In today’s volatile market, the greatest asset we need to master is networking. Whether it is a lead to our next deal or the opportunity to meet our next employer, getting your name out in the market place is essential to your survival. Most marketing companies will agree, it is imperative to have a Web presence to establish legitimacy and validation of one’s business. I would encourage every mortgage broker to spend $10 per month to create a minimum presence online. The buying public expects to find your business on the Internet and it is an inexpensive way to legitimize you existence. So, money is tight and you don’t feel that you have the technical expertise to create a Web site … then do the next best thing … create an electronic presence for free! Yes, believe it or not, there are still some things in this world that are free. Companies have had great success with MySpace.com, and if you are so inclined, there is Facebook.com as well. One of my favorite “free” sites is LinkedIn.com. This is a Facebook equivalent, but specifically intended for professional networking. It allows you to enter your work experience and educational background, and then search for former collogues and classmates. You can assemble an online contact list that you can utilize from any computer with Web access. You can review the contact list of your personal contacts and see names, titles and companies and request an introduction. Members can search job postings within the network as well, and much more. LinkedIn also has the ability to create groups. Affiliation to a group can be reflected on your published profile and grant access to share a common discussion and news boards. The most interesting thing about LinkedIn.com is that it is fully indexed by Google. Google places such high priority on the proper names, that unless you have a common name, a Google search of your name will result in a number one ranked listing. This allows you to get your message out there, list your business and contact information. As Steve Martin’s character, Navin R. Johnson, said in “The Jerk,” “This is the kind of spontaneous publicity—your name in print—that makes people. I’m in print! Things are going to start happening to me now.” And if reference to “The Jerk” is not enough to get you motivated to do something, remember, Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Think about this quote for a second and then ask yourself, “If I don’t do something different, will I ever get more exposure to help my business grow?” If you are interested, but not quite sure where to start, e-mail me at [email protected] and I will be happy to help. Jerry Jelincic is the manager of Miami Lakes, Fla.-based Full Service Title & Escrow LLC, Technology Chair for the Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers Broward Chapter, and an IT professional for 20-plus years.