Viral Social Media Activity May Not Always Be a Good Thing
I just read on AGBeat about a nasty note to former customers that was left on the door of a closed Italian restaurant in Amarillo going viral. The article referred to a similar form of online drama that unfolded a few months back for Amy’s Baking Company, a restaurant featured on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.
I must have been hunkered down without access to the Internet because I missed any news of the Amy’s Baking Company fiasco until now. Nevertheless, these two episodes provide food for thought (pun intended) when considering the best use of the Internet and social media to elevate the power of your communication with the short sale lenders.
While there is plenty of Internet activity surrounding both of these restaurants, large companies (including most of the major lenders) have teams of individuals that patrol the Internet in order to assure that there is no spread of negative viral activity. I know this for a fact. Believe me, I do. Fairly recently, I received a call from a friendly social media liaison at Bank of America asking me if she could help me. I asked her what she was talking about, and she referred me back to an article where I had reported on a new Bank of America policy. As she looked at the article again, she said, “Never mind.” She had realized that I was not complaining, but just sharing some information. Nevertheless, I saved her name and number since I knew that if I needed some assistance in the future, she would probably want me to call her before I took my bank needs to the social media scene.
There’s a fine line between online drama that is going to make you look like a fool, and online behavior that sends a strong (and professional) message. It’s not my call which approach you are going to take, but clearly mass media prefers the former. However, in most cases, when it comes to short sale woes, the latter method is much more effective.
Using the Internet to Draw Attention to Your Short Sale Woes
Here are four tips for sending a strong and professional message that will help you to receive respect (and a call back) from the short sale lenders:
- Make sure that all of the required documents are already at the bank before taking any communication up to the next level. You will look like a fool if you publicly complain about an inefficient negotiator when you have not returned a requested document.
- Be nice, polite, and professional. No need to rage on the bank in Savo! Italiano style. Keep in mind that you may not want to rat out a bank employee as you may have to work with the very same employee on your next short sale.
- Establish relationships (just like I did with the Bank of America social media liaison). Remember that a short sale is a mutually beneficial transaction, and if you are known as a hard worker and a closer, your communication will be treated with respect.
- When all else fails and you cannot get a call back, use Twitter. Twitter is an extremely effective way to draw attention to your cause in real time.
Drama works. You know that it does. That’s why both the Italian Restaurant and Amy’s Baking Company have become viral names. Nevertheless, as an agent working short sales, your goal is to receive a response and a positive action. And, in order to do so, you may not want to call bank employees “sacks of goat sperm.”