Posted September 9 2010, 8:45 AM PDT by Geoff Wood

What is a Community?

Posted in Community and Windermere by Geoff Wood

The annual Windermere Symposium takes place at the end of the month, during which hundreds of our agents gather in person. They’ll talk about important issues, share ideas, and learn about new products and services to help them serve their clients. It’s a community in the very best sense of the word: people united by shared values, camaraderie and a common cause.

The notion of “community” has changed and expanded in recent years, thanks to the Internet. Virtual communities are a powerful phenomenon. For better or worse, cyber connections are a big part of society. Blogs, social networking sites like Facebook, Web-only companies and other e-organizations are growing at a staggering rate. Today, we can tweet, text, Skype, email, and “friend” and “unfriend” others. (I’m not sure exactly when those last two became verbs.)

We can join online communities with others who share our interests, no matter how eclectic. Whether you’re a vampire hunter, a dog trainer, or a model train collector, there’s a community for you. We can belong to these groups without actually meeting any of the other members in person – and yet we really can share our interests and actively participate in the community.

So, are we ultimately heading toward purely virtual communities where we won’t connect in person anymore? Thankfully, no. Human connections are here to stay. In fact, some of the most popular online communities serve as an efficient “first step” toward an in-person interaction. We’re very likely to start the search for a new job or a new house – or even a new spouse – online. But it’s all leading to a face-to-face connection.

Windermere Community

So while the Windermere community gets together online regularly to talk about the state of the industry, and how current legislation and shifts in the economy can benefit our clients, I can hardly wait to see everyone in person. We’ll shake hands with new acquaintances, hug old friends, laugh, and tell stories. We’ll talk about the real estate business for sure. But more importantly, we’ll be inspired and motivated, because we are a community dedicated to helping each other and our customers.

What are some of your favorite ways to engage with your community online and off?