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Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
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Before you jump to conclusions here, let me be clear thatI'm not advising you to go dump your Facebook account. I do have a Facebook account, I do have a Twitter account, and yes (obviously) I keep a blog. However, I've noticed an emerging divide amongst the real estate community over the value of social networking as a business practice.
Numerous blogs and articles lately have tackled the question of whether social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are benefitting agents' production or simply distracting them from the things that actually produce new business. Is face to face time with clients and new contacts more meaningful and productive than having someone 'friend' you on a social network?
As it turns out, there are some very strong opinions out there in support of both sides of this argument. Some will tell you that if you don't have a strong social network presence you will be lost in the coming years of real estate marketing. Others will say that time spent on social networks is wasted and the only proven method of generating business is getting face to face with live customers. Is it possible that both of these opinions hold some truths?
As an industry, we have been under constant bombardment over the past year with people telling us we need to join such and such new site in order to remain relevant. There are so many people talking about social networks now that you are almost shocked if you go on Facebook to find a colleague and they are not on there. But not everyone has jumped on the bandwagon just yet. I can still go on Facebook and search for some of the top producing agents in my market and many of them don't have an account. It seems these agents have been able to stay ahead of the crowd without getting caught in the social media blizzard. Is this true in your market too? Go look for some of the top agents on your favorite social site and see if they are on there.
The next obvious question is: Does the lack of interest in social networking shown by some of the top professionals in our industry mean that these tools hold no value? And the obvious answer is: No, of course not. Many of the top agents already have large "followings" and have other methods of keeping in touch with their database so the appeal of social networking is not quite as great for them. But for a newer agent trying to grow and maintain their database, social networks provide an easy framework for them to do so.
Social media, as a tool for real estate agents, is still in its infancy. We are yet to see the true impact it will have on how we conduct our business. One thing remains clear though, regardless of your position in this argument: social networking is not that magic pill, that get-rich-quick scheme that so many of us seem to be seeking. There may not be any instant gratification in building your social network. Leads may be slow to appear and once they do, they may take even longer to develop into actual business. But this doesn't mean your time is wasted. It does mean that it is crucial for you to create a detailed plan for how you will use social media in your business, and how much time you will allow for it in your daily schedule.
The opportunity presented by social media is tremendous. We are now closer than ever to our customers and we have access to invaluable information about their likes, their dislikes, and their personalities. Some things are shared on Facebook that you may never have learned about someone from simply meeting them several times to look at houses. Likewise, by having a presence in these networks you allow your clients to get to know you on a more personal level. They can see how you interact with other people and learn a little about your personality and values.
Where social networking becomes a problem for real estate agents (or anyone for that matter) is when you use it as a sounding board to push your own agenda and force your opinions on others. When you treat your Facebook wall as nothing more than advertising space you have missed your opportunity. Have you heard the old saying that you were given 2 ears and only 1 mouth so you should listen twice as much as you talk?
When all is said and done, there is no denying that social media will be here to stay for quite awhile. While some of the top agents are still top agents without embracing these new tools, I think there may be some new faces at the top soon. Nothing beats a good face to face connection, but who is to say that the face to face connection can't happen as a result of a Facebook connection?
Where will your clients come from next month? Next year? Is social media part of your long term strategy or just a fun way to pass the time?
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.