hearing from people who visit your blog or website, that is just the beginning. By adding a jaxtr link to your email signature, friends (worldwide) can call you with a click of a mouse.

Ease of use is important but even more important is the fact that you now have a method of avoiding the costly mega expense of international phone charges. There is no software to buy or download. Make or receive international calls for free.

If you decide to change your work or cell number, you simply add or update your number on jaxtr. Your incoming calls are then sent to the phone of your choice. In addition, jaxtr allows you to block callers or choose on a per caller basis which callers are sent to your phone “live” and which callers are routed to your voice mail.

The following is a description on how to sign up for a free jaxtr account and begin taking advantage of this cool widget:

1. Click on the huge jaxtr-sign-up-button.jpg tab at the bottom of start page.

2. “Sign Up Free and Start Talking Now” screen then asks you to fill out basic information as well as choose a screen name and password for your jaxtr account.

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3. “Find out if any of your friends have jaxtr links” page is an optional page which allows you to seek out friends on Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, AOL, or Outlook who also have a jaxtr account. If you wish to skip this process go on to the next step.

4. The “Invite” page allows you to invite friends and family to join jaxtr. You may skip this or invite as many folks to join.

5. jaxtr “Email Verification Page” has a dashboard at the top.

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6. To “Verify” your email address click on the link in red at the top left sidebar.

7. Under “Verify email address” click on the “click here” link. This will verify your email enabling
jaxtr to activate your account.

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8. Another way to verify is to proceed to your email account, open the jaxtr email, and click on the
link to verify your email. The link in the jaxtr email will then transport you back to jaxtr in order
to finish the registration process.

9. In the top left corner of your dashboard in red “Add your phone” so you can receive calls on your
phone. Click on this link.

10. Now you will be in the “Basic Information” screen. Go to the 3rd section to add the phone
number(s) you wish to receive calls on.

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11. You then will be prompted to click on the “call me” button. Jaxtr then calls your number to
verify the number and that it works properly within the system.

12. The “Congratulations” your number has been verified screen will appear; proceed by clicking on
“continue.”

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14. This final shot above is your home page. From here you may customize your jaxtr account, find
explore jaxtr features, and navigate your way through the tutorial sections of the site.

Jaxtr supports a Realtor’s blogging efforts by providing connectivity to you the expert. It is another cog in concepts of “radical transparency” and “24/7 Open House” that both Patrick and Kevin outline in great detail.

Remember to have fun with this new “toy” and remain open minded to the possibilities that widgets bring to our ever changing real estate landscape.