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I’m Your Friend, Fan and Follower. Where’s the Biz?



AutomatonsMaybe I’m missing something here. It’s been known to happen.  I’m just not sure.

Joe Realtor is a fan of Joe Realtor Sells Pocatello, Idaho Real Estate and thinks you should be a fan, too.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m sure Joe’s a hell of a good guy and a mega-star Realtor, to boot.  It’s just that, well, I don’t sell real estate in Pocatello, Idaho and I really don’t know anyone going there I could refer to Joe.  You see, when people leave the MD Suburbs of DC (my stomping ground) they usually go someplace warm like North Carolina or Florida. Or they get voted out of office and go back to wherever they have their “real” home or the military transfers them God knows where.

On the flip side, I can’t remember the last time I ran into anyone who wasn’t a college student who came from Pocatello, Idaho to live in the DC area.

So Why Am I Your Friend, Fan and Follower?

One of the largest unexplained phenomenons of the Internet is the tendency for Realtors to want to connect with each other through the magic of social media.  Now, it may just be me, but I’m more inclined to refer a client to someone I’ve actually met or, maybe, have some connection to outside the social media sphere.  I may know you through the CRS network or my [large international franchise] network or I might have met you at a REBar Camp or other conference. Just knowing you on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any number of the other social media websites is not quite enough.

Yet, I’m kinda a social media slut.  I’ll friend and follow and fan almost anyone.  What the hell?  It doesn’t cost anything.  But, think about it, if 500 of my friends are people I don’t know, have never met and have no clue as to what type of person they really are, why should I refer to them?  More to the point, I can’t even remember that Joe Realtor (see above) is my Pocatello, Idaho connection.  We friended each other. I became a fan of his page, I may follow him on Twitter. But, for the life of me, when the magic moment comes and I have someone to refer (don’t hold your breath), I can’t remember who he is out of the hundreds (thousands!) in the same boat.

Help Me Out Here

So,  I guess I’m kinda confused.  On the one hand I don’t want to dis anyone who I actually know (like other AG bloggers) or people who are in my CRS network or [large international franchise] network.  On the other hand, if we just “connect” and then don’t build the “relationship”, what good does it do?  And how can you build the “relationship” with the many hundreds or thousands that want to be your friend, fan or follower?

“Loves sunrise walks on the beach, quaint B & Bs, former Barbie® boyfriend..." Ken is a sole practitioner and Realtor Extraordinaire in the beautiful MD Suburbs of DC. When he's not spouting off on Agent Genius he holds court from his home office in Glenn Dale, MD or the office for RE/MAX Advantage Realty in Fulton, MD...and always on the MD Suburbs of DC Blog

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  1. Erica Ramus

    April 18, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Ken–I disagree! I can tell you that I have “met” many many other agents online, both here on AG and on other realtor social networking sites, and have made true friendships. Of course, hundreds are just names to me. But if I need a realtor in a certain city, perhaps their name will jump to first in mind, and I will call in a referral. These are what I’d call SM acquaintances

    A smaller percentage I consider true friends. My definition of a SM friend is someone you could pick up the phone and call, and they know who the heck you are. You need help, they’re there to help you. And they care.

    An example of this would be a friendship I developed on ActiveRain with another member. Simply by reading and commenting on each other’s blogs, we “knew” each other. One day I posted a RANT on my blog about how ROTTEN my day was and how upset I was. I was feeling really low. Within 10 minutes of posting, he commented that tomorrow will be better, to buck up. Then my cell phone rang and I didn’t recognize the number. It was him calling to make sure I was okay. Simply posting the vent made me feel better. I unloaded online. His comment made me feel better. But that 10 minute phone call at the end of the day really brought my spirits up. I have never met him in person, probably never will–but that doesn’t matter. It’s a relationship and a connection.

  2. Erica Ramus

    April 18, 2010 at 9:31 am

    PS–It’s up to YOU to make the BIZ. Don’t just press FRIEND someone. Make that connection with them. It takes work and time. You don’t just friend someone or fan a page and business rolls in. You must truly connect.

