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Why real estate pros shouldn’t be intimidated by the crowded internet

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The internet is definitely intimidating

Over lunch recently, I asked my Realtor friend why she still hadn’t pulled the trigger on starting her real estate blog. Over clanking plates and rushing servers, she listed excuses about how busy she is, something about her slow web developer, and about how she doesn’t know how to write. I jokingly told her that she knows those aren’t legitimate excuses not to market herself and while she fidgeted with her napkin above the table, she said “everyone’s already blogging, it’s too late for me. It’s too crowded.”

It can seem that way. If you haven’t been online since 1997 (or hell, 1980 for some of the super geeks), it can seem overwhelming, intimidating and really loud. Some people have hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter, others write on their blog every day to thousands of readers, and many are even so accomplished that they’ve written books on web topics or they’re speaking at conferences. Yikes, I bet opening your laptop to get started and wondering where you fit in is exhausting and intimidating these days.

I reassured her that the web wasn’t “full” so to speak and we talked about how she could make it happen while we excitedly shoveled ten dollar grilled cheese sandwiches in our mouths (hey, they had five cheeses including Brie and came with a fancy salad, relax). I promised her I would give her empirical data as to why my claim is true and promised it would motivate her and not intimidate her, so here we go:

Millions of tweets, millions of blogs

I bet you’ve been to a conference where someone in a t-shirt and jeans told you that there are over a billion individual tweets per week and over 15 million blog posts written every week.

Your first thought is oh wow, the potential to interact with a potential client is pretty high if there is that much activity online and the next feeling most go through is oh wow, there is no way I can compete, everyone’s already beat me there and it’s too loud. That feeling is natural. Just hear me out…

Why you’re wrong- the internet is NOT full

Forget what that jumpy presenter told you about how big everything is because your space is actually quite small.

Did you know that of those billion tweets, half are from half of a percent of users? Yep, only 20,000 power users do most of the talking, so it’s actually not that loud. Some people tweet once a day, I tweet up to a few hundred times on some days (I’m likely in the heavy user group). The other half is likely accounted for by bots that scrape RSS feeds and automate content, it’s not even anything manually typed out in many cases… there is a lot of spam. They all appear to have a lot of followers because they do this “follower ring” where they automatically follow anyone back and there are LISTS of these “follow all” people, creating a ring, thus a false follower base. Nothing to be impressed by.

As a Realtor, if you simply log in, consort with locals, share pertinent information about you and your market (not tweeting “how to get more Twitter followers” but legitimately interacting with people), you will already be strides ahead of even your competition already on Twitter. Remember- your competition on Twitter is not every Twitter user or even the thousands of agents online, they’re the agents online in your own market. That’s it. Your competition doesn’t tweet a billion tweets each week, we promise. Maybe a few thousand max. Divide that over the seven days and it’s even less intimidating.

What about blogs? There are a reported 15 million posts per week or as the saying goes “a new blog (site) is born every second.” How will you ever be heard? The secret is this:

Only 21% of all blogs in the world are by self employed people. Like you. You’re only theoretically competing with 21% of the world’s blogs, you’re at an advantage already. Narrow that down to Realtors you’re competing with and I’m betting that’s less than 1% and narrow it down to Realtors in your city that are blogging and it can’t even measure up to a slice of the pie.

Why you shouldn’t be intimidated

Who cares how many global blogs or tweets there are, you’re only worried about your own back yard, so narrow it down in your mind that way and realize how little competition you actually have! Consumers are searching for “[insert city] real estate” not “real estate” and not “blog.”

What year were you licensed? I bet there were over a million members of NAR back then. Were you scared of that number? No. There were probably at least a few thousand agents in your local market, right? Were you scared of that number? No. You got your license and you focused on your area of expertise and you dominated- don’t you let the internet be ANY different.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Kevin "Troll" Tomlinson

    March 29, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    you had time for lunch?

