Connect with us

Opinion Editorials

Real estate columnist says remove clients from your Facebook

Published

on

I have to tell you about the futureBack to the past from the future Bernice Ross, Inman blogger and 30 year real estate veteran turned public speaker and writer suggests against the social media elites that Realtors should remove clients as friends from their Facebook in order to avoid jeopardizing client confidentiality.

Doc! I have to tell you about the future!

So the news that Bernice returns from the future to tell us is not that we should manage (or learn to manage) friends that become clients in the social sphere, but just not to make friends that buy and sell homes with you at all- at least not on Facebook.

Back to 1988…

What Bernice fails to understand is that making friends/connections is the point of being on Facebook, and to make friends that might recommend you to their friends- it’s what we’ve all done offline for years. I recall the early days of email the same rhetoric from the old guard to mind your Ps and Qs on the internet or to just plain avoid the world wide web of nightmares altogether. OMG THEY’RE STEALING AWER DA-TA!

Bernice is entitled to her opinion, but in the real world, it is our recommendation that you meet clients wherever they wish to meet you. Back up your conversations, as well as have the conversation early on (once in the process of representation) on how you and your clients should best communicate.

Where we’re going, we’ll need roads?

As for the fear mongering on violating Facebook TOS by placing property listings on your personal page rather than your business page, it is true, but heavy handed- just mind the same TOS that your clients agreed to and you’re good to go. As for data mining by applications? Every time you login using Facebook (anywhere) you transfer your data to the Facebook (approved) trusted entity you’re logging into- again, you and your clients agreed to this via the same TOS when joining Facebook or giving permission to each individual app. Your clients are aware of their risks or they aren’t, it’s truly none of your business or concern. Obviously, common sense dictates we not discuss personal information in the public realm, and I doubt a Realtor would be foolish enough to announce a client did not qualify via Facebook status update.

This idea that we should be afraid of anything we don’t understand is why consumers rail against your commissions versus your value and fear mongering only perpetuates old school stereotypes of real estate professionals. Instead, our time is better served on learning about and managing advancing technologies and mediums, not fearing them.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. Drew Meyers - Virtual Results

    February 21, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    I 2nd your opinion. Someone sent this article to me earlier today and I responded with a quick tirade about the bad advice.

  2. Lesley Lambert

    February 21, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Another brilliant bit of advice from a namby pamby that isn’t properly using social media and as such thinks it is bunk.

    • Benn Rosales

      February 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

      Okay, namby pamby? Really? In 65k comments, that’s a first :p

  3. aMY L cavENDER

    February 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Unless you are posting inappropriate stuff on FB (which you shouldn’t be…) why in the heck would you defriend your clients? The reason I have my current/past/potential clients on my FB and Twitter is to show that I’m a real person.

    • Benn Rosales

      February 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

      Amy, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that you’re a real woman who rocks it every single day for her friends and clients.

  4. Vicki Moore

    February 21, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    I just listened to a few of her podcasts and was really disappointed that she talked about things that aren’t new and inventive but outdated and overdone.

    • Benn Rosales

      February 22, 2011 at 10:30 am

      Vicki, you’ve been around AG for so long there is no doubt that you’ve heard and read ‘it all.’ :p

  5. Becky Squyres

    February 21, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    She also wrote an article not so long ago claiming that Facebook for Real Estate was better left to the baby boomer generations. Ross made some fairly offensive claims that the younger generations did not know how to use medium as an effective marketing tool because of questionable material possibly being posted which included references to binge drinking. First off, it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to understand how to appropriately sensor and moderate facebook content. Second, it’s our medium. It’s how we’ve communicated with our friends and peers since before mom and the rest of her Farmville posse started taking up shop. She’s welcome to her opinion, but there’s a reason why every Generation Y oriented conference I’ve been to has been a completely offensive: Mom just doesn’t understand.

  6. Jeff Bulman

    February 21, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Horrible advice, shun people who like you because of some far fetched fear of litigation. Hopefully people will stop putting stock in “coaches”, professional “bloggers” and other who don’t live in the real world of real estate.

  7. Matthew Rathbun

    February 22, 2011 at 1:49 am

    I just re-joined Inman news and the first article I read was about Facebook only being good for particular generations, followed by how great being pregnant was for getting business. Today I read this article and just shut down my blog reader…

    Inman needs to better editors (cough-cough like Lani cough-cough). There’s virtually no consistent message there anymore. That said, these types of articles do get traction…

    • Benn Rosales

      February 22, 2011 at 10:24 am

      I’ve never paid for a subscription, and never will. News should be free.

