Your online experience sucks because your advice came from a doosh

Real Estate Technology with Content, coding, marketing, host.

I am tech savvyGranted the chosen words do not make the classiest of titles but I may or may not have a bone to pick. In part I do but it is only from my personal experience and interaction with my clients and friends which inspired this short article. Surely I have trusted enough of the wrong people in my life. With today's technology and the massive amount of information shared by our friends and others it is almost impossible, at times, to tell the difference between real trust agents and people who think they are correct just because they are writing.

The real estate industry is full of sudden tech advisers, tech consultants, social media experts ... pick a title. Most of them are simply users of the technology and perhaps have a solid understanding of how to use the technology for a benefit or to achieve a goal. They have never actually, successfully created, measured and managed much more than their own account - if that. Others are simply looking for fame and will publish anything they can think of to get more comments, earn more points or score some favor as they reach for the stars.

Why I am investing my minutes into this article is because their advice can, and does, hurt some of you. Oh I don't expect to get too many likes, tweets, comments, or reblogs from this article. It's not pretty, it's not open minded, it doesn't extol the virtues of someone with more Klout than I. There is no idol worship and there is finger pointing and name calling. Call me the Chris Christy of Active Rain today. It is not my goal to be named the most influential, most quoted, most reblogged, most anything. My solitary goal is to urge and convince you to think, investigate, question, and prove what you are believing even if you read it on a well known blog or heard it from the big keynote at a big event from a well known expert.

Theory is great. It's also fragile and breaks easily. We all need theory at some point to get us started. Fortunately, for the wise, the days of theory have usually passed by the time we implement a new tool, new method or new practice. For the pioneer there is theory which we usually write about as theory rather than edicts on a topic with which the are only vaguely familiar which only serves to deceive and confuse the reader.

Practical experience rules the real world. Because bloggers, real estate agents turned tech experts or Facebook moguls, have no need to meet any qualifications you can find an amazing amount of them. Even ones you know barely know how to use email can be heard speaking on the frightening aspects of Facebook security and privacy, how to game Twitter, how to write a blog everyone will comment on, or some other, equally exciting topic at local and national events.

Inspect the data. If someone tells you, for example, Twitter is a waste of time. First, don't believe them. Second, make them tell you exactly why Twitter is a waste of time. If they have an account with that little silhouette for an avatar, have 8 followers and follow 11 people that will explain it. On the other hand if they have 10,000 connections, have tweeted a few thousand times and still say it's a waste of time - ask them how they qualify why it would not be a waste of time.

Sometimes it's a matter of expectations. If you expect to start a Twitter account, add 10 friends, push your Active Rain posts to Twitter and maybe "check in on your tweeple" about once a week - yes. Waste of time. Likewise if you sit in front of your computer or on your iPhone 10 hours a day Tweeting about Hollywood, politics, what you ate for breakfast, or similar and expect to be selling houses as a result ... probably not working out.

Identify your personal goals. Then compare with the goal of the person passing out advice. Is your goal to meet people and get them to like your fan page? Work towards that goal and trust the advice of someone else who has successfully done so. Is your goal to spend as little time on social media platforms but drive visitors to your anchor site to request your ebook? Then trust someone who has done so successfully and ask them to prove it.

We are born with too little trust, give to much of it away through life and often pay the price by blindly following those who have not proved the value of their words.

This post is not only a rant but also a cautionary reminder to myself to write about what I know, know what I write about and to be able to back it up with real world experiences, data and recommendations from others.

// Beginning of hope.

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I started writing on Active Rain in 2006 when I was representing the mortgage industry. I am no longer in that industry and many of the older posts contain outdated information. Please do not contact me for LENDING or MORTGAGE questions but rather contact a licensed mortgage professional from your area. I have always been in marketing and branding and that is still what I do. Thanks for reading!


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Donald Bradbury 04/25/2011 12:58 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
True Mortgage Professionals
social networking

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David Harper
Florida Management and Consulting Group Inc. - Coral Springs, FL
Homes For Rent

Good advice and very true! I can't belive how many people are out there selling information that can be found here in ActiveRain for free!

Apr 25, 2011 01:14 PM #12
Lisa Udy
Platinum Real Estate Group - Logan, UT
Logan Utah Realtor

Hi Ken!

Loved it. I have always used ActiveRain as a tool in my arsenal but quickly figured out, most people here spouting technology this, or tech that, haven't a clue to make it actually bring them business. Last year I hired three new buyers agents because of my Internet leads taking off. I analyzed my time here on AR, decided it was better spent on my own web properties and boy was that a great move. For those trying to sell services to newbies here on AR, why?

This place should be about learning, sharing, and growing from others not about giving them a carrot to lead them to your latest class. It's getting old! We're real estate agents, and in the little amount of time we have to engage online, it should be putting proven tactics to generate business to use, not trying to figure out if this latest tech guru is actually selling real estate. 

Apr 25, 2011 02:25 PM #13
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

I think the right spelling is "douche." Active Rain spell check appears to agree with me. 

Carry on. 

