Heather Elias

Real estate agent and blogger Heather Elias is speaking during the Agent Reboot debut event in San Francisco on July 12. Elias is a Realtor for Century 21 Redwood Realty and creator of the LoCo Musings blog, which focuses on life and real estate in Loudoun County, Va.

She will participate in "Managing Reputation and Content on the Web," a session at the first of 12 Agent Reboot events scheduled around the country. This first-ever Agent Reboot event precedes the annual Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco, which runs from July 13-15, 2010.

Elias responded to a set of questions posed by Inman News:

1. What is the most important business lesson you learned in the past year? Establishing my own personal brand and marketing my authentic self is the best way to resonate with my target audience.

2. What inspired you to pursue your current career path? I wanted to have something that I built with my own two hands, so combining a love of homes and architecture with a passion for helping people made real estate a perfect fit.

3. What the coolest technology you’ve discovered this year, and how are you using it? I’m using Gist as an ancillary contact management database, both to remind me of who I need to be in contact with and also to help me maximize my social media connections to my client base.

4. What is your advice for real estate industry professionals to thrive in this market? Run your business like a business. Have a marketing plan and a budget, and continue to educate yourself. There are a ton of real estate agents out there who are having fantastic success in "this market" and are willing to share their ideas and experiences if you are willing to listen.

5. What is your favorite non-work-related hobby? Spending time with my family.

6. Who is your hero, and why? My husband Mike. He helped me learn that I can be exactly who I want to be, and he gives me the freedom and tremendous support to be able to do so.

7. What do you view as the biggest problem facing the real estate industry today, and how would you fix it? The public’s negative perception of agents as a whole. If every agent could put their clients’ needs first in every situation (as they are supposed to do), we wouldn’t have a problem at all.

8. Tell us something we don’t already know about you. I have four fantastic kids: twins Wil and Erika (12), Madeline (7), and Natalie (6), who are the absolute light of my life.

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