  2. Joe Manausa

    March 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    That’s exactly what I preach to my agents when were together Lani. The consumer is on the internet, and they will find an agent there …

  3. Andrew McKay

    March 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I use the Real Estate Tomato and it works:) My area is know as cottage country. Google “Cottages For Sale In Wasaga Beach” and my blog is number 1 page 1. A variation of
    ‘Consumers are searching for “[insert city] real estate” ‘
    https://wasagabeachtalking.com/files/2011/03/Screen-shot-2011-03-23-at-7.29.42-PM.png

  4. Michael Rice

    March 29, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I’ve only been blogging since November and it didn’t take me long to learn that the only thing worth blogging is local info about my community. Those are the only posts that get read and the only posts that generate leads. And like you said, that narrows your competition down substantially.

  5. Ken Brand

    March 29, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    That’s some classic Reduce To The Ridiculous persuasion Lani. I saw that Twitter piece but would have never imagined how to weave that into such a smart share. Thanks.

  6. Tiffany Powell

    March 30, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Very good points! I talk to agents everyday about the benefits of blogging and getting involved in social media, and it blows my mind that so many agents are against it. It’s simply marketing. NAR’s 2010 Tech Survey has some really insightful info too. Sadly, in a few years, many agents will be looking around wondering what happened to their business.

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Social Media

Instagram flaunts new features, including a decked out desktop experience  

(SOCIAL MEDIA) It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram with additions of Collabs, fundraisers, and desktop posts on deck

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Instagram displayed on a desktop

It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram on both mobile and desktop.

Collabs Feature

“Collabs” allows up to 2 accounts to co-author a post or Reel, both sharing joint ownership of what is ultimately published. The post or Reel will show up equally on both users’ feeds with the same amount of engagement numbers, but combined, including comments, view numbers, and like counts. This is initiated through the tagging screen and the invited account will have to accept the offer before the collab can be complete.

Examples of adding a co-author in Instagram Collabs feature

Fundraiser & Reel Features

Instagram was quick to jump on the short-form content trends taking the social media world by storm. With the rise of TikTok, the Insta platform that was originally focused on static photos added Reels, along the same wavelength of short 15, 30, or 60-second videos, though the competitor has now expanded with the option of 3 minutes. Even so, Instagram is taking the time to improve music-related features within the Reels section of the app, adding “Superbeat” and “Dynamic.” The first adds effects to the video matching the beat of the chosen song, while the latter offers unique and interesting ways to display the song’s lyrics on screen. In addition, they are beginning to test the option to run fundraisers on a post by clicking the + button in the top right corner of the interface.

Examples of Dynamic for Reels feature

 Desktop Feature

FINALLY! Instagram is now realizing just how many users truly enjoy the desktop experience. If one were to compare the platform on the mobile app vs. desktop, they would see the slew of differences between the two with the desktop interface looking like the 1st year Instagram was even introduced. Functionality is no comparison; they only just added the ability to DM on desktop last year. As one can see, there is an extremely limited experience on desktop, but Instagram is now rolling out the ability for users to post from their browsers. Catch us enjoying posts on the big screen!

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Social Media

Truth Social: Trump’s long-standing battle against Big Tech backfires

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Truth Social is an example of how a new platform, though necessary to keep competition alive, can prove to be fallible before it succeeds.

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Man holding iPhone with Truth Social app download page up, as well as the stock market and Trump in the background on computer screens.

Former President Donald J. Trump announced a new social media platform, dubbed “Truth Social” last week. The platform has since been the recipient of cyber attacks by hacker collective Anonymous and the Software Freedom Conservancy has accused the Trump Media and Technology Group of violating the terms of their software agreement.

The circumstances plaguing Truth Social provide a small (if nuanced) look into the rigors of creating and sustaining new social media platforms in the modern-day. While expanding the number of social media platforms available creates more competition, this platform, in particular, raises some questions about the wisdom of investing in a service that creates an ideological echo chamber, as well as demonstrating that not just anyone can run a social media site.

