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You Are Who You Hang With

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people from all walks of life

Ines has had a great discussion going on in her recent post, about social capital. I first learned about building social capital from Bill Lublin at ReBar Chicago.

Recently, I was invited to do a live podcast with Gary Keller and Mariana Wagner on Keller Williams Agent Mountain. The discussion was about getting business from social networking.

Ok, enough name- dropping? Bear with me…

How do “you” use Social Media?

One of the questions Gary asked was about how we use social networking to get business? The point I made in the interview and stand by is getting outside the real estate network to build social relationships.

It is bigger world out there

Isn’t it boring just to talk to folks in our industry?

Just like we blog and farm niche area’s. I feel it is important to get out of the real estate networks and engage with people around “other” parts of our life, and  things we care about.

Many times on some of the social networks I participate on, except for a few blurbs on what I do in my profile, they don’t even know I am a Realtor. I am not a Realtor there, I am a person interested in the same thing in life that they are.

On those social networks, I don’t talk about my listings, the market in Ann Arbor, or anything about the industry. I engage in the purpose of that network. For instance, if I am on Navy Moms then I am connecting with other moms who have sons in the Navy.

No shock that I am conservative in my political beliefs. On conservative networks I don’t talk about my listings etc…. We talk about issues we are concerned about facing our Nation. I have good friends on all those networks, I didn’t know a one of them until I joined and participated.

My point is that those who use social networks effectively are not just hangin’ out with the RE net folks. We are not just Realtors, Lenders, Stagers, we are real life people who have other interests beyond what we do in our careers. I hope.

What do you care about?

There are millions of social networks to join. In April Ning announced there is over 1 Million Social Networks on Ning. ONE MILLION… blows my mind.

I read last night that there is over 20 hours of YouTube videos uploaded every minute. According to FaceBook statics they have over 300 million active users.

If you join a social network and don’t like it just un-join…spend time where you enjoy being and growing and engaging. I’ve un-joined several along the way.

At the root of Social networking is it affords us the opportunity to meet people beyond our local communities. If your not happy, (unlike with your neighbors) you can move.

There is more to social networks than Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. You are so much more than your career.

If you care to comment I would love to hear where else outside the RE net you are meeting and engaging people.

Flickr Photo Credit

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

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40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Joe Loomer

    September 25, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    navy.togetherweserved.com – great site for active, retired, and veterans. I’ll bet your young Sailor’s on it too.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Missy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks Joe, I will ask him.

  3. Jill Wente

    September 25, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Missy:

    Is the podcast only accessible to KW agents? I wanted to listen to it but I guess I don’t have the privilege since I don’t hang my license with KW.

  4. Missy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    I didn’t think so, Jill. I put the link in safari as I usually work in FF and it came up for me, so I “assumed” it was available.
    Let me check.

  5. Matt Dollinger

    September 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Missy,

    AWESOME! God bless you for writing this. I have been touting this for YEARS, written a couple of blog posts about it, and often am quoted saying,

    “The Real Estate Industry is the biggest thing standing in the way of the Real Estate Industry”

    A couple of great people to follow outside the industry:

    David Armano
    Peter Kim
    Greg Verdino
    David Sandusky
    Alecia Hyuck
    Etc. Etc. Etc.

    This is such a great topic Missy, thanks for writing!

  6. MIssy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Matt how’s Chicago? I will definately at your recommendation Google these folks and check them out.

  7. J. G. Keating

    September 25, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Missy,

    This is a great post and soooo true.

    I belong to some very different sites and I enjoy all of them, sometimes my posts tend to overlap and oops sorry for that for those not interested, but that’s who I am. A compilation of different interests.

    I am more than just a Realtor therefore I have more to talk about than just RE. I’m a single mom too and I meet a lot of clients just by engaging in conversations that involve other single moms. I have as much in common with them as I do with other RE agents, if not more!

    Although I really enjoy RE forums I would be foolish to think that my purpose for being there is to solicit clients only, I’m there because I can get industry news, updates and highlights, all of which help to improve my business which hopefully in turn will increase my business.

