It seems like everywhere I look there are social media experts, trainers, coaches and classes. It will amaze some to learn that I can even find these people outside of the real estate industry.

I belong to a local social media networking group that seems to be composed of marketing consultants, social media experts, the mainstream news media, the new news media, and people like me who are small-business owners.

It seems like everywhere I look there are social media experts, trainers, coaches and classes. It will amaze some to learn that I can even find these people outside of the real estate industry.

I belong to a local social media networking group that seems to be composed of marketing consultants, social media experts, the mainstream news media, the new news media, and people like me who are small-business owners.

Even though we have our own social media experts and coaches and trainers and consultants in the real estate industry, I am finding that there is a lot of value in going outside of the industry.

Networking with other agents is alright, but my business doesn’t come from other agents — it comes from people who live in my community. There is a lot of valuable experience and knowledge outside of the real estate industry. We did not invent the idea of social networks, blogs, social media, marketing or prospecting.

It isn’t that those outside the real estate industry know things that we don’t know, they just do things differently. I recently attended an event where a recruiter/headhunter talked about how to use LinkedIn to find a job. LinkedIn, for those who are not familiar with it, is like Facebook except it is a bit more professional.

His advice to job seekers was to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is completely filled out and that it is as professional-looking as possible. He also advised job-seekers to not be afraid to show a little personality. He recommended that persons who are looking for a job start a blog.

I got a lot out of his presentation and it got me to thinking. As a small-business owner I look for a job every day. It is my job-seeking skills that I use the most. We call it prospecting or marketing our services, but it is the same as job-hunting.

Anyone who has read my blog knows that I am not afraid to show some personality. I believe that showing personality is what makes social networking and blogs work in the first place.

The unemployment rate is rising each month. When people don’t have jobs they can’t buy homes, and some will lose the homes they currently own. The housing market isn’t really the center of the global economy. Employment is.

Having the ability to find a job is the most useful skill any of us have. Using social media and networks to find a job is the newest and probably the cheapest was to do it. Having the ability to find work through the Internet using social media is as valuable a skill as being able to sell real estate.

For those who have these job-finding skills, consider going to a conference or joining a group in your own community. It is a great way to meet people and to network and learn. It is possible to learn from people who work outside the real estate industry, and as people who spend a lot of time looking for work we have a lot to offer to these groups.

There are social media groups and clubs all over the country. They can be found through Google or Meetup. If there isn’t a group in your community, then you have the opportunity to start one.

Teresa Boardman is a broker in St. Paul, Minn., and founder of the St. Paul Real Estate blog.

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