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Value of Social Media [A Real Example]


(and a little practical advice, too)

I wrote earlier in the week about my quest to conquer my email inbox. So far, so good. I got the idea from Chris Brogan. Well, just yesterday, Chris posted some social media advice for real estate agents. He did this as part of his Social Media 100 series (which is a must-read, by the way).

Chris’s main tip is about using video walkthroughs of properties and publishing them on your blog or website, or wherever. You have probably heard this advice before. What makes this advice useful is not necessarily the advice itself, or from whom it comes, but rather the fact that it is coming from the perspective of someone who is a potential consumer of real estate. The same is true for all of the great content found in the comments on the post.

As agents, we talk all the time about what the consumer wants (or what we think the consumer wants). Here is a consumer, in fact a whole community of potential consumers, telling you what matters to them.

Consider some of Chris’s advice:

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The first and most obvious thing I think the real estate world can (and should) be doing is buying video cameras and shooting their own walkthroughs. You don’t have to be a pro. You DO have to know how not to make something look horrible, but that comes with trial and error.

Now consider some of the responses from NON-AGENT members of the community:

Chris, could not agree more about the use of video for real estate.
One thing I would add to the “Ways Your Blog Will Help” section is to become the go to expert on a neighborhood.

For instance, in Boulder where I live, there are neighborhoods that are hot and desired. If I was in real estate I would be all over the local angles. Get micro about it.

Be active in posting information about planning board meetings that affect your neighborhood, find out what that new school expansions is about, talk about the application for review a property has up, follow new developments (both residential and retail), blog about the restaurants, new parks and playgrounds, trails, community events, etc.

If you could be the “go to” resource for a particular neighborhood, you might find yourself with more business than you can handle.

Okay, so I gave that speech to my sister-in-law who is in real estate. We’ll see if she does it.

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And another:

I’m working with a friend who’s a RE agent, I am encouraging her to start a blog. RE is all about personalities–yeah, you have to know a ton to be really good at it, but you also have to be a person people trust and are willing to involve in this very major point in their lives.

Those two comments came from James Clark and Sonia Simone, respectively. I have no clue who either one of them is. I didn’t even know they existed until I read this post. Both of them, however, added significant value to the conversation. They added value because of their perspective; one that is completely outside the real estate industry. A value and a perspective that has now been shared with all of you and can be utilized for improvement. Sweet.

So here’s how it all breaks down:

Chris Brogan asks a question—–> I give a suggestion—–> Chris offers his opinion—–> Others read it and offer theirs—–> WE ALL BENEFIT.

The reality is that I could have written about doing videos about homes and neighborhoods right here. I could have given my own advice. Lord knows I wouldn’t have been the first one to tackle that subject. But, really, how productive would that have been? You’ve heard me before.

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Chris has as his audience a whole group of people that aren’t regular readers of AG, or any real estate blogs, for that matter. Through his simple act of writing one post, we benefit not only from his ideas, but from the input of his community. These are people that might not have spoken up otherwise. Those are the valuable opinions.

Readership is just a number, community is what is important. Value comes from the people who contribute to your understanding and help to improve upon what you are already doing. Value comes from connections between and among disparate communities coming together on occasion to help out and solve problems. I’m not saying that we all need to hold hands and sing kumbaya, but when you can learn something valuable from people you have never even met, people who want to help, that is a pretty cool thing.

People ask me all the time, “why do you blog?”

I blog for days like today.

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Written By

I'm a REALTOR, basketball referee, happy husband, and Community Manager (in no particular order). I have a passion for the real estate industry and officiating, a passion that I try to turn into inspiration on my blog, The Real Estate Zebra. I am also the Community Manager at Inman News. When I'm not blogging here on AG or the Zebra, you can usually find me on Twitter.



  1. Mike Lefebvre

    March 28, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Thanks Zebra! Missed Chris’ post and “found” it through you.

    PS- I would appreciate your (daily) vote in the Century 21/YouTube “Dig the Digs” video contest. Vote early, vote often, vote RealtorLefebvre and vote here:

    First prize is an HDTV and $21,000 to my sellers (can a brother get some of that in a price reduction please?) and an HDTV, $25 iTunes card and a “customer for life” for me. Hope you’re enjoying the hoops. Know you are!

  2. Chris Brogan...

    March 29, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    That’s exactly it. It’s not that I write something cool. It’s that I write something, and then really smart people show up and make it all better. That’s the magic in that old silk hat. : )

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