Apr 25, 2011 02:32 PM #14
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

My pet peeve are the people who write about SEO and state things as if they were certain and with no doubt.  They talk about Google liking this or that  as if they took some course given by some Google insiders.  Usually it's not based on any experimentation.  It's usually their best guess and mostly what they think Google should be basing things on.  But  they talk about it as if it were black and white.  Or they do something and see a change and then assume that what they did was actually the cause of the change they saw when it could just be a coincidence.

Apr 25, 2011 03:25 PM #15
Kieno Simeon Your South Riding Real Estate Consultant
Keller Williams Realty - South Riding, VA

Very eye catching title...  I love it.  It gives me more courage to say what I would really like to say sometimes and turn off my filter.  Everywhere you look, someone is trying to sell us something based on SEO....  Too much to think about. 

Apr 25, 2011 03:27 PM #16
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

ROTFL @ J.Phillip  Ha ha ha...good one :)  And true!


Apr 25, 2011 03:51 PM #17
Mike Yeo
3:16 team REALTY - Frisco, TX

Great post and great catchy title. It seems like everyone is an expert of something in the technology world. Who can you believe or trust? Best advise is to educate yourself and don't believe or trust so call experts.

Apr 25, 2011 04:05 PM #18
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

You said "to write about what I know, know what I write about and to be able to back it up with real world experiences, data and recommendations from others."  Love it!

Apr 25, 2011 04:16 PM #19
Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR
ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Best title of the year, Ken, maybe last year, too.  ROTFL

I like the free advice, with directions.  :)

Apr 25, 2011 04:19 PM #20
Emily Read
Salt Lake City, UT

Ahahah - you said doosh... :) Great post - thanks for sharing!! But twitter IS a big ole waste of time... ;) (I kid, I kid!)

Apr 25, 2011 05:47 PM #21
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

My kind of a post.. .love it! I'm subscriber now. . Thanks!

Apr 25, 2011 11:50 PM #22
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA


I was a subscriber already. . thank you Ken!

Apr 25, 2011 11:51 PM #23
Scot Draper
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Charlotte, NC
Broker/Realtor, ABR CDPE CIAS

Great post Ken ... I love it! So very true and I do agree with you on your points.

Apr 26, 2011 12:52 AM #24
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

Here's my personal feelings when I read this and I bet there are many others who get the same feeling.  I think you are totally correct in what you say.  I went and read your profile and it sounds like you are the real deal and might be able to help me with some stuff I'd like to develop.  But then there's this little gnawing fear that sneaks into my mind.  Will this guy think I'm a doosh bag if I say something "stupid".  If I bring up something I read or heard that he disagrees with will he go on a bitter rant of name calling and make me feel uncomfortable?  Will he actually back up his opinions with facts and figures or will he fall back on his years of experience and call me a doosh for challenging his opinions?

The word doosh probably got a lot of people to stop by to see what's going on but I wonder if it then backfires.  No disrespect here and I'm not saying that it fits here, but there's an old saying that I first heard on the playground in the second grade or maybe I heard it from Pee Wee Herman, "It takes one to know one".  I'm no social media expert, but I think name calling hurts more than it helps. 

Apr 26, 2011 01:01 AM #25
Ken Cook
Content, coding, marketing, host. - Marietta, GA
Content Marketer/Creator

Tim - that's the risk of shooting from the lip that while attacking the dooshery in the world I may intimidate or alienate others. I weighed the risk before publishing.  Probably best for you and I to talk on the phone or over coffee or a burger or salad. Or just ask any of these people who have commented who truly know me: Debi, Bryant, Elizabeth for example. Sometimes one sacrifice's self for the betterment of the community and not one's self. My decision to publish this rests solely in the month after month, year after year answering questions from people who have been given, and have accepted, really bad advice by a few high profile actors within the RE net.

Everyone else - thank you. I, too, was unable to log in to AR for a few days and came back to see these comments. 

Apr 26, 2011 07:12 AM #26
Ken Cook
Content, coding, marketing, host. - Marietta, GA
Content Marketer/Creator

By the way to all concerned - I knew doosh was not the correct spelling for douche but I thought it was just a small bit less offensive for the titular phrase.

Apr 26, 2011 07:14 AM #27
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

The spelling police have already tuned in I see. Good post & I guess it's like learning to ride a bike & crashing into a tree. Do you get up & keep going? Get other advice on riding that bike? Get a helmet?

Too bad you won't name names.  ;-)

Apr 26, 2011 07:54 AM #28
Andre R. Aragon
Greater Tampa Real Estate Photographer - Tampa, FL
Real Estate Photographer

Hi Ken, while I cannot agree with your butchering of english slang, and I would like to distance myself from your inflammatory blog post  ;) I have to agree that the internet has opened us all up to a plethora of pseudo-experts and their opinions - in every field and industry. A little common sense still goes a long way.

Apr 26, 2011 10:37 AM #29
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, RealtorsĀ®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Ken, you wrote what I (and a LOT of other people) have been thinking over the last couple of years. I hear about people that got laid off are now promoting themselves as tech guru's and ninja's and stuff. They get to "learn their craft" at our expense. Thanks for the post, you have another subscriber!

Apr 26, 2011 01:19 PM #30
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Ken-the title is what got me here and the content is what kept me. Good job!

May 03, 2011 04:20 AM #31
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