    But I am so much more than that, as I hope we all are. SM should not only be about soliciting business it should first and foremost be about expressing who you are and what you believe in, the business will follow.

    I could go on and on but I have a question!

    Anyone reading this post need a Realtor?

    I didn’t think so……

    See my point!

  8. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    September 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    @missycaulk – What a cool post – so many people miss the opportunity to join “groups” of like minded individuals and you are right, it’s not only about real estate for God’s sake!

  9. Jeffrey Douglass

    September 25, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Missy, Such great advice with such a wide world out there to follow outside our industry. You have inspired me to do a better job searching that out – thanks for thinking outside “real estate”.

  10. MIssy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    J G, good point! Don’t need one right now, but when I do need to refer it is to those I have spoken to and got to know on RE networking sites.

    As the saying goes, people like to do business with those that are like them and they trust.

  11. MIssy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Ines, I am sure when you and Rick get together with your Mojitos groups it has nothing to do with RE which proves the point. Hey you even got me to drink a few and take a few shots for your groups.

  12. Missy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Jeffrey, glad it inspired you, I have had fun meeting people in different places. Sometimes too much!!

  13. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    September 25, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    You totally rock Missy and miss not having seen you in a while 🙁

  14. Marjorie Dybec

    September 25, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I have been debating this very question with my business partner husband for the past week. I FB. He does not. He thinks I should invite my past clients in (more touchpoints with me) and I am resistant. I see all the benefits. But sometimes I want to express a political view or an opinion. I might want to talk about my desire to take a pottery class. I might want to kvetch with my “friends” about bad weather, a stroke of bad luck, or a sour experience. These are things I’m happy sharing with “friends” but maybe would edit from a conversation with past clients and customers. And even with the grouping capabilities of FB, I find it to be largely ALL or nothing.

    Anyway, many in my NYC firm use FB as a marketing tool and a solely professional outlet for discussing RE. I rarely use it that way. I want it to be a way to keep in touch with friends I would have lost touch with had I not joined.

    Anyway, your blog was definitely timely and top of mind.

    Thanks.

  15. Christi Borden

    September 25, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Dear Missy,

    Great post. I enjoy my FB real estate friends and do not mind the occasional listing post or Open House notice but there has got to be more to life than real estate. And if I am bored by it all, so are my non-real estate friends on my network. Twitter is another spam machine and Realtors are the worst. I usually tell people that Twitter is like a HUGE cocktail party and if you simply spam your message without adding value, it is like walking around the party, handing out your card, shaking their had and asking everyone, “Hey, do you need a Realtor?” And some people wonder why they have such a poor response from Social Media. Build the relationship and the business will follow. Thanks again for the article.

  16. Missy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Ines I will see you at ReBar San Diego and NAR for a few days. 🙂

    Christi, I never really like HUGE cocktail parties! I have really loved FB more now that I grouped all the friends, family, high school, college and Fans together. Depends on the mood I am in as to who I communicate with and check up on.

  17. tomferry

    September 25, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    See you in SD Missy …
    TF

  18. Bob Gibbs

    September 25, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Great post. I love reconnecting with people whom I have not seen or heard from in awhile. In fact I have recently had lunch with 2 guys from high school who I used to spend alot of time with. I do post my blogs on Facebook and Twitter but I do way more communicating with others about non-real estate related things.

  19. Missy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Hi Tom thanks for posting this on your Facebook fan page. (((grin))) See you soon!

    Bob, alll things in balance. I do send my posts there too, but I also chat it up with friends. The conversations start around things other than Real Estate as I am sure you know!

  20. Bill Lublin

    September 25, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Missy; Thanks so much for your kind words. You hit the nail on the head when you talk about being who you are with the people who share your interests. That’s where communities grow, and where we can become valued members of the communities we participate in.

    Can’t wait to see you in San Diego again – and your lovely daughters too I hope. Gonna be hard to get presentations going when we’re all busy hugging though! 😉 Got some new ideas around everything social to share – should be fun

  21. Elaine Reese

    September 25, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Totally agree with what you’ve said. My Twitter & LinkedIn focus is non RE. Has been more beneficial by doing that. Have pretty much dropped AR because of the agent-to-agent griping about other agents, points, comments, etc. I haven’t set up Facebook yet, but it’s on the to-do list because some in my sphere are asking why I’m not there.

