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Frog Pond - Voices of Women Interview

  • June 28, 2010
Ines Hegedus-Garcia
ines@miamism.com

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Voices of Women

Ines Hegedus-Garcia Realtor and Blogger, Miamism.comAlongside her husband and partner, Ines Hegedus-Garcia offers commercial and residential real estate services as Team Miamism, part of Majestic Properties. Her well-known blog, Miamism.com, reflects her love of community as she talks about neighborhoods from Fisher Island to Aventura.
A native of Venezuela who has lived in the United States since she was 11 years old, Hegedus-Garcia holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Miami. 
 

After being recognized in 2007 as one of the Top 12 Women Real Estate Bloggers (by Sellsius), you hit the jackpot, being named by Inman News as one of Real Estate’s 50 Most Influential Online in 2009. You’ve written that blogging is about conversation and establishing dialogue – tell us how social media is changing relationships with our communities. 

Social Media has made it possible for anyone to reach out to people you would not have had access to in the past – from politicians, building officials, business owners and communities in general. To think, for example that I was able to meet Bob and Susie Hale in person this year because of social media is the perfect example of this incredible reach.
As for how it’s changing relationships? It’s easy to be more aware of local happenings, of people’s everyday lives and easy to become a part of your community’s heart. I make a point to help as many businesses as I can, I help them promote their services and know that it will eventually come back to us. It’s always about the law of giving.
 
What about blogging has surprised you the most?
The blog has really taken a life of its own. We generate from 70 to 80 percent of our business from the blog, although we do traditional marketing as well.
I started the blog in 2006 to supplement our marketing. We were spending a lot of money on print advertising and not getting the return I wanted. Blogging would give us an opportunity to have a wider audience and would be able to speak to that audience as if they were in front of us, something that could never be achieved with traditional media.
Coming up with the name was easy – looking at Miami’s vitality, diversity and culture, it was easy to discern a certain philosophy and way of life … Miamism!
My aim has been to become a resource for our community, to share social capital. Now people look to us for information and contact us to help them promote events and services.
 
How did you get started in real estate? My husband and I opened a commercial property management company almost 18 years ago and knew immediately that real estate was for us – it offered the flexibility and independence corporate America did not. It was an easy change.
 
What are the key philosophies/tools to bring success to agents and brokers in this market?
Be consistent – always think of what you bring you the table that others don’t, what makes you different is what will make you stand out from your competition.
And to turn this question around in order to make your readers think about their marketing strategy, I ask the following:
What if that one social platform you spend all your time and efforts in (whether Facebook, twitter, etc) were to disappear tomorrow?  Would that affect your business?  I use my blog as my hub and all networks link to it, if my account were to be cancelled, I would be devastated for personal reasons, but my backup plan would be in place and my HUB would still be standing for people to find me.  I focus my energy on what I can control, and ultimately get the most return there as well.
 
What principles guide you in running your business? Treat clients like you would your own family – always go above and beyond. In a service industry like real estate, you NEED to focus on service … many miss that mark.
 
Have you had any mentors who helped guide your career? When I started blogging back in 2006, Paul Chaney was instrumental in how I behave today in the social media space; he’s the perfect example of humility and strength, which we should all strive for. As for a real estate mentor, we saw a need for genuine, sincere and honest people in our industry. I guess our past real estate contacts became our “what-not-to-do mentors.”
 
How do you handle the work-life balance that is demanded from this full-time career? Handle? I’m still working at it and never in a million years would I have known that I would work 24-7 (although flexible, it never stops). With 3 very active kids, our real estate and commercial property management company and being consistent with our marketing … less sleep … that’s how I handle it.
 
Do you have any “words of wisdom” for women trying to succeed in business? I’ve said this time and time again – be yourself, be genuine and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. It’s your human, vulnerable side that will get you the furthest in life. 
** BOUGHT BY MOVE.COM

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