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The Catch-22 for Realtors using social media

When considering demographics of agents and the clients they are seeking to attract, social media use presents a tremendous catch-22.



Practicing real estate and using social media

As an agent, you want to look the part – you’re a city/neighborhood expert, you know the market, you price your properties accurately and you negotiate like a pro. What part does social media play in looking the part? Is it as equally important to be a top-notch agent every day in real life, appear to be a top-notch agent on social media platforms, or both?

Pro: You are actively out there promoting yourself. The more you tweet, the higher your chances of coming up in a Google search.

Con: If you’re on social media all the time, are you doing your job?

Pro: You can instantly find out pertinent information about the market – just as journalists can gather info or RT breaking news stories, agents can RT the latest home sales numbers and other data, further making them look like an expert.

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Con: If you weren’t doing that, but were one of your area’s agents with the highest amount of sales and highest sales volume, would you look like as much of an expert?

What do your efforts attract?

The main problem is something agents can’t necessarily control – the demographic of the clients you attract will determine if they think social media activity is important. Typically, Baby Boomers do not care about social media or even understand it – you were hired to do a job, not because you posted about market information on Twitter.

But to Millennials, social media activity shows that you can communicate with them how they want to be communicated with. They want instantaneous news from you when they want it, they typically hate talking on the phone or listening to voicemails, and would rather text, email or message through a social media platform.

Everyone is busy, and there is a learning curve with everyone; I’m a Millennial and even I can’t join every new social media platform – it’s just one more thing to have to update. But are we at the point now where the platforms that have been around for a bit – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and possibly Pinterest – are just a part of our daily lives and what we do?

This is probably a question that’s answered differently depending on what generation you are a part of: if you’re a Baby Boomer, the answer might be no, and you’re still sort of getting the hang of how to use social media for business and personal. If you’re a Millennial, checking Facebook and Twitter soon after you get up in the morning is, most likely, natural.

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So, agents, I’m curious: does your generation affect the clients you attract? How do you balance the demands from both generations of clients?

Written By

Stephanie Sims is the managing editor of Agent Publishing, which currently has online publications in Chicago, Houston and Miami. With expertise in evaluating housing markets, website content and social media strategy, and reporting information agents want to know about, Stephanie can be found at her desk with coffee that got cold or not eating lunch because she’s busy planning editorial assignments and interviews for the Agent Publishing websites.

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