There’s no denying that this new entry into the world of social media is off to a rocky start. Cyberattacks just hours after Truth Social’s test run left the site in disarray, with fake user accounts for Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump appearing at various stages of the launch. Truth Social’s hosts eventually took it offline, and the sign-up process is halted for the time being.

Woman holding iPhone showing Truth Social's feed.

Truth Social also has some interesting rules regarding user interactions on their platform, including a non-disparagement clause and the assertion that users can be sued for the content they post, Time reports.

“In addition to terminating or suspending your account, we reserve the right to take appropriate legal action, including without limitation pursuing civil, criminal, and injunctive redress,” says one section of the Truth Social terms of use.

This clause is in stark contrast to the ethos behind Truth Social – a platform that, according to the press release, was “founded with a mission to give a voice to all” and “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.”

The disparity in messaging versus reality is an understandable mistake, as much of Trump’s mindset was most likely impacted by criticism levied against him on mainstream social media when he had his accounts – and anyone in the same position might reasonably make the same call. However, restricting users to agree with one set political ideology is a perilous precedent to set. Echo chambers aren’t particularly conducive to longevity.

iPhone showing Trump's suspended Twitter account.

The Trump Media and Technology Group also violated the terms of their open-source software of choice when they uploaded the pilot version of Truth Social. According to the licensing agreement associated with Mastodon – the software company TMTG used – users must have access to the source code for the product in question (in this case, Truth Social).

Since the initial users of Truth Social did not receive that access, the social media platform is at risk of permanently losing its rights to the code.

While some of these pitfalls feel proprietary to Trump insofar as his high-profile battle against social media is concerned, the truth is that any development of new social media entries will be messy and fraught with obstacles. Truth Social is just one example of how a new platform – something that is absolutely necessary to keep competition alive – can prove to be publicly fallible far before it ever succeeds.

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Social Media

Instagram Collabs: New feature fosters the ability to co-author content

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Instagram is rolling out a few updates, including a new post format called Collabs, giving users a new way to co-author feed posts and reels.

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Instagram stock images of collab feature.

Instagram is rolling out a few updates, including a new post format that many can benefit from. Called Instagram Collabs, this latest feature gives users a new way to co-author feed posts and reels. This isn’t the first feature Instagram has rolled out to promote collaboration between users, but we think it will be a beneficial addition!

How to use Instagram Collabs

Using Collabs is very similar to how you tag someone on Instagram. You can start by choosing to create either a reels video or feed post. After recording your video or taking your photo like you normally would, you head over to the “Share” screen and select “Tag People”. On that screen, there is now an “Invite Collaborator” option!

By choosing to invite a collaborator, the account you add will be able to share your post to their profile grid and their followers. Additionally, the names of all the collaborators will appear in the feed post or reel header, but before their username shows up on your post, the collaborator will need to accept the collaborator invitation first.

Keep in mind, only public accounts can be tagged and there is a limit to how many tags you can use. You’re able to tag up to 20 accounts, including the number of tagged users and collaborators.

Instagram stock photo of how to use new feature, Collabs, with iPhones showing the sequence of how to add a co-author.

Benefits of Instagram Collabs

Collabs makes it quicker and easier for everyone to share content on the platform. From local artists working together on a project to businesses working with high-profile influencers to promote their brand, content is shared instantly. Gone are the days of screenshotting or using third-party apps to repost that same content on your profile.

Along with making sharing easier, the feature makes it clear and simple to give credit where it’s due – all authors are given credit. When it comes to branded sponsorships, instead of adding hashtags or brand tags that can become cluttered, along with the user, the names of brands are neatly displayed in the header. Before this feature, it was a little difficult to distinguish a regular tag from a business, but with Collabs, that is no more.

And last, but not least, collaborators will all share views, likes, and comments. By sharing engagement signals, content creators will be able to maximize their reach and businesses will have more transparency with their customers.

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