Because my business does search engine marketing (among other things), I quite often get asked by people if I would exchange links with them. Each time I hear that I smile and politely refuse. Sometimes they are more persistent and they push me. They say “You linked to so and so…so why would you not link to me?”
It is at this point that I reply “These people are FRIENDS of MINE. And have been. I TRUST them. I CARE about them.” I then proceed to tell them one of six dozen stories about the goodness of the people that have links on this blog or any of my other blogs. And hopefully that quiets them down. But oftentimes they just go away, thinking that there MUST be some trick to it.
For the 1,643rd time, THERE IS NOT A TRICK. These people are my friends. I care about them and their businesses and families and lives. Yet another example came to the surface this week. I am sharing it so that in the future I can share this with others who want to be friends with me for real.
1. STEP ONE: Get to know me. And I will get to know you.
2. STEP TWO: As part of that process, you will soon find that I care deeply about your success and you about mine. When you have a significant event, whether it is a success or a comedy, or a tragedy in your area I will be there to support you. Here would be an example of that. I was honored to spend time with Gary Lundholm and the folks at the Real Estate Group, helping build my little part of that effort.
3. STEP THREE: When a significant event or tragedy or something otherwise happens in MY hometown, if you care enough to call and check in, you are at the front of the line of my friends. For those who are interested, I live and work in Southern Indiana. Three days ago, we had a severe series of tornadoes hit some of our communities. The first two people to call me were Gary Lundholm and Mary Elizabeth Allen both from the The Real Estate Group. I communicated with them back and forth and shared pictures with them about what we were going through over the weekend. Gary kept in touch with me. They asked for pictures. Then on Monday, they posted on their two blogs. One here on their Insider Blog and one here on their corporate blog. In these posts they ask their friends to help the Red Cross help our friends here in Southern Indiana.
That’s what friends do.
If you know Gary Lundholm and The Real Estate Group at all, you know that this is not out of the ordinary. It is how they do things. It is part of their culture.
In all fairness since my friends at TREG called, many folks have checked in over the weekend and we are fine here. We spent our time helping others. It kind of strikes our family as wrong to wait for others to help our neighbors when we are nearby and have a pickup truck (so to speak). Many people checked in on facebook and everything else.
If you are a real estate agent in Hampton Roads and you are looking for a place to work where people care about you and your career…and if you ask me about it, I will point you to my blogroll and tell you to Contact Gary, Steven, Joe, Pam, Mary Elizabeth, Garrett, or any of the other staff that are there to help agents. Why?? Because I KNOW they will treat you well. They are FRIENDS of mine. And they are remarkably wonderful people.
If you are another person that just wants me to link to you, start with step one. Not with me, but WITH EVERYONE. Be a friend to them. Do that FIRST. BE the kind of friend I just described above. The links will take care of themselves. I promise.