Is social networking for real estate professionals a “Zolve”d problem?

I am a big proponent of social networking.  As they say, word-of-mouth is the best way to win new business, so why not give those mouths a hand (no pun intended) with the latest tools.  LinkedIn was one of the first sites to focus on building stronger business relationships and networks.  I hopped onboard and now actively use it to meet new business contacts and maintain existing business relationships.

Because of the success I have experienced with LinkedIn, I was doubly excited when I heard about Zolve, the social networking site specifically for real estate professionals.  I took some time over the weekend to explore and I like what I see.  Designed primarily as a resource to help brokers and other real estate professionals to manage referrals, there are some great tools for

  • identifying professionals in your network who cover a particular market
  • tracking the process as they handle the referral business
  • reviewing their performance and professionalism through a rating system

The rating system, in particular, has me intrigued.  As I begin to manage referrals through the Zolve site, I will be tracking my performance and those of my colleagues.  I anticipate that there is some potential for abuse and hope that Zolve staff will maintain a watchful eye over the process as the site gets embraced by the community.

I am curious to see how long it remains purely focused on real estate professionals.  With the referral engine, any major industry that thrives on referral business (physicians, attorneys, etc.) could stand to benefit from similar functionality.  On top of that, I hope that the Zolve staff publishes performance reports accessible to real estate investors and occupiers, in a similar manner to Angie’s List, so that the users can benefit as much as the professionals.

The one major negative that I have experienced on the site is some poor site development.  Getting up and running with a full profile took me about an hour and I’m fairly technical.  I still do not have my entire profile established because some functionality still is not properly implemented or lags too much to be useful, but for a first round tool, the Zolve team has done a commendable job.

In case you are curious, you can click here to access my Zolve profile – See my profile on Zolve

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