image courtesy of I’m $partacus
Web1.0 popping its head up again
As time marches on and markets struggle in many areas around the country, we’re beginning to see a resurgence of 1.0 practices. A really great example of a 1.0 practice would be for an agent to intentionally seek out a “solution in a box,” and we are currently discussing one in a post right now in relation to canned content.
I’m not going to just blast the idea of Ghost Writing, but if you follow logic, agents seem to revel in the idea that there is a one size fits all approach to real estate- there just isn’t.
Some people just don’t get it
Many simply do not understand that a web2.0 world gives you many opportunities to reduce your marketing budget, throw out your SEO budget, and engage a micro or macro niche through blogs or use of social tools around the sphere. But what I hear as a collective theme (especially among folks new to the online space) is some sort of approval of old fashioned integrated canned methods.
If that’s your goal, idea, or suggestion then you really just do not get web2.0 at all. Argue with me all you wish, but it’s fake, hence not a personal relationship building device, thus, 1.0. Okay, great. Now that we all have a blank stare, let me explain how you can accomplish the same goal while keeping with 2.0 principals, and achieve the same outcome.
Utilizing what’s already around you
First, if you’re in an office with assistants, then make social media part of their job description. It is always better to have someone out socially speaking about you in great ways as opposed to you speaking of yourself.
Teach your clients to network for you as well, especially in neighborhoods in which you specialize. Interview them with flip cams, or even in written word at or around closing. Be transparent in problems they had and solutions you brought to the table. Interview neighbors, neighborhood small business, and you may even want to go so far as allowing them to guest blog on your site. These ideas are all things that could be done by your office assistant, or contract to close coordinator- which by the way, your coordinator might be another asset on your blogging team.
Get creative to build your content, but don’t allow yourself to settle back into the dusty old ways of yester-year or in the next market upswing, you may find yourself back in the ‘looks just like everyone else’ pool.
Tired of blogging daily?
Now, I am all for supplemental material from companies like Bring the Blog; I think they go a long way to bridge the gap between national market outlooks to your local on the ground view. I also believe that comparison is valuable to the consumer.
Tired of writing every single day? Remove the date from your posts- who cares… Simply date time sensitive posts within the posts, but whatever you do, never ever let your blog or social reputation go static 1.0. Be creative, and absolutely never ever get confused about your end goal- or you really are just a 1.0 agent.
Other things we’re hearing
It’s okay to demand the sale! No it isn’t. If you don’t believe me, simply visit your local Nordstroms, Dillard’s, or Macy’s store and observe how the floor sales people operate. They’re suggestive, assumptive, but never a hard sale demand to purchase.
Throw away clients that don’t meet your standards
Are you kidding? Refer them if you’re so successful that you don’t need the headache, but no matter what you do, be respectful. Otherwise someone else in your market will have to explain your disgusting behavior.
Add signatures to your blog posts?
Says who? You’re telling me that your entire website attached to your blog doesn’t describe who you are or how to contact you? It’s not rocket science here, simply make every actionable option on your site suggestive. Buy, Sell, Search, and Contact are suggestive action words- and they work. At the bottom of each ‘page’ (not post), suggest an action as well, but also give options to keep them within your site. they may not be ready to take action.
Look, it’s really not hard
There is a huge difference between 1.0 and 2.0 and I do not subscribe to every 2.0 nor 1.0 method- there is a happy middle. I suggest you do what we do here at Ag which is test and learn, and develop your own 1.5 model. The goal isn’t to all look the same in the end, the goal is to have thousands of individual 1.5 brands all over the country that can appeal to exactly the base that fits them best. I’m sure others will agree that if you really want to be remarkable, then stop looking for a one size fits all approach in a box. Pioneering is not a comfortable endeavor.
July 31, 2008 at 12:49 pm
Nice post Benn and so true. Sometimes it gets over whelming and I dream about blog posts in my sleeping time because I get behind and don’t want to be behind. Sometimes life gets in the way and when you get back up to speed you can personalize a little more telling your readers why you had to take a day or two off. I think the more they really think they know you the better.:) Congrats again on your Inman win.
July 31, 2008 at 1:02 pm
Terrific post – yes, it has to be personal. You can’t be like Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross “ABC – Always be closing” LOL You have to build a relationship, build value. Be different! I adore the idea about getting the office assistants online – that’s brilliant! I wish I had an assistant. 🙂 I mean RE 2.0 and using social networking really isn’t that different from joining the chamber or BNI and rubbing elbows once a week with coffee and donuts… You’re just doing it online and to a global audience.
July 31, 2008 at 1:47 pm
Good stuff. I especially like the last ones, about not throwing away clients (I mean, who can afford to in this market anyway? I always think people who can be “choosy”, or at least think they can, must have a huge ego), and the one about not using signatures on your blog posts. It’s overkill to constantly remind people of who you are. I don’t see that as much as I used to though, luckily.
July 31, 2008 at 2:12 pm
Benn – You bring up some very valid points. So many agents try to push, pull and drag the 1.0 way of business into 2.0 … which just defeats the point, IMHO. Sure, there are marketing principles that are useful in any decimal (1.0 or 2.0), but they only work if you are using them in a forward thinking way.
Jennifer in Louisville
August 1, 2008 at 5:02 am
Excellent thoughts, Benn. I totally agree about the balancing things w/ a 1.5 model. 🙂 Ultimately, people need to determine what their target audience is most comfortable with – AND recognize that its a moving target. What they are comfortable & happy with today, doesn’t mean they will be satisfied with that a year from now. You have to keep your hand on the pulse of the situation and try to stay up with what style/format/interaction level that they are wanting from you.
August 1, 2008 at 1:04 pm
Benn – Pioneering is not comfortable – how true! Balance can be difficut to obtain and what works in one market may be contrary to what is working in another. Pioneering is also finding a comfortable balance as an individual. It’s not about doing the same thing, the same way as everyone else. Being uniquely you is key to comfortable balance.