  8. Ken Brand

    February 22, 2011 at 7:27 am

    This is what’s beautiful about Facebook, blogging, Twitter, et al. We can all beam our good, bad and ugly points of view across the universe and our success-or-suck destiny is accelerated. If you’re attractive you’ll succeed faster. If you suck, you’ll #fail faster.

    At least Bernice has a point of view, albeit one I don’t agree with. At least she’s putting it out there. How many people never stand for anything and remain quiet and invisible.

    No doubt there is, although we won’t hear from them here, a tribe of prospects and training-consumers who will welcome the news that Facebook is dangerous and this article will reinforce their perspective and garner new speaking engagements, etc.

    While to my point of view these recommendations are extreme, I definitely see and read equally extreme recommendations that proclaim Facebook, et al to be the holy grail and a replacement for the real work of on-purpose and in-person contact, conversation, solving and selling.

    The power of sharing our thoughts and beliefs with everyone everywhere is a transformative.

    • Benn Rosales

      February 22, 2011 at 10:23 am

      Her magic bullet is not to play at all. We’re used to that, Ken, there’s enough old school fear left around the industry to choke the healthiest of ideas.

      • Ken Brand

        February 22, 2011 at 11:51 am

        Yeah, you’re right. In my view it’s so 180 that what struck me was not the message, but how we can ALL demonstrate to the world who we are and what we’re about.

        You’ll appreciate this. I was in day long water cooler talk with several super smart people. Technology types, successful agents, brokers and consultant types. There were 7 or 8 of us, just sharing thoughts on what we were working on and stuff like that. Before we started sharing we went around the room and introduced ourselves, how long we we had been in the business, what we do, where we do it, etc.

        The subject of eLeads, conversion, lost opportunity, scrubbing, incubating and stuff like that. Eric Stegman was sharing some ideas. Anyway, asked what I thought about one of the elements of his idea. I told him I thought it would never work. I’ve never seen it work. He should come up with a better plan, something with less resistance. He’s a cool guy. He looked at me and smiled. Then politely asked me, “Do you know why you think that Ken?” Me thinking, “Because I have experience.” Me speaking, “Why?” Eric, “Because you’ve been in the business for 30 years.”

        Holy crap. You could have knocked me down with a feather. He was right. I took a position based on my experience and never stopped to challenge my own assumptions. We all do that, that’s what happened with BR’s post I imagine.

        So, my thought was, that whatever the message, today we can broadcast it and others can rebroadcast and comment, yesteryears we couldn’t. And this demonstration of how sharing your thoughts can create conversations like this, to me highlights more about the media medium than the message.

        Having said all that, you’re right. I imagine those looking for confirmation that FB and other tools are dangerous and to be avoided, have something they can hang their hat on. The beat goes on.

        kb

        • Benn Rosales

          February 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm

          I’ve always said new ideas are best mixed with wisdom. I call Jeff Brown to counter balance my ideas. He’s called me an idealist, and windmill tilting many times, and I’ve called him old fashioned and a stick in the mud. Typically, we end up in the middle. 🙂 Jeff has never told me not to try though, and he’s also never told me to be afraid to fail.

    • Benn Rosales

      February 22, 2011 at 10:25 am

      PS love that she stands for something, 99.9% of all others stand silently.

  9. Matthew Hardy

    February 22, 2011 at 11:44 am

    “social media elites”

    What’s that? 😉

    “News should be free.”

    You mean, without advertising?

  10. BawldGuy

    February 22, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I love these discussions almost as much as homemade, overfilled tacos on Sunday nights. I’m on FB but mostly inactive. I’m happy for agents who’re doin’ massive volume due to their FB efforts. Oops, my bad, there is no such agent.

    Much as twitter has been proved overrated, I suspect the same for FB. Good personal interaction, great for broadcasting posts/links, but not effective for much else — at least when it comes to bank deposits. Let’s establish a gold standard for kinda sorta elite results, say $100,000 in gross commissions for a calendar year.

    In Austin an agent closing just 18 sides, less than 1.5 a month, would generate (at 3%/side & $200,000/side) $102,000 in gross commissions. In San Diego it’d take 10 closed sides. Let’s exclude agents with blogs, as I’ve already agreed FB is a solid link-broadcasting medium. How many agents in the entire country can say, with a straight face, they’ve closed a side a month directly from their FB efforts?

