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Real estate coaches teaching Realtors how to frustrate consumers

Tracing back bad behaviors

Most real estate coaches that I know personally are pretty smart people, many have even had a real job before, and some of those have practiced real estate. That said, there is a bad practice that I am seeing being used on Twitter that is traced back to several real estate coaches.

Although not a new practice, it is one that is rising in prominence and commonality and that is the Auto-DM when a user gets a new follow. Say I follow a Realtor in South Carolina, I may instantly get a direct message that appears to be somehow personalized to me, “thank you for following me, do you have any real estate needs?”

I won’t beat a dead horse that was buried in the ground years ago, we’ve already had the funeral and people are going to Auto-DM no matter what others think. Heck, in theory, it’s not a bad idea, but it does clash with the culture established on Twitter.

Beating a dead horse but with a twist

No, it’s not Auto-DM that we’re seeing more of, it’s what is in the Auto-DM that people have been taught to do at conferences and that is to send an Auto-DM to new followers through one of the various social media applications that automates it for you, and in the DM it says, “Thanks for following, please follow my Facebook Page as well [insert their URL here].”

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Wait. Thanks for following me on Twitter, now go somewhere else and do something else? Why? There is a similar script being shared in real estate and if you follow a handful of Realtors, several will have the same wording, directing you to follow their Facebook Page.

I get why it is a good idea- you’ve put effort into Twitter and you’ve put effort into Facebook, and you’re making yourself available.

Why this is problematic

The problem, however, is that often, people are following you back, sometimes out of politeness. Other times they have sought you out, but it may be because of your geography, not your profession. Do you really want to tell someone who may not be 100% enthusiastic about following you in the first place that their follow means so little to you and that if you get a follow from them on Facebook maybe then they’ll be good enough?

Don’t command new followers to leave you!

Commanding people to follow you on one social network when they’ve just connected with you on another is tacky because the first impression they have of you is that you’re spammy (you used an Auto-DM script and will you be DMing ads and links every day now?), and you have moved the goal post, almost as if telling your new connection “you have one more level to pass” as if they’re playing a horrible video game they hate.

Retention levels are higher with genuine contact, but for those unwilling to commit to the culture of Twitter, at least don’t move the goal post for your new connection- wouldn’t it be kinder, more welcoming and make a better first impression if you said hello first before you told them to leave?

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Kevin "Troll" Tomlinson

    July 12, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Snake oil, I say.

  2. Becky Steele

    July 12, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I think you are being a little hard on the coaches. "Many have even had a real job before" seems a little sarcastic and misplaced. Sounds like you don't think coaching is a "real job". There is so much advice going on out there right now, we are all on Social Media Overload. Everyone is trying to figure out the best way to use Social Media and monetize it. I agree with what you are saying, just don't like the slamming others to get attention.

    • Lani Rosales

      July 12, 2011 at 11:36 am

      Becky, it is most definitely sarcasm, but I assure you, not misplaced. There are some amazing coaches, but many, many, many, many, many coaches wake up one day and decide "I'm really horrible at real estate (which I got into because I couldn't hack it at my phone sales job), I think I will teach other people how to do real estate because I can charge for seminars and sleep in every day."

      It completely devalues the work of great coaches, so no, I do not misplace my belief in real estate coaching as a profession.

      I assure you I am not slamming anyone for attention (if I was, the title would have been more flamboyant like "Realtor coaches have lost their damn minds" or "Go to hell, real estate coaches," or "I signed up for Twitter, now give me $999.99 so I can tell you how to enter your email and hit "sign up" too," etc.).

      I have been advocating for, studying, analyzing, writing about and speaking nationally on the topic of digital media for many years, whereas "real estate coaches" who signed up for Twitter last week are charging for "Twitter coaching" which is an embarrassing travesty for <em>legitimate</em> real estate coaches.

      Can you tell that I have strong feelings on the topic, Becky? 🙂

      • sfvrealestate

        July 12, 2011 at 12:34 pm

        You go, Lani! I figured out that if anybody wants to read more pearls of wisdom from me than my 140-character tweets, they know how to find me.

  3. Joe Loomer

    July 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    If your real estate coach isn't starting your coaching with something like "call your past clients NOW or they were just a paycheck to you" then you need to fire them. If they're not encouraging you to do the belly-to-belly human touch before the social media work, they're worthless anyway. Never stop doing something that is making you money in favor of something that might.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  4. Ken Brand

    July 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    To me, there are plenty of things that should be automated; systems, process, etc. As Joe points out, when it comes to building relationships, BOTs can't compete with us. Sure it's easier to auto-respond, but if you don't want to "just" hit them back with auto-respond, reach out an touch someone yourself. The human touch is a human need IMO. Cheers.

    • Joe Loomer

      July 12, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      Or in the words of Ken Brand – "less Blah Blah more Ah Ha!"

  5. Mike Mueller

    July 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    When I first started in twitter I had setup an autodm that linked back to my twitter follow policy. Even that was a bad idea.
    If they want to, there's a link back to everywhere I am on my blog – that's in my bio. It's up to them to decide.

    I do autofollow though. While some might say that leads to enormous potential autodm's, it hasn't. I might have 2 a day at most and usually block them.

    The upside is that I get many real dm's from real people because that's the way they prefer to communicate and I'm going to communicate on any level that you want (not my preference).

  6. Ryan Hartman

    July 12, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    There's really nothing wrong with this approach, except it's executed wrong. A better dm would be.

    “Hi Joe, here's that dirty real estate site i get emails from:”

    More coaches should be teaching agents not to be so dang boring… to create something engaging that they can dm spam folks to… any coaches out there who need a coach dm @houseyourmom.

  7. BawldGuy

    July 13, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I strongly suspect that for every excellent coach, there are 10 who match Lani's description. I've met more than a few coaches in my day, and many never grossed as much as most top producers pay in taxes.

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