Last week I received an invitation from a new friend to attend a lunch. I accepted her invitation not realizing it was an old-fashioned networking lunch.
I arrived on time and was one of the first people there (you see in New Mexico tardiness is the rule not the exception). I greeted people as they arrived and I saw a few old friends I was truly happy to see.
We had lunch, listened to a guest speaker who gave a brief talk, then we passed the microphone around the room so everyone could have one minute to promote anything they wanted.
When my turn came, I talked about my listing in Alegria, Del Webb's 55 and older Active Adult Community in Bernalillo NM. I had some time left, so I finished up by telling the people there that I was an active blogger and that I was using social media like Facebook and Twitter to promote my business. I invited anyone who was interested in learning more about social media to speak with me afterward.
You could have heard a pin drop.
I guess I should have expected this, after all, this was an old-fashioned networking event.
It reminded me of something bad that had happened to me about two years ago. I had listed a home for sale. It was a very nice home. I had sold my clients the home about two years before for $395,000, they had put some new light fixtures in and some ugly granite tile counter tops and wanted to sell the home for $475,000, $80,000 more than they had bought for!
I talked them out of $475,000 and into a still over-priced $450,000 (I told them they'd be lucky to get $415,000 for the house, but of course they knew better). Believe it or not, after about 25 days we got an offer at $422,000. I was ecstatic, but the sellers wouldn't take the offer because they didn't want to move in only 21 days, it was just too fast for them!
Shortly after that, the sellers, who were supposedly my friends, fired me. When I asked why they were firing me after I had brought them such a great offer in so little time, they told me this "We need a Realtor who networks with other Realtors, has lunch with them who works the market from the inside." They also called the offer I brought them "a joke."
One thing was true, I didn't and I still don't lunch very often with other Realtors. Another thing-the offer, was no joke!
I wonder if this old-fashioned Realtor networking lunch is what the sellers who fired me had in mind. There were about 30 people there, 10 of which were from the title company that sponsored the event. I had the chance to expose my sellers listing to 20 Realtors at once! BFD!!!!
Like I said, I stood up and pumped one of my listings, because evidently that was what I was supposed to do.
When I was driving away I thought "Gee, I could have been taking some photos for a hyper-local post or I could have been researching the market in a specific neighborhood and posted intelligent original content that would be found by Google and by consumers alike." Now that would have been a good use of my time! That's because I know that with a good blog post I will reach 500 people!!!
Oh, the house that the sellers said I couldn't sell because I didn't waste my time at luncheons? It was taken over by the number one agent in Albuquerque who goes out to lunch a lot, then when it expired on her it was listed by the number two agent who goes to networking lunches too. While they were eating out every day the house lingered on the market and the last time I checked the price was down to $375,000 and it was a short sale.
Of course me former client's hardship doesn't make me happy in any way.
And hey, the food at the old-fashioned luncheon (is that what they used to call them???) was delicious so I shouldn't complain, but I am certain my time could have been much better spent for both my clients and myself if I had been blogging.
That old fashioned networking lunch was a total waste of time, don't you think?