    FB isn’t worthless by a longshot. I’m OldSchool through and through, but even I know it has its value. But somebody, anybody, please admit its power to produce bank deposits is acutely overrated.

    OldFogie Radio now signing off. 🙂

  11. Matthew Hardy

    February 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    @BawldGuy That gauntlet may have to remain on the ground for now. Of course the argument might be made that bank deposits weren’t really the goal. 😉

  12. BawldGuy

    February 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    “Of course the argument might be made that bank deposits weren’t really the goal.”

    Oh, well in that case, FB rocks!

  13. MH for Movoto

    February 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    I read that article too. definitely a bit fear-monger-esque. while she’s got a point, and you shouldn’t conduct any SERIOUS business on FB (obviously), if you’re on FB and your client’s on FB – what’s the harm?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion Editorials

You already blew your new year’s resolutions, but it’s not your fault

(EDITORIAL) Your new year’s resolutions are already making you feel like a failure. The whole process is flawed – let me tell you why it’s not your fault (yet).

Published

on

new year's resolutions - oops.

It’s estimated that only about 8.0 percent of people keep their new year’s resolutions. Most fail by the end of January, and here we are – almost at the end of the month. But it’s not your fault (yet) – let’s discuss.

Face it, you’re doomed before you ever get started. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, if you don’t approach it the right way, you’ll never reach it. If you really want to change your life in 2019, you’re going to have to get serious.

Here’s my innovative approach. Stop making resolutions.

Making new year’s resolutions sounds good in theory. But they’re really problematic. New year’s resolutions often don’t take into account what is realistic. Resolutions don’t let you adjust when life gets in the way. You’re setting yourself up for failure when you make resolutions. You may have good intentions, but you know you’ll fall back into your old habits.

What’s the solution?

A resolution is defined as “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” Changing your behavior isn’t that easy. Psychology Today offers eight different reasons why it’s so difficult to make long-term sustained change.

The all-or-nothing thinking of resolutions traps you into a no-win situation.

To really make change, you’re going to have to approach it differently. Resolutions tend to come from negative emotions. Real change comes from place of self-edification. Resolutions tend to be sweeping changes. You determine to completely change your lifestyle. Small habits are easier to implement. Over time, those small changes can become big changes.

Setting goals is good. Breaking down your goals into bite-sized pieces helps you reach those goals. Want to lose weight? Instead of jumping in and throwing out all the sugar in your cupboards, work with a dietician for a month to see where you can make changes to your meals that fit your lifestyle.

Failure is a given.

Know that you’re going to mess up. Failure is part of the process. It helps you learn where to put your attention and energy. Coming home late and eating a pizza instead of something healthier isn’t a reason to stop trying to lose weight. It just means that you need to think about the reasons that caused you to blow your diet. Was it lack a planning? Did you just need comfort food? Was it just convenient? Look back at why you indulged to meet the challenge next time.

Give yourself a break.

Change isn’t easy. Don’t keep kicking yourself when you don’t hit your goals. Consider what’s keeping you back. Maybe the goals aren’t a priority right now. Maybe you’re taking on too much. Maybe the timing isn’t right. Maybe you have other commitments that need your resources.

Make 2019 your best year by not setting resolutions, but by making small changes in your life.

Continue Reading

Opinion Editorials

Do women that downplay their gender get ahead faster?

(OPINION) A new study about gender in the workplace is being perceived differently than we are viewing it – let’s discuss.

Published

on

women downplay gender

The Harvard Business Review reports that women benefit professionally when they downplay their gender, as opposed to trying to focus on their “differences” as professional strength.

The article includes a lot of interesting concepts underneath its click-bait-y title. According to the study by Professors Ashley Martin and Katherine Phillips, women felt increasingly confident when they pivoted from focusing on highlighting potential differences in their perceived abilities based on their gender and instead gave their attention to cultivating qualities that are traditionally coded as male*.

Does this really mean that women need to “downplay” their gender? Does it really mean women who attempt this get ahead in this world faster?

I don’t think so.

The article seems to imply that “celebrating diversity” in workers is akin to giving femme-identified employees a hot pink briefcase – it actually calls attention to stereotyped behaviors. I would argue that this is not the case (and, for the record, rock a hot pink briefcase if you want to, that sounds pretty badass).

