Social media blah blah blah.
“Hi, my name is Matt, and I’m a Social Media guru.” I’m going to start using that in conversation. Everyday. With strangers. I might as well, everyone else seems to be doing it these days. You’re sick of it, you say? Why would that be? Perhaps because the people peddling their wares are about as trustworthy as a used car salesman (or dare I say? – a Realtor® (please note, tongue is firmly planted in cheek)). I’m fed up. I hear all these people around me telling me how great they are, but no one seems to have any real knowledge or relationship with the social media world. Guru, ninja, expert…why are these words poison to our ears when we all know there are plenty of people out there in the Social Media “scene” we would gladly call these names. I can rattle off a list that contains half the readers and writers at AgentGenius (probably more than half, but I don’t want to be seen as kissing too much butt).
I started real estate with a Social Media schooling. Between AgentGenius (the site) and my personal talks with Lani and Benn, I was thrust into a world I understood, but didn’t know much about. I was learning how to network in the new world. I was learning the art of selling while keeping my mouth shut. I was becoming a source, not a salesman.
Where are the lessons?
I’ve learned a few valuable things and I wanted to share them with the new agents out there that feel frustrated by all the “new” stuff around them. They’re from my personal experiences and they have done some incredible things for me.
Knowledge – If anything, the various Social Media platforms work as a 24 hour call center. Need help? Ask away. I have received more tips and advice on Twitter than I did in any classroom. There is a wealth of encyclopedia-esque knowledge on the internet. Learn how to Google it. If you haven’t mastered the Google – learn how to really dig for what you’re looking for. It will pay off more than you can imagine. Not only do you learn how to research, but you learn how the consumer is researching – you can use this later to build SEO.
Friendship – Sure, it may not sell you a million houses by being on Twitter and Facebook (at first), but you will build friendships. Of different varieties. Right now, I find myself conversing with Realtors®, lenders, locals, companies, and the strange and odd. Any one of these groups can be useful to you, but it’s all about finding the conversation in there. You know the rules – don’t hard sell. Just “be.” Everything in due time.
Omnipresence – One of my recent listings was acquired because, according to the seller, everytime she googled anything about real estate, my name seemed to appear. By involving yourself in multiple Social Media activities, you may find yourself more searchable (and findable) than you think. The other day I realized I was the #2 ranking site for “San Antonio real estate agent” – that’s powerful stuff. Get out there and make your presence known. Try different things. Use different keywords. Teach, educate, inform, and have fun. No one likes a stuffed shirt.
Who knows where they really came from? – Everyone wants to measure their successes, I talked about this in “Re-defining ROI in the age of social media.” We all want to know where our leads are coming from, but Social Media makes those lines a little blurry. So you’ve never sold a thing for having a Facebook page? Maybe you have. Think of the way a typical end-user is flying through the internet. Click. Click. Click. They might have come through your company website, but that’s not to say that they didn’t read your tweets, look at your Flickr photosets, or check out your Facebook. Until someone implants a chip in all of us that will reverse-engineer our search patterns, I don’t think you can easily define where a lead came from. You can ask them, but if they say “I googled ‘real estate’” and you came up – who knows exactly how many times they clicked on something with your name in it.
Don’t give up. – Everyone here has been through it. The “what good is this doing me” thoughts. I can only say this: trust me, your time will come. I struggled through the first 50 blog posts. Wondering when I’d see results. Only now am I truly starting to see the returns. You’ve been told a thousand times, let’s make it a thousand and one. It takes time.
My office is a buzz with new thoughts and ways to make Social Media work for us. As a team effort we are building new tips and tricks and sharing them. Find a group and do the same. Start right here if you don’t know where to start. I have never been more excited in my real estate career than the last month – new office with like minded people looking for new ways to use technology to our advantage (and have fun doing it – imagine that!?!?!). I’m on a mission now. You can’t stop me.
The above logo (created by Lani) is all I have for a graphic today, thanks to Flickr’s utter failure.