    I listed 2 properties this month I can directly attribute to my Facebook network.

  3. Matt Stigliano

    April 18, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Ken – I’ll take a little from column A and a little from column B. I have had moments where I needed that friend/follower/fan and their name popped into my head. I’ve had moments where I couldn’t think of anyone from “Pocatello” even though there were a bunch of them in my network. Erica (above) is a good example – I’ve never met her, but she covers an area that I am familiar with as I grew up near there. If a friend mentioned they were moving out that way, I’d pass on her info to them. I know her through ActiveRain and here and have spoken to her via comments and got to know her methods and opinions through blogging.

    With Facebook, I must I don’t quite get the “become a fan of Pocatello Real Estate” requests (especially when I get them 3-4 times a day…now you’re just a spammer in my eyes). I am a fan of several people’s business pages, but that’s because a) they’re doing something I think is interesting and might want to emulate or b) I have some sort of personal connection with (that has to be a bit more than “we chatted on Twitter once”). I use the block and ignore buttons more than most probably.

    I’m picky about who I follow when it comes to real estate. If I don’t follow or friend someone, it shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing, although I’m sure some get offended. I try to keep my streams filled with people that give me something – motivation, skills, education, laughter – there’s a reason behind them. Some are completely random, but it’s because I see a spark of something that I want to see more of. I don’t mind if someone doesn’t follow me (unless I have the need to send them some sort of direct private communication and can’t). I follow plenty of people that don’t follow me.

    I have a good core of real estate friends/followers/fans. My focus has become building my local network and that’s a whole different story. When I first started though I followed every real estate agent that I could, but I still had a reason for it – I was new and needed that network to help me grow. Most of them were AG writers or introduced to me through those people. Many of them are now more than just names on a screen to me – some I’ve shaken hands with, some I haven’t, but each one has a value attached to them that makes me call them a friend (and mean it more than just a term for an online follower) and look forward to the day I can stretch out my arm, extend my hand and say “I’m Matt, great to finally meet you.”

  4. Missy Caulk

    April 18, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I agree to a point…as my social networking grew, I realized early on I had accepted too many people I didn’t know, just because I was with KW or Remax.
    Now I am more selective as I don’t want to hit that magic number of 5000 on Facebook.

    Like Erica, I have met many friends in social media that I consider real friends. There was a point where some if my IRL friends were jealous because I was getting closer to online friends than real life ones.

    My biggest grip is when you accept someone as a friend and they put you on their mailing list for all their new listings. I don’t care, I am not moving to their area. Now that bugs me.

  5. BawldGuy

    April 18, 2010 at 11:53 am

    As a TechTard and user of SM for quite awhile now, it’s my experience much of SM and it’s ‘potential’ are mirages. Sure, I’ve profited from my efforts, but I’ve ensured my followers are ones I choose, which now is about 50% or less who follow me, probably much less.

  6. Eric Hempler

    April 18, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Here’s what I’ve done for myself.

    I’ve been using Facebook long before I ever became a Realtor, so all my friends that are on there knew me long before I had my license. I also only put people from the office I work out of on my Facebook. That way I have some kind of connection with work since I work from home all the time. Otherwise I don’t like to mix work with personal on Facebook.

    Everything else I use for Social Media is used for work. Facebook is the only personal piece I use.

  7. Erica Ramus

    April 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Oh I hate the “look at my new listing” spammers!

    I have defriended (or hidden) some people on FB because of constant spamming. I also don’t join all the groups I am invited to join. You’re right — if I don’t care about your area I am not joining the RE fan page you have.

    I also unfollowed a bunch of spammers on twitter in the past few weeks. People who post nonstop about their listings or open houses or market reports 10x in a row. I want to build a relationship, not buy a house in south dakota or wherever!

