This is an interesting article on the value of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. in developing and building a stronger real estate business. Here's the author's, Mike Parker's, opinion:
Social media is a sinkhole that absorbs time, effort, and money that could be better spent on finding listings and selling houses. Social media is the new blogging. It too will peak, then decline, with one very large exception: affinity group business communication.
Mr. Parker says a strong Internet presence is necessary to attract buyers and sellers. I absolutely agree. According to the National Association of Realtors' ("NAR") Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers (2008), 87% of ALL home buyers, and 94% of home buyers between 25-44, used the Internet to search for their home.
But why don't Facebook, Twitter, blogging, or any of these other social media tools that Mr. Parker seems to disdain count towards developing and maintaining that "strong Internet presence?" Social networking is great for keeping up with family, friends, clients, and colleagues. Again according to NAR, 43% of home buyers, and 38% of home sellers, found their real estate agent through a referral from a friend or family member. In the case of home sellers, another 26% used an agent they had previously worked with to buy or sell their home. Facebook and Twitter are great ways to stay in touch with your family, friends, and past clients - your best referral sources. And in my personal opinion, blogging is a tool to (hopefully) demonstrate the depth of your knowledge and expertise as a real estate agent.
So, I'm not sure why Mr. Parker is so down on social media and blogging. Aren't these platforms additional tools to establish the strong Internet presence he advocates?