    Some of the real estate gurus are just so full of themselves they act like they’re rockstars. It gets tiring … unfollow!

  22. Missy Caulk

    September 25, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Bill, yes I suspect lots of huggin’ going on! Can’t wait.

    Elaine, I watched your interview on the Columbus (((cough, cough))) station. You did great. What a few days that was, still don’t have my tweet deck set back up. You did great!!

    What are points? Actually, I love AR for the social networking, built lots of social capital there.

  23. Elaine Reese

    September 25, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Missy, actually the Tweetdeck fix was easy. I went to Control Panel and removed the program. I then downloaded it again from their web site so I could enter a new password. As soon as I put in my Twitter name (ReesesPeanut), it brought up my TD, set up just as it had been. Now as for deleting all those DM’s in the Twitter account, that was a REAL pain.

  24. Teri Lussier

    September 26, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Missy-

    I’ve been told by local people who only know me through conversations on local blogs, fb, and twitter, that they respect the fact that I’m not there to sell them something first and foremost. I really do care about the city, the people in the city, and that’s a common ground- that’s what they know me as- someone who cares.

  25. Gwen Banta

    September 26, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    You are so right, Missy. That was the point I was trying to make in my blog about “Networking or Notworking.” We limit ourselves in so many ways – by becoming hooked to the computer or to routine social experiences, or by failing to grow our spheres of influence. Thnaks for the reminder.

  26. Missy Caulk

    September 26, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Elaine, that is what I had to do too. Delete and start over, I just finished setting up my group. But, I had so many failed log on attempts I had to wait.

    Teri, you are awesome!

  27. Missy Caulk

    September 26, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Marjorie, I have a lot of past clients on FB, but they were just here, I haven’t invited anyone yet. Occassionly I do have a tweet go in to FB and I go opps, but like I said here I most communicate with new people in the different social networking groups that are group specific.

  28. Missy Caulk

    September 26, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Gwen, I do think some Realtors limit themselves to just RE sites…a whole big world out there. I hope we have other things in life to talk about and network around. My husband is into planes WWII planes and he has lots of connections there, me I could care less about planes. LOL

  29. Ken Brand

    September 27, 2009 at 10:39 am

    It REALLY is all about the people. Everything else is everything else. Well said Missy. Cheers.

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Social Media

Instagram makes IGTV videos more accessible with automatic closed captions

(SOCIAL MEDIA) This new feature for Instagram opens avenues for viewers who don’t or can’t use audio on IGTV videos, creating more accessibility for all.

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Instagram live being recorded will now feature auto captions.

In an effort to expand accessibility efforts, IGTV videos on Instagram will now include an auto captions option. While its parent company, Facebook, has included auto captions on uploaded videos since 2017, this new-for-Instagram feature is expected to widen audience viewership and increase potential viewing by those who prefer watching sans-audio.

In a statement by Facebook, the company states: “While there is no shortage of information, not everyone can access it. It needs to be available to the hundreds of millions of people in the world who are deaf or hard of hearing. According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – have disabling hearing loss, and that is projected to increase to over 900 million by 2050.”

Current events have made the need for auto captions even more critical for inclusion. “The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a spike in both the supply and demand of public health information. Several local and state governments, that were accustomed to holding live press conferences but didn’t have the resources, staff or technology to record, stream, and caption their live events, turned to Facebook Live. Several governments also discovered that video captioning was not just a nice-to-have, but imperative, especially in the absence of available sign language interpreters,” states the company.

Currently, Facebook provides auto captions for videos in 16 languages and has announced that Instagram’s IGTV will have access to the same features. The caption accuracy is determined by the video’s audio quality, although AI technology is constantly improving in both precision and speed.

Additionally, branded content ads are likely to see an increase in consumer interaction. Recently published data by Facebook shows ads visually designed for watching with the sound off have 48% more relevance to viewers and a 42% higher purchase intent. As auto captions normalize across social media, users can expect ad content to utilize this feature to the fullest.

