Welcome to Part Two of a multi-part series where we explore the concept of the “modern real estate agent” and how you can apply the ideas, tools and techniques to your own real estate business.
As a quick refresher, here is the definition of “modern” that we will be using:
"Characterized by or using the most up-to-date techniques, ideas, or equipment."
I put the emphasis on “ideas” because it really is the most important aspect of the modern mindset when it comes to business in general. It doesn’t matter how advanced a tool or technique is if you don’t understand the idea behind it and where it fits into the puzzle.
As I demonstrated in Part One, you can take an old technique (eg, newspaper ad) and if you understand the basic concepts of trackability and iterative improvement, then you can turn this old technique into a modern one with a few tweaks to the process.
A puzzle is a great analogy for this.
The techniques, tools, etc. are the puzzle pieces, but if you don’t understand where and how they fit into the big picture, then it doesn’t matter how many pieces you have because you won’t finish the puzzle.
Social media freaks out a lot of people, and I would say that for the majority who use it for their real estate business, it probably costs more money/time than it will ever generate. This is not because social media is not effective for real estate, but because very few people actually understand where it fits into the bigger picture before they make like a lemming and run off the cliff.
So let’s quickly break it down and pop the bubble that is social media.
First of all I think that the term “social media” itself starts people off on the wrong foot. The word “media” conjures up images of media conglomerates, advertising companies, newspapers, etc. I feel that “social discussions” is a much better term, because it embodies multidirectional communication, and rather than simply an announcement platform or one-way street.
The emphasis on “discussions” is very important. The majority of the value that you will get from social media is from creating and joining in on discussions.
The Modern Real Estate Agent Social Media Rule #1:
- Use social media primarily for starting or engaging in discussions, not as a digital megaphone to announce things that 99% of people do not care about.
Would you go to a cocktail party, stand on a table and announce that you have an open house?
Now what if at your open house you hired a piano player who got a little drunk and made a scene... well you would definitely start a conversation at the cocktail party about this and you would make people laugh and they would remember you.
So now that we are thinking about social discussions, well darn, we’ve been having social discussions since humans starting living in groups!
What are some examples of this?
- Public forums (think Roman times)
- Town meetings
- Book Clubs
- Christmas parties
Now, what are some examples of modern venues for social discussions?
- Your blog
How would you use a Christmas party (that is, a non-realtor only Christmas party) to get leads? Would put on your fancy Christmas sweater, then head to the party and tell everyone about your new listing? Not if you want make a positive impression, meet new people and be interesting. The main course would be your personality with a side order of Realtor.
The same techniques should be applied to your blog.
If you live close to nature, then go for a hike and take pictures of some amazing trails that are easily accessible. Write a post about why living within walking distance of such trails makes you really happy and fit. Sprinkle in a couple sentences/links to listings in the area and leave it at that.
Your goal is not to start a discussion on a specific listing (who really cares about your single listing?), but to start a discussion on why living in Lynn Valley is so awesome.
If you don’t have anything to discuss, or can’t think of an opinion you can spin with a slight real estate flavour, then try harder or delete your twitter account. If all you are doing is announcing self-focused items, then it will do you no good and will simply waste everyone’s time.
Have an opinion, be a human and put yourself out there.
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