I believe that we should instead highlight the fact that this study shows the benefits that come when everyone expands preconceived notions of gender.

Dr. Martin and her interviewer touch on this when they discuss the difference between gender “awareness” and “blindness.” As Dr. Martin explains, “Gender blindness doesn’t mean that women should act more like men; it diminishes the idea that certain qualities are associated with men and women.”

It is the paradox of studies like this one that, in order to interrogate how noxious gendered beliefs are, researchers must create categories to place otherwise gender-neutral qualities and actions in, thus emphasizing the sort of stereotypes being investigated. Regardless, there is a silver lining here as said by Dr. Martin herself:

“[People] are not naturally better suited to different roles, and [people] aren’t better or worse at certain things.”

Regardless of a worker’s gender identity, they are capable of excelling at whatever their skills and talent help them to.

*Though the HBR article and study perpetuate a binary gender structure, for the purposes of our discussion in this article, I expand its “diversity” to include femme-identified individuals, nonbinary and trans workers, and anybody else that does not benefit from traditional notions of power that place cisgendered men at the top of the social totem pole.

Continue Reading

Opinion Editorials

Why I paused my career to raise our child

(OPINION) Our children are like tiny little sponges that absorb everything that we give them — your job and the sentiments it produces and evokes included.

Published

on

motherhood pause career

I never dreamed of being a stay-at-home-mom. Not in a million years did I think I’d find myself choosing to press pause on my career, but here I am, a mother for just nine months, doing just that.

HBR recently published an article about how our careers impact our children focusing on parental values and the emotional toll of our career involvement on our families. It got me thinking about my own childhood.

Growing up, my parents’ discussion of work was almost always negative. A job was something you had to do whether you liked it or not. As a child, I listened to my parents fight over money; I observed them in constant worry about the future. I watched them stress over unsatisfying jobs.

There was never any room for risk, no money to invest in a new career path, and no financial cushion to fall back on to give a new career time to grow.

Later, when choosing a path of my own, I would often wonder what my parents had wanted to be or who they could’ve been if they would’ve been able to choose careers they might’ve thrived in. All I ever knew is that my parents hated their jobs. While they’re on better financial footing now, the residue of their negativity persists in the career choices of their children.

While I was pregnant, I was working at an international tech startup in Silicon Valley. The company suffered from poor leadership; the week I was hired, my team quit and I was left to piece together a position for myself. The company continued to flounder, its culture unable to recover from interim toxic leadership.

I constantly worried about my son and the stress of a toxic culture on my pregnancy. Going into the office made me anxious. Leaving left me feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. Instead of imagining a bright, beautiful baby boy, I closed my eyes and saw a dark and anxious bundle of nerves. Of course, I blamed myself for everything.

Toward the end of my pregnancy, I promised my baby that when he arrived, I would do things differently. This would be the last time I accepted a job that I only felt lukewarm about. Never again would I participate in a culture that could diminish my talents and self-worth. I’d seen this kind of thing during my childhood and I’d be damned to repeat it.

During my career, I’ve watched coworkers hire full time live-in nannies, missing their baby’s developmental milestones and their children’s school events. I listened as one CMO talked about moving into his backyard yurt when the pains of parenthood became too much for him. He left his three preteen sons alone to fend for themselves in the mansion they shared in Silicon Valley.

We pride ourselves on the amount of work we put into our careers, but we rarely measure our success through the eyes of our children.

Children are mimics, they absorb everything we do, even during infancy. So, what are we offering them when we abandon them to make conference calls from yurts? What message are we sending them when our eyes are glued to texts, emails and push notifications? What are we teaching them when we come home stressed out, energy depleted and our values compromised?

We try “disrupting” anything these days so what about the working parent model? Would it be worth it?

My husband and I decided that it was and we’re doing things differently.

My husband works in the service industry. He doesn’t leave for work until late in the afternoon which means he spends all day with our son. At nine months old, my son has a strong emotional relationship with his father.

I carve out time during my days and nights to schedule writing work. I’ve recently returned to freelancing and I find that when I’m working with clients I believe in and doing work that I enjoy, we’re all much happier.

Everyone who’s ever had children says the first year goes by incredibly quickly. It’s true. My career will be there next year and for years after that. My son is only a baby once and I wouldn’t miss it for all the money in the world.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Parnters

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories