The World Around Us
As the twilight of the past decade draws upon us and gives way to the new; I’m giving a great deal of thought to the future. I’m putting the final touches to my business plan and researching what is working for those who have found success in our business. Strangely, this peering into the success of others has caused me to question some of my current philosophies.
I recently created a summary report of agents and brokerage activities from my market region, which spans six counties and 1 city. In puling these reports, I found something interesting. In the very large region, with both a mix of urban and suburban geography, the top twenty producers in our market place (an hour south of Washington DC and an hour north of Virginia’s Capital.) have little to no internet presence. I mean, if you were to Google these folks, at best you’ll find their companies agent profile, but virtually no webpage to speak of, no blog, no twitter, rarely used Facebook pages etc… Here’s my other observation – none of these mega-producers are involve in volunteer work at their Realtor Association.
Now I’m not jumping to any conclusions, but I am questioning why so much emphasis has been placed in industry magazines, blogs and education on new media and our webpages? Could it be, because we’ve ran out of other things to read about? It makes me question how much my production would increase if I were to JUST concentrate on clients. Hmmmm…
Unquestionably Online Social Engagement Makes Sense
When I look at some stats like those below, online media makes perfect sense.
83% of active Internet users are watching videos online
In the United States, there are 31.9 million bloggers
71% of active online users read blogs
Nearly 66% of active Internet users have joined a social network
71% of active Internet users are visiting their friend’s social network page
Over 80% start their Real Estate search online
The philosophy of Facebook alone is very convincing, isn’t it? I mean virtually everyone has an account, it matches the buyer demographic, it allows personal interaction and you can gain trust. The case to engage online makes sense. But it may not be the only engagement that makes sense.
Consider The Options
One of my favorite posts by Benn Rosales is “37 Steps Toward Becoming at 1.5 Real Estate Agent” He provides a simply and realistic approach to working as a Realtor. Note that most of his post is not based on Social Media.
Frankly, I’m tired of hearing about “Social Media”. It’s just media – one more tool to contact and reach clients. It’s part of my marketing plan, not my THE marketing plan.
Yes, I’ve gotten clients for both Real Estate and teaching gigs but I’ve also done well with a variety of other engagements. The most effective? Actually meeting people in day-to-day life has been one of the best client producing tools in my career.
Living in the Here and Now
I love Visionaries and people who look forward to see what the future will look like. I spend a lot of time reading what these people say, but I’ve taken caution to not be so focused on where the consumer WILL be, that I forsake where the consumer actually is. There has been a tendency in the recent year to push agents toward new tools and new skillsets that has almost become cult like. We’ve made an punch-line of agents who don’t really want to blog for clients… Yet these “punch-lines” are laughing as they take their checks to the bank. I don’t think new media is a fad and it is going to become more prevalent, but let’s not neglect those agents who are still mastering their Sphere of Influence and other “old school” techniques.
Learning As I Go
I’ve been actively involved with new media for about three years and love my blog, Twitter, Facebook,et al. But they are MY voice. While teaching others to use these tools, I’ve recently been trying to not preach about what to post or how.
I’ve personally gotten weary of “influencers” dictating what I can or should post. I may not want to read a Facebook stream or Twitter stream that is posting listings or just bragging about the author’s production level, but that doesn’t mean there may not be an audience for this.
I’m happy to share what works for me, but my 2010 mentality is to meld traditional techniques with my online practices and spend a little more time learning from those who are more successful than I am. Those agents and Brokers who have been practicing for 20-30 years have a lot to offer and maybe we should be a little better listeners / observers and little less vocal?