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New tool organizes your Reddit feed (and makes it actually usable)

(Social Media) Reddit’s UI hasn’t always been super intuitive. ‘Deck for Reddit’ organizes your feed into themed columns, making it way more user-friendly.

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Deck for Reddit on display on laptop on desk.

Love it or hate it, the mass collection of forums on Reddit have some form of content for everyone. The simple UX design places content straight down the middle of the screen and the infinite scrolling feature allows you to view a limitless amount of content from cute puppy images to cringe-worthy videos. However, its simplicity isn’t very practical, and is something that I think should be voted down.

Yes, Reddit has come a long way from its previous text-heavy form, but there is still a lot to improve on. Charles Yang, a frustrated Reddit user, has created a web app that could change all that: Deck for Reddit, a desktop optimized, alternative way to browse your favorite forums.

“I built it to show as much content as possible at a glance, while respecting your screen real-estate,” writes Yang.

Currently, the web app is in open beta. With a very similar experience to Tweetdeck, this Reddit tool seems to hold some promise.

On the far left side of the website, there is a list of icons with all the subreddits you’ve subscribed to. Clicking on an icon will take you directly to that subreddit column. This is very convenient for users with a bunch of subscriptions. Additionally, by making several subreddits visible on the screen all at once, Yang succeeds in his goal of taking advantage of the vast empty white space that Reddit failed to use.

From this display, you can click on a post, and it instantly expands to show all the comments. Hit the back button, and the post collapses. Now, you are back to seeing all the posts related to that subreddit. And at the top of each subreddit, you can easily sort the content by what’s new, popular, and trendy. Engagement has never felt easier.

Along with everything else, this extension also adds another great feature in setting customizations. The theme can be switched from light to dark mode. Fonts, text size, and even the shape of the subreddit icons can all be adjusted. Preferences can be changed to hide viewed submissions and reduce animation motion. And if you’re slacking off at work or want to chill, you can set it to hide NSFW content.

Overall, Deck for Reddit makes the user experience smooth sailing, and it truly makes Reddit the “front page of the internet.”

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Social Media

Instagram now lets you create and share fundraisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) If you’ve been wanting to start a fundraiser for something you care about, Instagram’s new feature lets you do just that. Go check it out!

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Instagram Fundraiser

Instagram announced last week that it has launched a test for a Personal Fundraiser tool on its platform. The feature will allow users to start their own fundraiser if it complies with guidelines or choose an existing cause to support. The launch began in some US, UK, and Ireland markets and is available on Android and iOS.

In its announcement, the company confirmed that since January, more than $100 million has been raised for COVID-19 across Facebook and Instagram (also owned by Facebook), citing that donations on Instagram have doubled in the US in the past 30 days. The announcement said, “from people raising money to buy medical equipment for Black Lives Matter protesters, rebuilding Black-owned small businesses affected by COVID-19 and funding educational resources related to racial justice, people are eager to mobilize around causes they care about.”

Personal Fundraisers are short-term and meant to serve time-sensitive causes, with the initial duration lasting 30 days with the option to extend for an additional 30 days. Users must be 18 to create a fundraiser and have a designated bank account in which funds can be deposited. Donations will be processed through Facebook Pay, which also powers Instagram’s new shopping features. The platform covers fees for non-profits, but not for Personal Fundraisers. Donors can choose to keep their information hidden from the public, but organizers will be able to see user names and donation amounts.

To start a Personal Fundraiser, users with access to the feature can tap “Edit Profile”, “Add Fundraiser”, followed by “Raise Money”. They can then choose a photo, select the fundraiser category, and write out a story to encourage donations. When approved, users will be able to raise funds.

Instagram says it will expand the number of users who have access to this feature in the months ahead, as well as give users access to share fundraisers both in their Feed and within Stories. Fundraising features already offered by the company include Donation Stickers for Stories and a Live Donations feature for live streams.

This feature is similar to the fundraising feature already available on Facebook, Instagram’s parent company.

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