By Donna Kakonge
Imran Javaid started using different sites like Kijiji and Craigslist a couple of years ago.
“I have been active on Kijiji and do get calls and emails from customers inquiring about my listings and services,” says Javaid. “I actually have helped a client who basically had to rent a place by Yonge and Eglinton within 24 hours of that phone call. Even though I was busy with a personal emergency, after talking to her (who was from Barrie) I helped her find a place according to her needs within the timeframe.”
Javaid was against using Facebook as he had heard a few bad stories about it. But in 2009 when his teenage daughter insisted getting Facebook, he gave up and got a “family Facebook” which soon after became a great contact tool with friends, family present and future customers and clients.
“You won’t believe I have found my JK friends from my school in Pakistan who I have not seen for the last 25 to 30 years.”
Right now Javaid has contacts from around the world. He received a message from a friend from Dubai who is moving to Canada and needs to buy a house once he lands here.
“So definitely it’s a great networking tool with business leads,” Javaid says. “I am not a big fan of Twitter or LinkedIn, but am using Facebook actively. I upload recent market reports, my listings and also new condo projects in downtown Toronto. Also, I keep bugging my contacts to refer a friend as I work on referral basis a lot. Relocation of clients has become much easier as I can communicate with them and share links to listings through Facebook.”
Javaid says one of his clients is moving from Nova Scotia and he already has arranged a short-term rental before they even arrive here.
“Recently I printed my new business cards and I got that “f” (Facebook logo) next to logos of “MLS” and “R”. Designer at the printing shop looked at me and was a bit amazed, but these are the facts all realtors should embrace sooner than later.”
Javaid says that in his marketing class in Ryerson in 1997, when his teacher asked the class what resources they were going to use for their marketing research and everyone said different things like the reference library, newspapers, etc., but his answer was that he would use the Internet for his research. All the class turned their necks to him with questioning looks.
“….but I guess I was right back then and I think I am right today as well.”
Realtors need to adopt the changes as a large segment of today’s clients are using the Internet and social networking to find out about buying or selling real estate.
“If I am not there, I will be replaced by someone else!!”
Evidence that Javaid will not be replaced soon comes from satisfied customers such as Margie and Kristine, who Javaid helped to find an apartment close to Ryerson University.
“I don’t know what we would have done without Imran,” writes Margie and Kristine in a letter to Javaid. “Through the entire two days, he was so kind, caring, helpful and professional.”
Other satisfied customers of Javaid, Mike and Jenny write: “If you are looking for a real estate agent, look no further than Imran Javaid because you will not find anyone better.”