[Agent Profile] Be Unique: An Approach That Keeps Me Moving

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Timothy Gyves works in Pittsburgh, one of the Top Markets For Real Estate Agents, according to an Inman Special Report.

Timothy C. Gyves doesn’t have a Facebook page. But he is no Luddite. In fact, Gyves uses iBooks to organize his paperwork. Simply put, the Coldwell Banker sales associate realizes that technology can be both an asset and a liability.

Gyves favors the tools that keep him mobile. He divides his time between home, office, and café so that he’s out, working, in the communities he serves. Gyves filled InmanNext in on his take on the tech blend that makes that happen.

What is the #1 “tech challenge” you are faced with?
Technology offers amazing potential for productivity and similar potential for distraction. I’ve come to learn that, all clients are different when it comes to the proper approach to incorporating it into the relationship.

Are you involved in social networking – I.e. Facebook and Twitter. If so, briefly tell us how you use it to build your business. If you are not please tell us why.
I’ve steered clear of Facebook, but I have tried to build an active following on Twitter among side with people in Pittsburgh’s art, design, and nonprofit community, because that’s both my professional background and it is what’s important to me, personally.  It has helped me get to know both people and organizations I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’m established as “photographer Tim from Point Breeze who knows philanthropy, cares about what I do, and can help me buy a house” instead of just another open house tweeting real estate agent.

Do you use tools to work “paperlessly” like Docusign or DotLoop? Why/Why not? How important is that to you?
I’ve signed up for and become familiar with Docusign, but haven’t found it to be an ideal fit yet for all parties. It may prove useful for out of town sellers/buyers for obvious reasons – we have many folks moving here from elsewhere and sellers who no longer live in Pittsburgh.

Tell us about your website and/or blog – how many leads do you generate from your site on a monthly basis? Is that an important part to your business?
I don’t maintain a business blog, but have set up detailed profile pages on the major real estate websites like Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com, as well as LinkedIn, and make sure that all easily linked back to my dedicated page on Coldwell Banker’s Pittsburgh site. That way I’m able to be easily contacted about not only my own listings, but also the areas and neighborhoods with which I identify.

How important do you feel content creation is to your business – I.e. social media posts, blogging, email newsletters? Do you create content yourself or do you outsource part of it?
I always forget what the approved content mix maxim is, but I try to maintain a consistent mix of things I care about; things that are of relevant for people interested in real estate, architecture, and design here and elsewhere.  My business anecdotes are about client searches, open houses, listings, and sales. I also RT liberally when it’s something that matters to me and try to promote content of colleagues and other interested parties.

How do you balance your time? Are there any tools you use to make juggling everything easier?
By syncing my calendars on all my devices. I also try to keep a mixed schedule between the office, home office, and coffee shop in the neighborhoods where I live, work, and play. I had a desk job for a decade, and I remind myself that this is not one of them. Maybe most importantly, I have a wife who reminds me this need not be an all-consuming job.

What is the most important tech tool or app you use on a daily basis?
Email on iPhone and iPad-keeps it from building up, since I don’t stay in one place for long.

What type of smartphone do you use? iPhone, Droid, Blackberry?
iPhone

Do you use a tablet device? How has it changed your business?
iPad – it’s enabled me to bridge the gap between my phone and laptop in a way that’s both useful and efficient. I’d been trying to carry on too much business on the phone alone, and it often did a number on my eyes and patience. I can get real work done on the iPad without lugging around a laptop and the 3G monthly plan has helped me when I’m without Wi-Fi or on vacation. Real Estate and other apps like Trulia, Realtor.com, The New Yorker were useful tools on the iPhone and are now even easier to access and utilize.  I also use iBooks to organize copies of sales agreements, sellers disclosures, and blank paperwork to be sent out to clients. It makes it really easy to email from so I don’t have to hunt for attachments.

What is a specific lead generation campaign that you did in your local market that worked well and why?
I’m not from Pittsburgh – my wife grew up here – and moved here from New York City, so I’ve put a lot of effort into engaging with people who are moving here from other cities, as we did three years ago. On my profile pages, LinkedIn, Twitter, and in social interactions, I’ve reached out to others in a similar situation – it’s helped brand me as an outsider who can be recommended to others who may better relate to someone who is either a first time home buyer, new to this city, or both.

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