  8. Matthew Hardy

    April 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    The thing I get the biggest kick out of is that we are now inundated by the “ad-supported model”. Google, Twitter, Apple… more and more and more advertising. Then (!) real estate folks use SM to advertise but are supposed to do so in a way that walks a very fine line (as stipulated by the Social Media Police) in using SM for their business so as not to offend anyone’s sensibilities regarding spamming. I think eventually, anything and everything someone doesn’t want to hear or see or even be made aware of will be referred to as spamming. Who can be perfect when one person’s “reaching out” is another person’s “spam”? It just might be deleterious to a capitalist system to make selling an unacceptable behavior.

    I think Ken’s point about that, “What the hell? It doesn’t cost anything” illustrates the inherent lack of business value in most SM activity and coincides with BawldGuy’s “much of SM and it’s ‘potential’ are mirages.” My guess is that for everyone who has invested 20, 50 or 100 hours or more in SM to proclaim that they got a few transactions from their effort are contrasted by many others who have invested that (or more) time with nothing more to show than some pleasant interactions. Nice, but not exactly business-building.

  9. anthonys indianapolis homes for sale

    April 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Well, I think you’re right that the kind of person they “really are” cannot be entirely gleaned from online interaction. This is because all of the non-verbal cues of an in-person meeting are absent from online interaction, unless you count emoticons.

    But even with in-person interaction people have been known to misrepresent themselves or not be entirely forthcoming. If you take the view that people are basically honest, then it follows that the words they type do indeed give you insight into what kind of person they “really are”–just not AS MUCH insight as you’d get in-person. And while the anonymity of the internet makes it easier to lie, I also think it can make people MORE inclined to tell the truth they they would in-person since the practical, social consequences are not only different but fewer–offend someone and just create different online identity.

  10. Ken Montville

    April 18, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I want to differentiate, a bit, between blogs like Active Rain and Agent Genius and personal blogs and Facebook, Twitter, et al. Certainly, they can all be thrown into the “Web 2.0” category inasmuch as they invite interactivity. However, the Facebooks and Twitters of the world have very little interactivity, in my experience. At least on AR and AG there is some direct give-and-take (the comments). I, too, have some AR [outbound] referral success stories although I haven’t been on AR in a long time.

    I see very little interactivity with people unless I have met them IRL. It happens sometimes but rarely. And I have yet to receive any solid business from the Facebooks and Twitters of the world. It seems to be more like a hobby or diversion with “some pleasant interactions” as Matthew puts it.

  11. Danny @ Tampa Real Estate

    April 18, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    I believe every person you make contact can be a genuine source for future referrals. I choose to follow must people right off the bat but after a while if I see someone using social media just to pimp out their business I get turned off and will not continue. It is difficult to maintain true friendships and communication with every person you meet but without given a chance you will never know.

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Business Marketing

“House has spark” – burning up the MLS with typos and other bloopers



The year is starting a march toward its natural ending, friends…and it seems a few real estate careers may be also. This week I found some real head-scratchers in local real estate ads and the MLS.  However, I get submissions from all over the U.S., so no one is safe from the eyes of  the Blooper Scooper. Check out these blunders:

Do You Smell Smoke?

“House has spark” (Apparently your real estate career isn’t the only thing going up in smoke.)

“Big pep area in kitchen” (Is that the cookie jar where Mommy Dearest stashes her uppers?) 

“Dull Viking ovens” (Methinks there’s something in the cookie jar that will perk up those dull Vikings.)

“Large greenhose in back” (Large, naked Jolly Green Giant in yard.)

“Mush added to this house” (Was that the overflow from between your ears?)

I Think I See Flames

“Beautifully remolded guest” (Another cosmetically-altered Barbie hits the Hollywood party circuit.)

“Enjoy a drink poolslide” ( Hell, if the pool is sliding, I’ll need a whole pint of Jack.)

“Each bedroom has own bedrooom” (Hello-o-o, Alice, how are things down there in the rabbit hole?)

“Separate pod to build GH” (That should please my pea-sized buyers.)

“Play room for the kiss” (Something tells me this is the back seat of a ’67 Chevy.)

Still Smoldering…

“Ideal for gusts” (That’s great…if you want to live in a wind sock.)

“Impaccably detailed” (Incredibly challenged)

“Stylish pewder room” (Try burning a match.)

“Stone pillars flake driveway” (Flakey agent got stoned in driveway.)

Nothing But Embers (This Week’s Fave):

“From a bygone error” (You have just written your own epitaph.)



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Point & Purpose

What makes a top producer in real estate?



What makes a top producer?

Stop and think for a few minutes about who the top producers are in your market?

Ok, now think about what they doing that has allowed them to continue to consistently produce in a down market, when everyday REALTORS are throwing in the towel.

Every day I scan the MLS to see, what has sold, what is active, and what went under contract (I assume that is something most agents do every day.)

Over and over again the same names pop up as the listing agent with the home that sold or the actual buying agent that sold the home.


Except for one agent in my area, all the top producers have teams. Now it may be a two person, husband and wife team or a well oiled team with a team leader, several assistants, a listing coordinator or a closing coordinator. But, they all have HELP.

In my area, the names that keep popping up are on Teams. I believe it is virtually impossible to be a top producer without help. Well, you could do it alone but if you do how is that effecting time with your family? Realistically how many transactions can you juggle and give good service?

Running a Business

The second thing I notice about those top producers is the fact that they treat their business like a business. Real Estate to them is not just selling a house, but something they brand, allocate resources for, grow and manage. Not only are they thinking of ways to grow their business but they also thinking of the future and how to sell it down the road.

I remember being told by a entrepreneur friend of mine years ago, “all businesses are built to be sold.”

Far to many REALTORS, think of Real Estate as a job they do and someday when they retire then all the hard work of creating and nurturing relationships they have built is gone. (I’m outta here)

Focused and Positive

One other observation I have observed with top producers is they are focused and positive. I never see them “hanging out at the office”, or attending broker opens, or really for that matter, serving much at all on their local boards. Oh there are a few, but really very few.

Finally, I don’t see many top producers in my market on Twitter, Facebook, Empire Avenue or other social media sites during the day. I don’t see them at every conference known to man around the country.

What I do see is they work everyday, on their business and in their business.

How ‘bout you?

Think of the top REALTORS in your market, what characteristics do you see?

Flickr Photo Credit

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Business Marketing

“New bd pans inc” – Making a Splash on the MLS



I have two things to say this week: 1. When you drink, you can’t think. 2. When you drink you can’t- … uh, what was I saying? Oh, yes – the MLS.  It was so full of bloopers this week that I am led to conclude that happy hour started Monday and never stopped. Read these and tell me if it is any wonder I was driven to throw back a few martinis myself:

Booze ‘N’ Fools

“Free membership to gin inc” (It seems someone else beat us to it, Martini Mary.)

“Grab now use imagination” (That’s what Arnold said to his housekeeper.)

“House has new edition” (Agent lacks erudition.)

“Babblying broke runs in back” (Bumbling buffoon runs amuck.)

“Drop by for cocktail ho” (Oh, is the Sunset Strip for sale?)

Puff ‘N’ Stuff

“Near Sacramento airpot” (I believe his name is Jerry Brown.)

“Claw me for selling” (I’m too busy clawing my eyes out over your spelling.)

“Reduction on mid-century ner Holywod” (Another mid-sixties porn star is looking for work.)

“We can sake your home” (Can I get fried rice with my sake?)

Proof or Goof

“Nice streem” (Said Grandma to Grandpa after his diaper  exploded.)

“Nice for dog kids” (Uh, they’re called ‘puppies,” pal.)

“New bd pans included” (Thank you, Nurse Nancy – can you warm those first?)

“Good stable in neighborhood.” (Have you contacted Mary and Joseph?)

“Drawing for plasma” (Is this a blood-bank?)

And This Week’s Winner Is:

“Good school in areola” (Thanks for keeping me abreast of things.)


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